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Transportation

Houston Gives Transit Riders a Quicker Way to Pay

The notoriously car-centric metropolis embraces smartphones to make bus and light rail more user-friendly.
A man to catch a Houston Metro rail train, October 3, 2008.
A man to catch a Houston Metro rail train, October 3, 2008.Reuters / Richard Carson

When Houston makes waves in transit circles, it’s usually for something like expanding its Katy Freeway to 26 lanes. But the city’s new mayor, Sylvester Turner, has been using his first months in office to change that impression.

A few weeks ago he made a splash by declaring that widening the city’s roads only makes congestion worse. And on Monday morning, the city took another step toward rethinking its commute, unveiling a mobile fare card system that lets riders board Houston METRO buses and light rail with tickets purchased right from their phones.