New service will be 7 days a week, 14 hours daily, every 60 minutes
After many meetings with METRO, representatives of the East Aldine District, and State Representative Armando Walle, which have extended over the last year, a new bus schedule for Route 59 has been announced and will start this Sunday, August 16, along with METRO’s New Bus Network over the whole city.
METRO’s NEW BUS NETWORK will include changes in the #59 Route. It will run 7 days a week, from 5 a.m. until after 7 p.m. The route has been extended to connect with the #56 route on Airline, and then continue to Veterans Memorial and end at the North Shepherd Park & Ride, where passengers will be able to transfer to 9 different routes that go to all parts of the city and county. Starting at the Social Security office on Aldine Mail Route, the westbound bus will have stops at Aldine Community Health Center, MacArthur High School, High Meadows library, the new East Aldine Town Center (when built) including Lone Star College and Neighborhood Centers, Airline flea markets, Aldine High School, Aldine Library, Walmart on West Road, Stuebner Airline Park, and the North Shepherd Park & Ride. Buses will run every 60 minutes, and fares are $1.25 per person, with student and senior discounts available.
In the meetings with METRO, and from surveys taken of riders, two conditions for a successful bus route were emphasized, and missing. These were 7 days a week service, and connections to shopping on Airline and the North Freeway. The new route as announced not only will achieve these goals, but in addition will have improved connections at the North Shepherd Park & Ride to most all of the routes into the rest of the city. Riders will now be able to reach downtown Houston, and the airport through the connections at the transit center.
The new network is the most comprehensive redesign of Houston’s bus system in more than a generation. To christen it, rides on all Metro local buses and trains will be free from August 16-22.
The new system relies more on buses running frequently along core routes. The current system involves many buses that cross downtown and take circuitous paths; the new network enables riders to criss-cross the Houston area along heavily traveled streets.
State Representative Armando Walle, who worked during the recent Legislative Session with METRO staff to achieve the changes, issued a statement from his office, “Indeed, its very exciting news as many in the community will benefit greatly with the new schedule.”
Over the whole route, Metro expects some routes will take longer than before, and expects to make adjustments as necessary, according to officials.
Metro will also introduce some new enhancements to service, including a new smart phone app that will allow you to indicate your location on your phone, and get an answer by text message as to when the next bus will come to your stop.