Residents in and around The Woodlands Township will have a new way to get to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year.
A new pilot program to offer weekend service from The Woodlands to NRG Park throughout the rodeo season, which runs Feb. 25-March 17, was approved during the Jan. 16 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors. Township directors had previously discussed the item in December but had not officially approved the item.
Township officials emphasized the service has not yet been finalized, but staff is researching details on exactly how the routes and drop-off locations at NRG Park will operate.
The preliminary bus schedule—which is subject to change—includes nine runs to the rodeo grounds beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 7:15 p.m., and 14 runs returning to The Woodlands beginning at 10:45 a.m. and ending at 11:15 p.m., for weekend rodeo dates. The buses will leave and return from the Sterling Ridge Park and Ride on Saturdays and Sundays so as not to affect regular commuter service.
The cost per passenger will be $25, according to Ruthanne Haut, deputy director of community services for The Woodlands Township. In order for the township to break even on the costs for the service, it will need to sell 23 tickets per bus. The total cost to the township is estimated to be $30,870.
“This is a new thing we have never done,” Township chairman Gordy Bunch said. “I think there seems to be support for this initiative to see if this works.”
Bunch said the service is contingent on finding a safe location near NRG Park to drop passengers off. A date and website for passengers to begin buying shuttle tickets have not yet been announced. Passengers will be able to buy tickets online, but not through the township’s mobile app.