HOUSTON – LINK Houston urges Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) to re-affirm their commitment to increase local bus service by 25% above pre-pandemic levels, as outlined in the METRONext Moving Forward Plan. Service increases should focus on routes located within the 222 square miles mapped by the Transportation Equity Demand Index (TEDI) with high demand for affordable transportation. 

“There is a lot of conversation currently about the role of public transit in a world reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gabe Cazares, Executive Director of LINK Houston. “What we found is what riders have told us year after year; public transit remains a critical piece of infrastructure in Houston and deserves prioritized investment.” 

METRO ridership has steadily increased year after year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly ridership in February 2024 at 86% of weekly ridership in February 2020. Houston currently boasts the second highest ridership recovery among the top 20 metro areas but many riders are waiting longer for the bus than in 2019. LINK Houston compared headways (the time between buses) on all METRO routes between October 2019 and October 2023 and found that many routes are running less frequently at key times. 

LINK Houston interviewed 299 individuals during the data collection period for the 2024 Equity in Transit Report, asking questions regarding rider experience, improvements they’d like to see, and how their ridership patterns have shifted because of the pandemic. Based on their responses we recommend to METRO the following: 

  • Ensure all on-time performance data is publicly available.  
  • Take a comprehensive approach towards rider safety.  
  • Work with partners such as the City of Houston, Harris County, TxDOT, Management District and TIRZs to improve stops, sidewalks, and crosswalks.  
  • Accelerate the voter-approved METRONext Moving Forward Plan, focusing first on TEDI high demand areas. 

The complete Equity in Transit 2024 report will be released Wednesday, May 1st at 11 am via Zoom webinar. There will be a happy hour reception to follow from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at Echoes (900 Richmond Ave). 


LINK Houston is a non-profit organization that advocates for a robust and equitable transportation network so that all people can reach opportunity. For more information, please visit


Nick Arcos

Director Of Communications

Mobile: (713) 906-8345

Bus rider waiting for their bus.

LINK Houston staff canvassing bus riders.