Free Ride Fridays Begin in Energy Corridor12/2/2013
Program seeks to introduce commuters to affordable driving alternative
HOUSTON, Dec. 2, 2013 – There may be no such thing as a free lunch, said economist Milton Friedman, but like Texas musician Edgar Winter sang, you can take a free ride – every Friday in The Energy Corridor.
Free Ride Fridays is offering Energy Corridor residents and employees free rides every Friday until September 2014 on METRO’s 75 Eldridge Crosstown bus. The route reaches major Energy Corridor employers and retailers, as well as METRO Park & Rides that connect commuters to downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center and other significant employment hubs.
Introduced by The Energy Corridor District (ECD), Free Ride Fridays seeks to encourage commuters to try the comfortable buses on the 75 Eldridge Crosstown route, leaving their cars behind during the busy holiday shopping season and beyond, explains John Nunez, the ECD’s Transportation Manager.
“We’ve found that once people ride the 75 Eldridge in The Energy Corridor they’re likely to try it again, because it is a clean, pleasant and affordable alternative to driving,” says Nunez.
Stops include the Addicks and Mission Bend Park & Rides, Fleetwood Station Post Office, Kendall Library & Community Center, Market Square at Eldridge Parkway, Parkway Village Shopping Center, Ray Miller Park and Terry Hershey Park.
Free Ride Fridays is designed to attract new riders along the route, explains Nunez. Commuters using alternative commuting, says Nunez, help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
More than 80 percent of 75 Eldridge Crosstown patrons use the service to travel to and from work.
“Taking the 75 Eldridge is a relaxing way to get around The Energy Corridor,” says Kelly Rector, an ECD team member who often commutes to work on METRO. “Being able to leave your car and the stress of driving at home is a rewarding experience.”
If Rector needs a vehicle while at work, she uses ECD’s CarShare program. CarShare provides easily shared vehicles at two Energy Corridor locations for commuters using alternative transportation who want to run an errand while at work. Using METRO buses regularly can garner commuters enough free credits to make CarShare rentals virtually free.
The 75 Eldridge Crosstown route is funded in part through a Federal Transit Association grant, in a partnership between METRO and The Energy Corridor District.
Learn more about the 75 Eldridge Crosstown and see an interactive route map by visiting 75eldridge.org.
About The Energy Corridor District
Created in 2001 by the Texas Legislature, The Energy Corridor District (Harris County Improvement District #4) works to enhance the community’s quality of life and sense of place by implementing mobility, public safety, and streetscape and business development initiatives. The Energy Corridor District consists of over 1700 acres that extend along both sides of Interstate 10 from Kirkwood to west of Barker Cypress and along Eldridge Parkway from north of IH-10 to south of Briar Forest.