Getting around Houston
METRORail offers convenient and accessible service within the heart of the city between downtown Houston and NRG Park, including the Museum District and Texas Medical Center. Two additional lines connect the Theater District with BBVA Compass Stadium and destinations east of downtown. Click here for route and fare information.
Find low-cost ways to get around Houston down below.
What is there to do in Houston along the METRORail? Click here to find out. Also be aware that you can purchase a day pass for use on METRORail and METRO buses for just $3 a day.
METRO offers several types of bus service in Houston.
- Local service runs mostly on city streets, stopping at every other corner along its route. One-way fare is $1.25.
- Park & Ride service is for long-distance commuting. METRO’s Park & Ride lots provide bus service to key destinations in the service area. One-way fare ranges from $2 to $4.50, depending on distance.
Click here for additional route and fare information.
- Bus fleet - 1,236
- Miles of light rail - 23
- Local one-way fare - $1.25
$6 Cab Fare Anywhere Downtown
The City of Houston has authorized a flat taxi fare of $6 for all trips in the downtown area. This $6 fare will apply anywhere within the Central Business District, bounded by Interstate 45, Interstate 10 and U.S. 59. The fare, in addition to increased downtown taxi stands, provides an easy alternative to driving to lunch, business meetings and activities throughout the downtown area. No surcharges will apply to the fare, which can accommodate multiple riders under the $6 total rate.
Taxi stands are designated areas where cabs can "stand" and wait for a fare. Additionally, there are at least 30 "hailing cab" icons on various downtown streets, which mark that particular site as a three-minute zone where taxis can briefly stop to pick up and drop off passengers.
Approximate cab fares from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Downtown $58
- NRG Park Area $73
- Texas Medical Center $66
- Uptown/Galleria $71
- Greenway Plaza $69
Approximate cab fares from William P. Hobby Airport
- Downtown $31
- NRG Park Area $33
- Texas Medical Center $36
- Uptown/Galleria $48
- Greenway Plaza $44
*Above rates include up to four people per cab.
Would you rather have the taxi come to you? Here are the numbers you need:
- Fiesta Cab Co. ................ (713) 225-2666
- Liberty Cab Co. ............... (713) 444-4444
- Lone Star Cab Co. ......... (713) 444-4444
- Yellow Cab Houston ...... (713) 236-1111
Note: For the fast pick up, use Lone Star Cab's Curb app.
Ride-Sharing Services (Uber and Lyft)
Houston was the first city in Texas to approve ride-sharing services including Uber. This alternative transportation company allow users to request a ride via smartphone app. Learn more and download the app at uber.com. Lyft is another rideshare app available in Houston
The Wave--a hybrid between a taxi, limo and public bus--is a jitney service that shuttles folks around Houston's primary nightlife areas, including Midtown, Montrose, Downtown, Uptown, Rice Village and the Washington Avenue corridor. Frequent riders can get a monthly membership. The Wave also offers private rentals with a concierge service. Click here for rate, route and pick up information.
Free transportation in Downtown Houston
Multiple buses operate in Downtown Houston Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., about 7-10 minutes apart. This Green route spans 2.5 miles with 18 stops and connects Metro transit stops, the convention corridor, hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Another route, the Orange route, Monday through Friday from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with buses every 10 minutes. That route covers more of the historic district, the ballparks and the Theater District.
Greenlink buses stop at or near popular downtown destinations including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Avenida Houston, Discovery Green, Minute Maid Park, GreenStreet, the Theater District, City Hall and the Central Library and connects to Metro Park & Ride services and to the Main Street MetroRail line.
The buses run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), making them a cleaner transportation alternative. Features of the buses include a streamlined, modern design, low-floor access, perimeter seating, high-quality air conditioning, 28-seat capacity, a front-mounted bike rack and are ADA compliant.
Low-Cost Bike Share
The city's BCycle program is growing and currently consists of 90 stations with 635 bikes available for short-term rentals throughout central Houston.
The bike-share program allows guest users to check out a bike for $3 per 30-minutes from any kiosk. Memberships, available online only, allow you to take unlimited 60-minute trips. Memberships cost $13 per month or $79 per year, and members can undock one bike at a time for free up to one hour with a $3 usage fee for each additional 1/2 hour on longer trips.
Users can sign up for a membership online at houston.bcycle.com or through the free BCycle mobile app, which also provides a station map on the go. For walk-up guest users , the flat rate is $3 per 30 minutes, paid by credit card at the station kiosk to unlock a bike. For each additional 30-minutes, your credit card will be charged a $3 usage fee.
BCycle is ideally suited for those looking for an inexpensive way to tour around the city's core, along Buffalo Bayou or around the Museum District. Click here for a map of station across the area or to sign up.
Houston has a fleet of over 30,000 rental cars with every major rental car company represented. Looking for something on the higher-end or sporty? Visit with Auto Exotic Rental.
Those looking to avoid the search for parking around Downtown Houston can plan ahead with Parking Panda. The online parking reservation service allows visitors to find and purchase guaranteed parking in Downtown, any time.
Parking is 100% guaranteed, even if the location otherwise fills up, often at exclusive online discounts. Present the purchase confirmation at the selected location for an easy, turnkey experience.
Parking options are available throughout Houston, including the Convention District, Theater District, NRG Park, Toyota Center and many other locations.
To view real-time pricing and availability, click here.
Another great option for finding the perfect spot is Parking.com. This company operates more than 69 lots and garages across the city, from NRG Park to Downtown.
Between Galveston and Houston
Visitors looking to travel between Houston and Galveston Island can use the Island Express. The service runs each weekday with departures in the morning, midday and afternoon each way. The total ride cost each way is $9. Click here for more details.
Houston Highway System
Houston is well-served by a system of radial and ring highways that provide excellent access to markets outside the region.
Houston is the crossroads for Interstates 10 and 45. Other major highways serving Houston are Loop 610, U.S. 59, U.S. 290, U.S. 90, Texas 288, Texas 225, Hardy Toll Road, Sam Houston Tollway and the Grand Parkway (Texas 99). Planning to stay a while? Look in to getting a EZ Tag for discounted rates while traveling on toll roads.
Houston also lies along the route of the proposed I-69 NAFTA superhighway that will link Canada, the U.S. industrial mid-west, Texas and Mexico.
Freeway Names: More than a Number
Every freeway in the city has at least two names, some as many as seven, so it's quite likely that visitors will be baffled by this phenomenon. Here's a list to help you decode the nicknames:
- Beltway 8: Sam Houston Tollway
- Interstate 10 West: Katy Freeway, West Freeway
- Interstate 10 East: East Freeway
- Interstate 45 North: North Freeway
- Interstate 45 South: Gulf Freeway
- Interstate 45 through Downtown: Pierce Elevated
- Interstate 610: The Loop, often preceded by North, South, East or West
- U.S. 59 North: Eastex Freeway
- U.S. 59 South: Southwest Freeway, Sen. Lloyd Bentson Highway, Future Interstate Corridor, NAFTA Superhighway, I-69
- U.S. 75: See Interstate 45
- U.S. 90 East: Beaumont Highway
- U.S. 90 West: See Interstate 10
- U.S. 290: Northwest Freeway, Hempstead Highway
- Texas 6: Highway 6, Addicks Howell Road, Alvin Sugar Land Road, Addicks Satsuma Road, Hempstead Road
- Texas 3: Galveston Road
- Texas 225: La Porte Freeway
- Texas 249: Tomball Parkway
- Texas 288: South Freeway, Nolan Ryan Expressway
- Highway 99: Grand Parkway
Source: Greater Houston Partnership