Metro Might Never Need To Change a Station Name Again If It Just Changes 28 of Them Now

METRORail Light-rail Map

In response to word from the Chronicle‘s Dug Begley this week that the Red Line’s Reliant Park light-rail stop might get its station name updated to an even older name, a Swamplot reader jumps on the case with a system-wide list of potential station name changes that might remain unaffected by the sale, rebranding, or demise of any nearby venues or landmarks. Begley notes it could cost Metro around $486,000 to change the Reliant Park stop’s signage. The agency says it would prefer to make the switch at the same time as 2 other station name changes currently under consideration (if they’re approved) — but not until after the Super Bowl, for which a set of cheaper temporary stickers will be deployed to help visitors find NRG Stadium.

The reader, in the spirit of Houston’s budding redesign-it-yourself urban planning scene, suggests that paying up now to swap out all the names that might become a problem later might actually be a long-term cost-saver. The proposed scheme makes sure every station name mentions a cross-street (or maybe a bayou), and keeps some references to existing transit centers, parks, or neighborhoods.

Here’s the full list of suggested switch-outs, separated by rail line, with the current names on the left:


Northline TC/HCC — Deerfield/Northline Transit Center
Lindale Park — Graceland/Lindale Park
Moody Park — Beggs/Moody Park
UH Downtown — Buffalo Bayou at White Oak Bayou (or Girard or Commerce)
Downtown TC — St. Joseph/Downtown Transit Center
Ensemble/HCC — Berry (back to Metro’s original name for the station)
Museum District — Binz/Museum District
Hermann Park/Rice U — Sunset/Hermann Park
Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo — Cambridge/Houston Zoo
Dryden/TMC — Dryden
TMC TC — Pressler/Texas Medical Center Transit Center
Smith Lands — Old Spanish Trail at Greenbriar
Reliant Park — Holly Hall
Fannin South — Fannin South at W. Bellfort

Theater District — Smith/Theater District
Central Station — Fannin/Central Station
Convention District — Jackson/Convention Center
EaDo/Stadium — Bastrop
Coffee Plant/Second Ward — York/Second Ward
Magnolia Park TC — 70th/Magnolia Park Transit Center

Theater District —  Smith/Theater District
Central Station — Fannin/Central Station
Convention District — Jackson/Convention Center
EaDo/Stadium — Bastrop
Robertson Stadium/UH/TSU — Cleburne at Scott
UH South/University Oaks — Calhoun at Wheeler
MacGregor Park/MLK — Martin Luther King, Jr. at Old Spanish Trail/MacGregor Park
Palm Center TC — Beekman/Palm Center Transit Center

What about all those folks using the current landmark names to guess the route toward special events? The reader has a possible answer:

To aide riders in finding landmarks no longer included in station names, Metro could add way-finding signage in rail cars (since Metro doesn’t sell ads, there is plenty of space to add signage). By using temporary (paper) signage in rail cars, Metro could save money and rotate signs to highlight big-name events (so fall/winter signage says to use Holly Hall for Texans games, while spring signage says to use Holly Hall for the Rodeo). Metro has a vested interest in providing some of this signage at its own cost (for very high-ridership events like NFL games and the Rodeo), while smaller or one-off events (Toyota Center concerts, for example) could arrange with Metro to provide custom signage at the event operator’s/promoter’s cost. This could be supplemented with operators announcing stadium names over the PA on game-days.

Current rail system map: Metro

What’s In a Name

4 Comment

  • Wait! Were any of the streets used in the proposed rail station names named after slaveholders or Confederate soldiers or sympathizers? We’ll just have to rename the stops again when they rename Calhoun.

  • Umm you forgot Casa de Amigos. Please.

  • why is Metro paying to change the reliant stop to NRG? shouldn’t that be the responsibility of NRG? the deal was made with Reliant 15 years ago. If they got bought and changed names why are tax payers, or Metro users paying? Plus I don’t know about anyone else but its the DOME, not reliant or nrg.

  • the UH/Robertson Stadium signage didn’t go up until LONG after Robertson Stadium had already been demolished. Just another great example of how clueless the management at METRO is.