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Park-and-ride program in Pearland set to begin July 8

After several delays, a pilot park-and-ride service between Pearland and the Texas Medical Center is scheduled to begin July 8, according to Jon Branson, the city’s deputy city manager.

Branson said the Kerrville Bus Co. has agreed to fund the program, which collect commuters from a city-owned parking lot in Shadow Creek Ranch and is designed to help reduce traffic congestion on Texas 288. That route traveled daily by about 5,000 residents who travel between Pearland and the medical center and downtown Houston.

The bus service will make multiple stops in the medical center and nine stops downtown. A one-way fare will cost $6.50. Plans to launch the service had been pushed back several times.

The service will use a 350-space lot at the Shadow Creek Ranch sports complex at 13050 Shadow Creek Parkway.

In May 2018, City Council members approved the bus program for a three-year period with the option to extend, if necessary. Branson said the agreement is for the city to provide the parking area and the company to pay the cost of buses and drivers.

City officials and representatives of the company had submitted an unsuccessful joint application for a $1.5 million federal grant through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, according to Branson.

Another project aimed at addressing traffic congestion on Texas 288 are toll lanes being constructed in what was a grassy median on the highway.

By ZIP code, Pearland has the highest concentration of TMC employees that either drive to work alone or through car and van pools along Texas 288, Branson has said.

The city’s previous attempts to establish a transportation/commuter system date to the early 2000s. At one point, the Metropolitan Transit Authority purchased property in Pearland to build a park-and-ride site, but questions arose about the fairness of providing services to people not paying the agency’s 1-cent sales tax. Pearland rejected Metro’s offer to sell it the land, and the agency ultimately sold the property to a private buyer.