Safety Awareness


Approximately 4.6 million people call the Houston region home. With that many individuals on the move, maintaining your safety has never been more important. That's why METRO offers programs and services that help keep both you and your family safe.

System Safety Division: This division makes sure that safety and environmental hazards are identified, controlled or eliminated to ensure the highest degree of safety for METRO riders, employees and the public.

  • System Safety Engineering Unit
    Conducts the annual, internal safety audit to verify that all METRO departments are satisfactorily performing their assigned safety tasks and activities. The unit also develops safety standards, procedures and specifications as required; analyzes and researches safety innovations and proposed changes to ensure that all operating practices, equipment, facilities, goods and services received for use on both bus and rail systems comply with METRO and industry standards.
  • Accident Data Analysis Unit
    Maintains an effective statistical surveillance over METRO bus and rail system public accidents.   
  • Transportation Safety Unit
    Maintains safety surveillance over METRO passenger facilities, vehicle operations and vehicle maintenance through inspections and proactive monitoring to identify unsafe or hazardous conditions before they result in accidents or passenger injuries. The unit also investigates employees’ accidents and accidents involving revenue service vehicles, injuries on duty and near misses, determines cause of the accidents/incidents and develops corrective actions plans that prevent reoccurrences.
  • Environmental Compliance Unit
    Responsible for all aspects of environmental compliance related to METRO’s facilities, buses and the light rail system. The unit oversees general compliance related to air, water, waste, and spill response activities including permitting, waste disposal, regulatory submittals and remediation.


Operator Training

Safety may start with you, but it continues onboard our buses. All operators new or existing must successfully complete METRO’s enhanced new-hire training before they are allowed to carry a single passenger. This program lasts eight weeks and provides operators extensive training in such areas as:

  • Basic Operator Safety — Intensive study of METRO's standard operating procedures.
  • Defensive Driving — Teaches collision prevention and avoidance techniques.
  • Video Simulator — Allows operators to learn from mistakes without experiencing the consequences.
  • On-Road — Operators must log a minimum of 100 hours of successful driving experience.
  • Interactive Exam — Instructs operators on how to react and relate to people by enhancing customer relations skills through real-life situations.

Collectively, this form of in-depth training has resulted with less than one accident per every 100,000 miles driven in 2011. Rest assured that when you board a METRO bus, you are riding with one of the best trained drivers in the country.

Safety and Maintenance

METRO's dedication to safety is apparent in the way we maintain our vehicles. Every bus and METROLift van receives a daily pre-trip inspection prior to leaving the garage. METRO mechanics also select random vehicles to perform complete bumper-to-bumper inspections, regardless of their condition. This procedure helps METRO locate a potential problem before it occurs. By making sure that our vehicles are in top running condition, we help maintain your safety each time you climb aboard.

METRO Police

The METRO Police Department is a fully-accredited, law enforcement agency with nearly 200 officers dedicated to protecting and serving the region. METRO Police patrol area streets and roadways, including METRO's HOV network, and facilities such as bus stops and shelters, Park & Ride lots and Transit Centers. Plainclothes officers ride our buses to monitor and prevent potential criminal activity. Bicycle officers watch over high-traffic areas to help keep METRO vehicles and other traffic moving without delay. METRO Police also work within the various communities we serve through school presentations and community activities.

Houston TranStar

METRO is an active partner in the operation of Houston TranStar, the region's state-of-the art traffic and emergency management center. Using Houston TranStar's collection of Intelligent Transportation System technologies, METRO is able to provide better service to the Authority's patrons. Programs operated from Houston TranStar include METRO bus and METRORail dispatch, traffic signalization systems, freeway management systems and incident management programs. METRO's partners in TranStar are the Texas Department of Transportation, the city of Houston and Harris County.

Crime Stoppers

METRO has formed a community partnership with Crime Stoppers to help combat crime in Houston. A METRO police officer is assigned full-time to the Crime Stoppers task force to help staff the phones and investigate tips leading to the arrest of groups or individuals committing crimes on METRO property.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

CPTED principles utilize landscaping, lighting and structural elements in the design and construction of METRO bus shelters, Park & Rides and transit centers to reduce the likelihood of criminal activity. Following the CPTED philosophy not only makes METRO facilities aesthetically pleasing, but also helps to provide a safer environment for all of our customers.

Safe Haven

If you feel threatened or need emergency assistance, METRO's Safe Haven program lets you flag down a METRO bus and the operator will get you the help you need. Our buses are specially equipped with two-way radios that can summon the police, EMS or the fire department for quick response.

Motorist Assistance Program (M.A.P.)

METRO, the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Houston Automobile Dealers Association and Verizon Wireless sponsor MAP with trucks and vans, which are staffed by METRO M.A.P. Operators and Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies. The MAP vehicles, which display the sponsors' logos, patrol about 150 miles of freeway around Houston. The MAP service operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays to relieve freeway congestion by assisting with disabled vehicles and traffic accidents. MAP vehicles are equipped with gasoline, water, hand tools, jumper cables and push bumpers. Call for a MAP van by dialing 713-225-5627 (723-CALL-MAP) to report a stalled vehicle or an accident. Verizon Wireless phone customers can also call *627 (*MAP).