Fort Bend County commuters can soon take a bus from Sugar Land into Downtown Houston for $4 one way when Fort Bend Transit launches its new route March 4.

The gist

The “highly requested” Downtown Commuter Service joins other commuter routes the county’s public transportation department offers into Houston, including routes to the Texas Medical Center and Greenway Plaza area, said Perri D'Armond, director for public transportation for Fort Bend County.

“The downtown service has been requested by our riders and employers for years, and it is, by far, probably our most highly requested route,” she said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the bus procurement process, the department is now preparing to kick off the new service, she said.

The cost

The nine buses purchased for the new route are funded by a $2 million, two-year Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant from the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Assistant Director Sarah Coulter said in an email. Fort Bend Transit partnered with the Downtown Houston Management District to secure the grant, which also required a local funding match, Coulter said.

Why it matters

With this project, the agencies aim to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, in turn reducing pollution, D'Armond said.

“By taking cars off the road and having one bus instead of all these cars, it does help us with our emissions and supports the reduction of those emissions for the entire region, which is critically important as the city and region continues to grow,” she said.

The details

When it launches in March, commuters can jump on the bus at the park and ride lot at AMC First Colony 24, located at 3301 Town Centre Blvd. S.; however, the bus will begin at the county’s transit center in Rosenberg and stop at the park and rides at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds and the University of Houston at Sugar Land before the theater, D'Armond said.

Riders can purchase the $4 one-way tickets from the Token Transit app or Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County’s RideMETRO app.

Upon boarding, the route will stop at seven METRO stops in Downtown Houston built around high employment areas, D'Armond said.

Coulter said the 40-passenger buses will make 37 daily runs from the AMC in Sugar Land to Downtown Houston, which include:
  • 18 morning runs
  • 1 midday run
  • 18 evening runs
What else?

Meanwhile, the county will discontinue its Galleria commuter route after Feb. 2 and instead add an extra stop Feb. 5 to the Greenway route—adding a transfer point to get riders to the Galleria or uptown area, officials said.