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Found 11 results

  1. This came in the e-mail this morning. -------------------- METRO RIDERSHIP CONTINUES TO RISE AGENCY POSTS SIXTH STRAIGHT MONTH OF GROWTH More people are riding METRO buses and rail more often. METRO ridership is on the rise for a sixth consecutive month, recording a 5.2 percent increase to 6,357,131 boardings in January 2012 compared to 6,043,280 in January 2011. “Thanks to our focus on smart service and service changes to improve the system, we have been able to take advantage of the improving economy to deliver first-class transit to our community,” said METRO President & CEO George Greanias. Upward METRO Ridership Trend Continues for Sixth Consecutive Month Local bus and Park & Ride - January, 2011: 5,277,229 Local bus and Park & Ride - January, 2012: 5,455,106 MetroRAIL - January, 2011: 766,051 MetroRAIL - January, 2012: 902,025 METRORail ridership posted a 17.7 percent increase to 902,025 boardings compared to the 766,051 recorded in the same month last year. Park & Ride and local bus service jumped to 5,455,106 boardings versus 5,277,229 in January 2011. The continued growth is due in large part to increased employment in the area and METRO’s ongoing system adjustments to improve efficiency. Though there is currently no link between the agency’s growth in ridership and rising gas prices, METRO offers many alternatives to move about the city, and welcomes new riders and returning patrons. The latest transit savings report from the American Public Transportation Association shows that riding public transit saves about $9,914 a year. About METRO The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses, METRO is currently expanding its 7.5-mile light-rail line (Red Line), with three new lines under construction. METRO’s services also include:Star Vanpool, METROLift, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Bikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride and road improvement projects.
  2. Got this in the e-mail this week. I know there are a lot of food truck fans on HAIF. And if you have any pictures of food trucks, send them to our sister site http://lunchtim.es e-mail editor@lunchtim.es Houston Mobile Food Units Seek Changes in City Regulations HOUSTON (August 29, 2012) – The Houston Mobile Food Unit (MFU) Collective will present City Council Members with stakeholder-driven Ordinance changes in September, which will further promote business growth and entrepreneurship in Houston. The proposed Ordinance changes will eliminate the 60-foot distance between Mobile Food Units; allow 1 propane (LP) permit to cover multiple locations; provide access to existing seating areas and provide limited seating of their own; lift the LP ban within the District of Limitations, opening up the downtown area for service. “Currently, propane use is restricted in Houston’s central business district, which limits most mobile food units from operating in the area. MFUs attract crowds and bring activity to the areas they occupy; the proposed Ordinance provides a unique opportunity to revitalize and reenergize spaces that could benefit from increased activity,” said Joanna Torok, co-owner of Oh my! Pocket Pies. In an effort to promote controlled industry growth, the Collective believes the Ordinance changes will strengthen Houston’s economy by directly contributing to the success of local businesses. The MFU business model offers affordable access to the city’s rich culinary culture. These changes will add to Houston’s current successful reputation in entrepreneurship, and will further increase the city’s standing as a desirable travel destination in Texas. “Houston has earned a reputation for supporting local establishments and fostering the growth of businesses, both large and small”, says Joe Phillips, co-owner of Oh my! Pocket Pies. “Approving changes to support mobile food units will directly contribute to the success of local, small businesses, and will allow them to grow, strengthening our city’s economy.“ The MFU Collective is scheduled to present the Ordinance to Mayor Parker and City Council Members on September 26, 2012. To support the ordinance, the MFU Collective suggests attending the City Council meeting, sending in a letter of support to the Mayor and Council Members, and signing the public petition at participating mobile food vendor locations. Additional information can be found online: www.MFUHouston.com # About Houston’s Mobile Food Unit (MFU) Collective We are a collection of micro-entrepreneurs looking to further increase our city’s unique and affordable food options and business successes. Comprised of devoted mobile food vendors, this collective group seeks to motivate positive change through education, dedication and collaboration. Houston’s Mobile Food Movement has begun… United we Roll!
  3. This press release arrived this afternoon. Bush Intercontinental Airport Marks Arrival of Groundbreaking Technology to Increase Flight Capacity Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) became fully operational with the first precision approach flown by a United Airlines aircraft using Honeywell’s Smartpath Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) on Monday, April 22. IAH is one of two airports in the country participating in a pilot program, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United Airlines and Honeywell to demonstrate the use of GBAS. This new system delivers a cost-effective solution to increase airport capacity, decrease air traffic noise and reduce weather-related delays. “The Houston Airports are among the most innovative and progressive in the nation when it comes to safety and efficiently connecting passengers to destinations around the world,” said Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airports. “It is imperative that we continue to invest in new technology that enhances the aviation sector.” Honeywell’s SmarthPath GBAS system augments GPS signals so they can be used for precision navigation in the approach and landing phases of flight. The flexible approaches provided by GBAS may produce a significant reduction in aircraft delays and carbon emissions at airports. The project is a component of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). It's a migration from what is considered to be a ground-based air navigation system to a satellite-based navigation system which uses the same GPS that you use in your cars today. “There is a great opportunity for SmartPath to modernize the flight experience for airline passengers,” said Pat Reines, senior manager, SmartPath Ground Based Augmentation Systems at Honeywell Aerospace. “We’re looking forward to helping Houston passengers and visitors’ experience more flights that depart and arrive on time.” United Airlines will operate the flights with a Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) landing system (GLS) technology to receive the GBAS landing approach data. United was an early leader in NextGen technology, taking delivery of GLS-equipped aircraft since 2009. “We believe that GBAS is the air carrier precision landing system of the future,” said Captain Joe Burns, United’s managing director of technology and flight test. “We continue to work closely with the FAA and our industry partners on GBAS and other NextGen initiatives.” GBAS can provide aircraft with guidance to as low as 200 feet above the surface of the runway, referred to as a Category I approach. The FAA is currently validating the requirements for a GBAS to support Category II and Category III precision approach operations which would guide an aircraft to the surface of the runway. GBAS represents the only currently feasible satellite-based navigation solution for Category II/III precision approach operations.
  4. From the Houston Public Lieberry: Tween Pix Contest at the Houston Public Library The Tween Pix Contest is happening at the Houston Public Library. All Tweens ages 11-13 that love to take photographs of people, animals and scenery are invited to participate in the contest. The deadline to submit all photographic entries is Friday, March 1, 2013. Only individual submissions will be accepted. Ribbons will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners. The winning photographs will also be exhibited on the fourth floor of the Central Library. Tweens whose winning photographs are selected will be contacted before the exhibit. For more details, please visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313. This contest is free and open to the public. Tween Pix Contest Guidelines: Only Tweens ages 11-13 years old may enter. All photographs must be the Tween's original work. Photographic topics are scenery, people and animals. All photographs will be previewed for content. Photographic content must be acceptable for family viewing. Photographs may be cropped, and the tool to eliminate red eye and basic color correction is allowed. However, no electronic editing, including Photoshop, will be accepted. Each photographer must submit one printed 8x10 photograph and a digital version of the photograph in .jpg format. Individual submissions only. No group submissions will be accepted. Submit only copies, not original work. Deadline: All entries must be submitted by Friday, March 1, 2013. Entries will be accepted at: Central Library | 4th Floor — Kids Room | 500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77002 Email digital version in .jpg format to: children.reference@houstontx.gov About the Houston Public Library The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
  5. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Greanias-stepping-down-as-Metro-CEO-4119765.php Damn shame, he was really turning the agency around. I'd wager it has something to do with the recent GMP referendum. The wonderful pundits and analysts of the Chronicle's comments section said we need someone with "transportation experience" this next go round. Well, Shirley DeLibero and Frank Wilson had decades of transportation experience between them and we all know how that turned out. Let's see what comes of this.
  6. Press release from Metro: METRO BOARD APPROVES BALLOT LANGUAGE ELECTION CALLED FOR NOVEMBER 6TH METRO’s Board voted and approved a proposition today regarding the future of the General Mobility Program (GMP) which will be placed on the ballot on November 6, 2012. In an 8-1 vote, the board of directors voted to put forth a new proposal which would continue the GMP in its current form, allocating a quarter of its one-cent sales tax to its 16 member jurisdictions. However, allocations will be fixed (capped ) at the 2014 levels and any growth in revenues beyond the quarter of the sales tax will be split 50-50 between METRO and the other jurisdictions from October 2014 through December 2025. This allocation change is targeted to result in an additional $400 million for METRO. "This proposal will focus on two things; increased ridership and fiscal responsibility,” said METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia.” The transit agency will be able to enhance our bus service and reduce short-term debt on the balance sheet. Throughout public discussions and meetings, I have always tried to find some type of compromise between the parties who wanted to continue GMP as it is, or end the program. This measure works toward that goal." The incremental growth portion allocated to METRO will be used for the following purposes: · Increase bus service hours and the purchase of up to 200 buses; · Construction of up to 1,000 additional bus shelters; · Commercial paper debt payments up to $200 million; · Operation and maintenance costs associated with additional service, bus shelters, Park and Ride facilities, bus transit centers and bus operating facilities. The proposition also calls for another election to be held prior to December 31, 2025 regarding METRO's continuing support of the General Mobility Program. For more about METRO’s 2012 General Mobility Program (GMP) Referendum web page, click here.
  7. METRO is happy to announce the arrival of its newest family member, Light Rail Vehicle #201 – a Siemens S70 that will join 18 others in carrying Houstonians via METRORail. This is the first new rail car for the system in nearly nine years. The vehicle arrived at METRO’s Rail Operations Center where it will be tested before being placed into service. The unit is a welcome addition to a very busy fleet which this year has surpassed 90 million boardings. This train, and the 18 others to follow, will allow METRORail to carry more passengers. Its low floor enables passengers to board at street level, providing easier access for people of all abilities. The delivery is part of an $83 million contract awarded to Siemens Industry, Inc. for 19 new S70 light-rail vehicles along with spare parts, training and manuals. The first order, delivered in 2003, included 18 LRVs. The vehicles are being manufactured at Siemens’ rail vehicle manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif.
  8. The Houston Public Library Develops an E-books for Everyone Initiative Through a Library Cooperation Grant from The Texas State Library and Archives The Houston Public Library (HPL) has developed a comprehensive service and promotional plan for e-books in libraries called E-books for Everyone through a $75,000 Library Cooperation Grant it has received from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. This initiative also includes the participation of nine libraries in southeast Texas that will help provide greater assistance and support to public library e-book customers. E-books for Everyone has provided staff in participating libraries with extensive training on e-book technology, industry trends and techniques for promoting services. As a result, staff is training other staff and the public as well. The e-book training also offers staff and customers a self-service tool for e-book support. This can be found at sites.google...booksfortexans/ or at the Web sites of participating libraries. To introduce customers to a broad collection of free e-books on the Internet, the grant has also funded the addition of 142 books from the HPL’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center to the Internet Archive, a collection that includes more than 3.5 million books that can be downloaded to e-book readers and that can also be freely read. These HPL books can be viewed at http://www.archive.o...houstonlibrary. Future promotional components of E-books for Everyone will feature short instructional videos that will be accessible via a YouTube channel. Social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter will also be used to draw attention to the new user interface and instructional videos to attract shared users. The nine southeast Texas libraries cooperating in the E-books for Everyone initiative include: McMullan Memorial Library, Huntington, TX; Waller County Library, Hempstead, TX; Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX; Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library, Nederland, TX; Helen Hall Library, League City, TX; Effie and Wilton Hebert Public Library, Port Neches, TX; Friendswood Public Library, Friendswood, TX; Houston Public Library, Houston, TX; and Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX. Leadership for the grant was provided by the Houston Area Library Automated Network, an HPL managed technology consortium that serves six libraries in the greater Houston Area and Amigos Library Services, a not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to serving libraries. About the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Formed in 1909, TSLAC is committed to giving Texans access to information and programs they can use to improve their lives and communities. We provide historical and genealogical search assistance, federal and state government documents, electronic research, and library services to all Texans, including those who are unable to read standard print material because of physical or reading disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.state.tx.us. About the Houston Public Library The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
  9. Just got this in the e-mail: New Baggage Claim at Hobby Airport is Open HOUSTON, June 25, 2012 - Improvements continue to arrive at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), as the new baggage claim operation is opened to the public. The renovated space offers passengers a number of improved features, including new terrazzo flooring, longer baggage conveyors, upgraded lighting and larger restroom facilities. “We’ve made a commitment to the public to return our facilities to opening day fresh,” says Houston aviation director Mario Diaz. “This renovation goes a long way in living up to that commitment. This is a high-traffic area where customers will definitely notice the improvements, especially compared to the previous layout.” The construction project began in June 2010, and over the past two years passengers have used a temporary baggage area while the renovated space was being completed. Customers were directed to the new baggage claim area for the first time on June 26, 2012. It is the same footprint of the original baggage claim area that had been open since the airport opened in 1965. But, the new space is an open concept, making the area look larger and much brighter. Customers will no longer see the green tile flooring and wooden locker facilities that had become synonymous with the prior baggage claim area. “Hobby Airport has come a long way in a short amount of time. We’ve been able to upgrade the airport in several different areas that have made a huge impact to our customers,” says Ross Underhill, Hobby Airport acting general manager. “Now that the baggage claim area is open, we’ll set our focus on opening the U-ramp up again.” The completion of the new baggage claim area represents a major step forward in the progression of the $350 million Hobby Airport renovations. So far, there have been new ticket counter spaces added, lobby and artwork. Ticket Counters: Moved all carriers, except for Southwest Airlines, to renovated space. Lobby: Remodeled main entryway/lobby and elevator/escalator passageway. Art: Installed several new art pieces, both inside and outside the airport. Next up is the opening of the U-Ramp in August, 2012. I guess the theme is "Sugar Land McMansion." It's all so very... beige.
  10. Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker Unveils Design Plan for New BARC Adoption Center Houston, TX – Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker unveiled design plans for a new Adoption Center at BARC, the City of Houston's animal shelter and adoption facility. The plan announced on Tuesday consists of several phases and is located on a 2.2 acre parcel of land adjacent to the existing BARC facility, acquired via a tax sale. The first phase will be funded by $4.1 Million of Capital Improvement Project monies appropriated for the renovation of BARC since late 2009. BARC and the Houston BARC Foundation will launch a Capital Campaign to finance the remaining phases with private funds. The first phase of the BARC Adoption Center will include features such as a dedicated parking lot and driveways, Welcome Lobby with free roaming cat "display windows", two dog adoption suites, and a "nursery" for young dogs available for adoption. Phase I will also include a courtyard that will ultimately serve as a quadrangle, a green space enclosed on four sides, with areas for animals to exercise and for BARC animals to get acquainted with potential adopting families. The Adoption Center plans include four subsequent construction phases: additional dog and cat adoption suites, administrative space for volunteer training and events, and clinical areas to house a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic. The Adoption Center Capital Campaign goal is to raise the estimated additional $8 Million to complete the project. Individuals interested in supporting the future phases of the BARC Adoption Center may do so at the websites for BARC (www.houstonbarc.com) and the Houston BARC Foundation (www.houstonbarcfoundation.org). "One of my Administration’s priorities is to improve the Quality of Life in our city. Part of improving the quality of life for Houston means ensuring that formerly homeless animals have proper shelter without being a nuisance in our neighborhoods," said Mayor Parker. "With the support of Houstonians BARC can, and will, become the greatest shelter in the United States. Our new Adoption Center is an exciting step towards that goal." This is just part of the positive changes implemented at BARC over the last 2 years, including: new staff, new volunteer, foster, and adoption programs, increased spay/neuter benefits and pet-owner behavior classes, and a committment to transparency unique among Houston shelters. BARC has published its monthly operating reports using the Asilomar Accord reporting format on its website, www.houstonbarc.com. Houston is a 624 square mile city, and very conservative estimates indicate that there are more than 300,000 stray or abandoned dogs and cats throughout Houston. BARC is required by law to accept every animal picked up off the streets or surrendered to this facility. BARC's current average intake of dogs and cats is nearly 100 per day, and BARC expects over 2,000 animals per month will be processed and cared for over the coming summer months. "For the past two years, BARC has forced the existing facilities to meet the demands of our new operating protocols and standard practices. We inherited buildings which were designed for the needs of a different Houston, which did not focus on creating a valuable 'shopping' experience for our volunteers, fosters, and adopters. The new BARC Adoption Center will provide that; it is an investment in Houston's future," said Alfred Moran, Director of the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department, which oversees BARC. Leading Houston and Texas firms contributed to the design, and will create, the new BARC Adoption Center. Jackson & Ryan Architects is the BARC Adoption Center architect of record, and Balfour Beatty will serve as construction manager at-risk. Services are also provided by PBK as a pro bono design consultant to the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department. Trees for Houston and Lauren Griffith Associates will also donate trees and landscape architecture for the Adoption Center courtyard quadrangle and surrounding grounds, respectively. The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help the BARC Houston shelter, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly, and spaying and neutering all animals. We encourage everyone to visit us online at www.houstonbarc.com.
  11. Got this e-mail today. The New METRO set the bar last year by placing its check register online, earning a top rating from the Texas State Comptroller and this year, the agency raised it. The Comptroller renewed the agency’s Gold Leadership Circle Award, scoring 18 of 20 possible points (compared to 13 of 15 in 2010) on the Comptroller’s improved rating criteria. “We know we’re making progress towards the openness and transparency that will make us a trusted community partner, but it still means a lot when someone outside the Authority recognizes that fact,” said METRO President & CEO George Greanias. METRO was scored on what the Comptroller classifies as major and minor criteria such as: check register, financial transparency webpage, easy access to financial documents in three clicks or less and searchable check registers, among others. When the New METRO Board was sworn in a year-and-half ago, it recognized the importance of financial transparency in an effort to engage the community and build trust. METRO has since consolidated check registers, three years of budgets, three years of financial reports, bond disclosure documents, and instructions on filing an open records request onto a single webpage, click here. The agency also streams its board meetings, committee meetings and public hearings live on its website. The Gold Leadership Circle award is valid for a year at which point METRO can reapply for the distinction. When visiting the Comptroller’s website, you’ll find a gold insignia located next to METRO’s name, click here.
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