Officials with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County are working through the urban design process of the upcoming 25-mile University Corridor bus rapid transit lane that, upon completion, would be the longest bus rapid transit project in the U.S. The agency hosted a series of workshops in September to gather feedback and present plans on a preferred route before engineering begins in late 2023.

The overview

METRO has been hosting public meetings on the University Corridor dating back to 2021 and landed on a locally preferred route in 2023, making some adjustments in the East End following public feedback.

A bus rapid transit route is a dedicated bus route that operates similar to light rail in that buses have sole access to the lanes in use. The project is intended to connect a number of parks, destination points and Park & Ride facilities along the 25-mile stretch with service that is more reliable and accessible to users.

The details

Project cases are still being determined as part of the design process, but METRO officials are funding the project in part with METRONext bond funds, and are requesting a 60% federal match through the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grand Program.

The project is broken into five segments running from the Westchase Park & Ride near Chinatown, through Montrose and into the Third Ward, where the line connects to the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. The line then runs north past the Fifth Ward and Denver Harbor before ending at the Tidwell Transit Center.

As METRO works through the urban design process, bus stations are being proposed at the following areas in Segment 1, where the preferred route travels parallel to the Westpark Tollway, north of Gulfton and Bellaire:
  • Ranchester Drive at Westpark Drive
  • South Gessner Drive at Westpark Drive
  • Fondren Road at Westpark Drive
  • Hillcroft Avenue at Westpark Drive
  • 14th Street at Westpark Drive
  • Renwick Drive at Westpark Drive
  • Chimney Rock Road at Westpark Drive
  • Westpark/Lower Uptown Transit Center
  • Newcastle Drive at Westpark Drive
Proposed stations along Segment 2, which travels north of West University Place and through Montrose, include:
  • Weslayan Street at Westpark Drive
  • Edloe Street at Westpark Drive
  • Edloe Street at Richmond Avenue
  • Eastside Street at Richmond Avenue
  • Kirby Drive at Richmond Avenue
  • South Shepherd Drive at Richmond Avenue
  • Mandell Street at Richmond Avenue
  • Montrose Boulevard at Richmond Avenue
  • Main Street at Wheeler Avenue
The map below lists more information on where stations are being considered throughout the project. Stations are preliminary and subject to change based on public input and technical review.

One more thing

As part of the University Corridor project, METRO is also building sidewalks and making improvements to bring streets in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act at three Houston Parks:
  • Mandell Park, 4399 Mandell St., Houston
  • Peggy Park, 4101 Alemda Road, Houston
  • Diez Street Park, 4700 Diez St., Houston
What's next

METRO is continuing to gather public feedback on the project. Engineering design work is expected to begin in late 2023 and run through the end of 2024. Construction could begin some time in 2025 and last about four years before the new line opens in 2029. Learn more about the project here.