Today, METRO (the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner unveiled the authority’s new autonomous shuttle, and provided an update on the agency’s move toward zero-emissions vehicles.
FutureLink, a key part in the second phase of METRO’s AV testing program, is an autonomous zero-emission shuttle that can operate on city streets, providing residents with first and last-mile connections between Texas Southern University and METRO’s Eastwood Transit Center. The mid-size L4 autonomous, zero-emission shuttle bus can seat up to 14 passengers and accommodate up to two wheelchairs. Funding for the project was provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility program. The second phase of METRO’s pilot program is expected to run through October 2024, with a final report to be completed by March 2025.
More broadly, METRO is a public transit provider for the Harris County region and offers various transportation services. Included in its transit network are local bus, METRORail, Park & Ride commuter buses, the METROLift paratransit service, HOV/HOT Express Lanes, curb2curb microtransit service and METRO Star Vanpool.