There Goes Your Popular Low-Cost Airport Shuttle Service, Houston

THERE GOES YOUR POPULAR LOW-COST AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE, HOUSTON Saturday, August 20th will be the last day for Metro bus 500, the half-hourly Airport Direct route from Downtown to IAH. Metro’s board voted to end the service last month because of low ridership and continuing revenue losses. A reduction in fare from $15 to $4.50 and the addition of several hotels to the route this past January increased the number of riders but “did not reach a level where the service could be sustained,” according to a Metro statement. The service had been in operation for 3 years. Committed Metro airport passengers will still be able to ride the 102 bus, which costs just $1.25 — but it’s not an express route. [more info; previously on Swamplot]

10 Comment

  • Bummer – that was the best deal that Metro had going.

  • better late than never

  • That had become my main (and frequent) method of transport to IAH. I’d bike a mile to the metro rail (yes, they make racks for luggage) and connect downtown. I happily paid the $15; I even more happily paid the $4.50. I have a car, but the bus was so much nicer (bring a book/iPad and chill), cheaper (if parking more than even a single day), and arrived directly at Terminal C, not a remote lot with shuttle service. But people took the terrible slow $30 super shuttle instead. It’s frustrating to live in a city with such a hidebound “private car or just kill me” mentality.

  • I work downtown and the out of town consultants we use prefer to expense a town car vs. ride this bus back to the airport.

    Wasn’t that their REAL market? Or the one they wanted anyway. These guys are too well heeled to ride the bus.

    No cousultant is going to try and save his company money if he’s getting a standard travel per diem.

    Let this serve as a notice to those who dream of an airport choo choo train.

  • @MidtownCoog
    Sorry, the choo choo would have a much better ridership imho… when I lived in midtown, I was a weekly consultant who wished every week there was a train… (I probably would have ridden the express bus if I had realized there was one, not sure if there was back then ’96-’01)

  • I would love to have the option to take a bus like this and save the parking fees at the airport, but to attract local ridership, there should have been a stop at a park and ride lot, or even the NW transit center. From the Heights area, I’d need to walk a couple blocks to a #40 bus stop, ride it downtown, transfer to the train on main, then transfer again to the airport bus. That’s just too much of a hassle. Not to mention, it would take double the 25 minutes it takes me to drive myself to IAH.

  • I never understood why I would use this. Thinking this through…. I would have to drive my own car to the station (pay to park downtown), take a cab to the bus stop (again money), or have a friend drop me off.

    Analysis: I would never leave my car parked downtown, I might as well take a taxi all the way to the airport, or have my friend take me all the way to the airport.

  • @ #3 Sid,

    Did you take your bike on the plane?

  • This was a great idea and I used the service a couple of times. It’s a shame the only way to take advantage of the system was to live/work downtown, or live close to the rail line.

  • @ #8Pyewacket2:
    (Sorry so slow replying.) No, I lock my bike in safety at Rice and catch the rail to downtown. Or I could catch a bus to get to the rail, but that’s too much waiting. One transfer is enough.