Transportation in Harris County
If you’re not aware, Texas has a bit of a reputation for turning the distance between two places into a bit of a joke. It is nothing out of the ordinary in many parts of our state to drive great distances to get from work, to home, to the store, and other places. To many Texans, distance is all relative. What may be a great distance to someone from the Northeastern United States may be a relatively short drive for a Texan.
Residents of Harris County have a similar situation to our fellow Texans in other parts of the State. We understand what it is like to spend time travelling to and from places. However, the difference is that in Harris County the reason for spending time in our vehicles isn’t so much the actual mileage between two places, but rather the sheer volume of cars and trucks on the road between where we are and where we need to go.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t manage how you get around Harris County. It just means that you need to be aware of your options. The highways and freeways of Harris County are numerous for a reason- they carry a lot of people to a lot of different places. Interstates 69 and 45 run parallel through most of the state of Texas and come together in downtown Houston. If you need to get to the beach (Galveston, Rockport, Port Aransas, or Corpus Christi), you will use one of these interstates. Or, if you need to get to work in downtown Houston from Spring or Kingwood, you will also use one of these interstates.
As far as surface or arterial streets and roads, upon moving to Harris County you will see a great many signs that read “FM” and then a number. FM stands for “Farm to Market.” While there are a still many farms and farmlands in Harris County, most of the people travelling on these roads in these days are going to and from an office or a other place of business rather than on their way to the market to sell their crops. FM 1960, FM 521, FM 525, and FM 529 are just a few of the nearly twenty FM roads in Harris County. If you need to travel in Harris County but don’t need to hop on a freeway, an FM road will likely play a part in your travel for the day.
Before you think that there are no public transportation options in Harris County, I wanted to share some information with you about the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. METRO, as it is known, offers bus service and light rail service for residents of the County at reasonable rates. Light rail service is available for inner core residents of Houston in areas like Midtown, Downtown and the Medical Center. METRO bus service is available for residents throughout Houston and Harris County, providing Park and Ride opportunities for individuals throughout the suburban areas of Houston.