Red Lanes Project (Downtown Houston)

At METRO, your safety is our No. 1 priority. This project is intended to enhance safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists by creating greater visibility for bus-only and carpool-only lanes in Downtown Houston.


Since 2005, certain lanes in downtown Houston have been marked with a diamond symbol. These “Diamond Lanes” are for transit use only. METRO will be converting them to “Red Lanes” – painted and striped in red – with new signage and pavement markings that clearly designate these as bus-only or carpool-only lanes.

Red lane markings, painting and striping – along with corresponding signage – will promote safety by creating greater visibility and education for all motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the Federal Transit Administration, Red Lanes increase safety and improve traffic flow.

Red Lanes will be created in the following downtown Houston locations:

Travis Street, from Gray to Leeland

Estimated Oct. 2021 – Dec. 2021

Travis Street, from Leeland to Congress

Estimated Jan. 2022 – March 2022

Milam Street, from Gray to Congress

Estimated Feb. 2022 – June 2022

Using the Lanes

The lane markings and signage will indicate whether the lane is bus-only or carpool-only.

You may only use the bus-only lane if you’re making a right turn.

The carpool lane is for vehicles with 2+ passengers or a vehicle transitioning to make a turn. Lane markings and signage will indicate this.

There’s no parking allowed in the lanes.

There’s no idling allowed in the lanes – so pickups and dropoffs are not permitted.

Operation / Enforcement

Lanes are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

METRO will continue maintaining the lanes.

METRO Police Department (MPD) is responsible for enforcing compliance.

Traffic Flow

No. The Diamond Lanes which are being converted have been in operation since 2005.

Our initial studies show the project having just the opposite effect – with potential reduction in travel times and more efficient public transit service.

No. Garage entrances and exits will not be blocked. You’ll be able to enter as you normally do.