Woodlands board OKs rate reduction for Rodeo buses
The Woodlands Township directors on Thursday night unanimously approved a rate reduction for the new pilot bus service from the township to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo after officials became concerned about low ticket sales.
With the change in prices, the new cost of the round trip ticket from The Woodlands to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will now cost $13. The original plan for the service had a price tag of $25 per round trip ticket, however as of Thursday only 137 tickets had been sold for the special service that will run over three weekends.
The township board had approved the one-year pilot program to provide round trip bus service to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in mid-January as a way to provide a new service to township residents and also see if the idea would gain traction for future routes to other special events.
On Thursday, township official Ruthanne Haut said ticket sales were much lower than expected and that the township likely would see a loss of revenue from the plan if ticket sales did not increase. Because the lack of ticket sales, she recommended reducing the price in an effort to stir interest.
Board members agreed, and township President and General Manager Don Norrell said the low sales were mainly a result of the late approval of the new service which did not allow for the normal time period of advertising and promotion to be done to residents.
The new service, which was approved for one year to assess how well it was received, will feature nine buses that take passengers from the Sterling Ridge park and ride lot to the Livestock Show and Rodeo at NRG Stadium. Buses would depart from The Woodlands on weekend days, beginning at 9 a.m. each weekend day with the last departure from The Woodlands at 7:15 p.m. The return buses from the event back to the township are scheduled to leave periodically throughout Saturdays and Sundays, with the last one departing NRG Stadium to return to The Woodlands at 11:15 p.m. each night.
The service will only be offered on specific weekends: March 2-3; March 9-10; and March 16-17. Riders will need to pre-reserve seats on the buses through an online ticketing portal. For more information, check out the Rodeo Bus website.