Reinstallation of Public Transportation in the City of Pasadena: An Opportunity to Increase Accessibility and Improve Air Quality

The City of Pasadena has long been known for the wonderful resources offered to residents and neighborhoods. Eight years ago, however, the bus service and public transportation was cancelled due to low usage. For those years, many residents that relied on public transportation to go to work or school were isolated and forced to find other resources to move around the City. In the verge of the new administration, Major Jeff Wagener has taken the first steps towards a new proposal for the reinstallation of public transportation. “After reviewing what we had previously, improvements were added to ensure that we had more access to things like county courts, medical facilities, the Social Security office, schools, grocery stores, and shopping,” says Major Jeff Wagner.

The city has been organizing new routes and perspectives to increase the use of public transportation and provide safety to the City. Harris County Transit Services representatives have been looking at the possibility of installing four routes in comparison to the two routes the City used to have back in 2012. The City of Pasadena has held two public hearings where residents have been able to provide input on the new plans. The plan includes four routes that will cover about 70 linear miles, including low-income areas and those with the highest need for transportation. The proposed bus service would operate six days a week and would include ADA Paratransit services for people with disabilities. The majority of the funding would be supported by Federal Transit Administration funds administered through Harris County Transit Services. Remarkably, the addition of METRO will increase the City’s diversity and accessibility, promoting inclusion and recognition.

In addition, Cleveland Baker Ripley (an organization that works to strengthen community engagement, improve financial well-being, and increase educational attainment) has been a strong advocate for the reinstallation of METRO in Pasadena. More than 300 residents have attended the informative events at Baker-Ripley. Pasadena Council Members Felipe Villareal – District A, Bruce Leamon – District B, Sammy Casados – District D, Cody Ray Wheeler – District E, Phil Cayten – District F, and Thomas Schoenbein – District H have attended the public hearings and advocated for the new future of Pasadena with public transportation.

Likewise, Air Alliance Houston has served as an advocate and an arm of support to the City of Pasadena to further bolster their efforts in creating a better future. Our goal is to better protect the health of Pasadena residents by reducing exposure to emissions. Bringing METRO back to the City will not only decrease traffic in the streets, but also reduce dangerous automobile emissions. As a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve air quality by protecting public health, we are leveraging this opportunity to advocate for an anti-idling ordinance. Through years of work, Air Alliance Houston has learned that it is only with the help of others that we can achieve our mission. We hope that from today and the years ahead we continue working together to deliver clean air for a healthier future in Pasadena.

For more information and media coverage:

Houston Public Media – Pasadena Residents Will Once Again Have Public Transit

KPRC – Plans to Bring Bus Service Back to Pasadena