Transportation

Metro Rail

There’s more to building a successful lightrail system than laying track and putting up stations. That’s why METRORail made an early commitment to not only serve and connect Houston communities, but to maintain their culture and integrity. METRORail has added more than 17 miles of new sidewalks and 45 miles of 12-foot traffic lanes. The expanded light-rail system is an essential element of the city’s plans to meet the transportation and environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

METRO  Bus System

METRO has 1,230 buses. With an extensive network of bus routes and convenient park-and-ride facilities helping to ease rush-hour commutes, the METRO Bus System keeps the Houston region moving. METRO is paving the way for a cleaner Houston with 443 transit diesel-hybrid buses in operation. Since 2003, METRO has been actively working to improve the air we breathe with state-of-the-art technology that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50 percent and offers substantial savings in fuel.

Airports

The Houston area is served by two major airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Houston’s largest airport, IAH, is located approximately 23 miles north of downtown Houston, and currently ranks 5th among U.S. airports with scheduled nonstop domestic and international services. Hobby Airport is located approximately seven miles south of downtown, and offers nonstop flights to more than 50 destinations throughout the United States. It is also a regional center for corporate and private aviation.

A third site, Ellington Airport (EFD), is a joint-use civil and military airport serving the needs of the U.S. military, NASA and general aviation. Check individual airlines to see which airports serve a particular carrier.

Highways

Houston is the crossroads for interstate highways 10 and 45. Other major highways serving Houston are Interstate 610, U.S. 59, U.S. 90, U.S. 290, Texas 99, Texas 146, Texas 225, Texas 249, Texas 288, Hardy Toll Road, Westpark Tollway, and Beltway 8.

Highway Nicknames

As in most cities, routes and freeways in Houston are designated by numbers, but natives usually refer to them by nicknames. Here are a few of the major freeways and their nicknames.

Beaumont Highway – U.S. 90
Beltway 8  – Sam Houston Parkway/The Beltway
East Freeway –  Interstate 10 East
Eastex Freeway – U.S. 59 (north Houston to downtown)
Grand Parkway – Texas 99
Gulf Freeway – Interstate 45 (south of downtown)
Katy Freeway – Interstate 10 West
The Loop – Loop 610 (in all four directions)
North Freeway – Interstate 45 North
Northwest Freeway – U.S. 290
South Freeway – Texas 288
Southwest Freeway – U.S. 59 (Southwest Houston
to downtown)