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For anyone new to Katy and the Houston area, these few tips can make getting around town seem less intimidating.

April 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Have you investigated navigating the City of Houston? Chances are, you took one look at the road maps and decided that, if it wasn’t close to home, you’d have to do without. Here are a few tips for navigating Katy’s largest neighbor without becoming overwhelmed.

Kingsland Park & Ride serves the majority of Katy commuters.

If you absolutely must drive, here are a few highway basics. The major crossroads are: I-10 running East/West, and both I-45 and U.S. 59 which go North/South. The Hardy Toll Road runs North/ South from Spring to downtown. The Westpark Toll Road runs East/West from Highway 99 to I-610. There are two loops around Houston: the inner loop (I-610) and the outer loop (Beltway, or the Sam Houston Tollway). Further out, State Highway 6 travels most of the way around Houston and Highway 99 will eventually go around the city. For more specific street directions, it’s best to look up the information before you leave and always carry a map.

If you don’t want to drive, you have the options of taking a taxi or a bus. Either option is reasonably affordable. Houston has a fleet of over 200 taxis in service. A small fare of $6 makes getting around Houston’s business district a snap. As you’ve  probably guessed, longer distances command higher fares. The maximum fare is roughly in the vicinity of 75 dollars. The city of Katy also has a couple of taxi companies with comparable fares.

Don’t want to take a taxi? No problem. Try the Metro’s two Katy Park and Ride stations. A bus gets you downtown at a cost of $4.50 for a trip that lasts approximately one hour. You get to ride in air conditioned comfort, while you read your newspaper or book … or take a nap.

The Park and Ride locations are the #222 Grand Parkway route, at 1030 W. Grand Parkway North, and the #221 Kingsland route, at 21669 Kingsland

The Metro bus stop at the Grand Parkway location at the Cinemark Theater Katy.

 Boulevard. For the Grand Parkway Park and Ride, take Grand Parkway north from I-10. Turn right at Mercantile and another right on Grand Circle Drive. The designated parking area is the east end of the Cinemark parking lot. The covered bust stop is across the street on Grandville. The Kingsland Park and Ride is on Kingsland, between Mason and Westgreen. It offers a large parking lot and a fully covered passenger drop off / pickup area.

Schedules are available on Metro’s website at: http://www.ridemetro.org/. Keep in mind that Metro has special hours of operation for weekends and holidays. Bus passes are available for those who use the bus system regularly. Metro even has a special deal for anyone lucky enough to be called up for Jury Duty. Show your jury summons for a free ride in and ask for a pass for the return ride. The bus drops you off about six short blocks away from the jury meeting room.

Do you have any more tips for getting around? Do you have any more ideas for making driving easier?

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