ParkHouston — a division of the City’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department — is partnering with Uber, Lyft, Yellow Cab and the Downtown District to provide dedicated passenger pick-up and drop-off zones within Downtown’s Historic District neighborhood. “The goal is to have safe and easily accessible locations for downtown visitors to be picked up and dropped off,” said Maria Irshad, Assistant Director for ParkHouston. “This gives us another tool to manage the limited curbside that benefits everyone – customers, businesses and neighborhood residents, by providing safe access.”
Beginning March 15, the pick-up/drop-off zones will be at the following locations: Franklin & Travis, the 300 block of Main, Texas & Main, Prairie & Main, Preston & Milam, and Congress & Travis. To alleviate congestion in this booming neighborhood and reduce driver and rider confusion, these zones will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When riders request a ride on a rideshare app, they will be instructed to walk to the closest, designed pickup zone. Users will also be able to select a designated pick-up or drop-off zone by using a tumbler or dragging a pinpoint on a map, eliminating the confusion of where to meet a driver.
“Houston is one of the largest metros in the United States and traffic and congestion are, of course, a concern,” said Kaleb Miller, General Manager of Lyft Gulf Coast. “While there are still growth opportunities on the public transit side in Houston, we believe these new rideshare pick-up and drop-off zones will allow Lyft riders and drivers to navigate downtown with ease and convenience.”
USC Price, in their article, found that public transit needs to be keeping up with the innovations in the private sector if they want to remain a viable option when they’re up against so many convenient and efficient competitors like ride-share companies.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the City on this initiative,” said Roman Martinez, Vice Chairman, Yellow Cab. “These zones will allow our customers to quickly and safely access our services.”
“Uber is excited to partner with the City of Houston to make it easier for everyone to get around,” said Chris Miller, Sr. Manager, Public Policy for Uber. “Working with the City to allow pickups to happen in dedicated lanes makes it safer, quicker, and easier for riders and drivers to find each other and be safely on their way.”
“Downtown has seen an explosion in growth over the past several years — from new residential properties to hotels, restaurants and bars — along with a strong desire for many residents, workers and visitors to be car-less,” said Angie Bertinot, Director of Marketing for the Downtown District. “This has compelled us to find new and better solutions for how people get to and around downtown. Alternative modes of transportation such as rail, bike lanes and TNCs are critical to our continued success.”
ParkHouston, a solution-focused division of the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department, creates sound parking management strategies for commercial and residential areas that enhance pedestrian safety, ensure a smooth flow of traffic, and allow emergency vehicles to reach their destinations. In addition to actively maintaining over 9,500 parking spaces across the City, ParkHouston also works to create more sustainable communities by reducing congestion and supporting alternative modes of transportation. For more information visit www.houstonparking.org.
About Downtown District
The Downtown District was formed in 1995 for the purpose of revitalizing the urban core of the country’s fourth largest city. Over the past decade, the Downtown District has used a combination of public funds and private resources to catalyze area improvements focusing on the city blocks bordered by Interstate 10, Highway 59 and Interstate 45.
The Downtown District operates under the leadership of a 30-person board of directors who oversee the implementation of the District’s strategic initiatives. Funding for the Downtown District comes from a special assessment on all downtown property owners.