Buses to and from Houston Airport (IAH)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States of America, and it serves the large city of Houston, in the state of Texas. The airport (IAH) is located to the north of the city, and approximately 23 miles, or 37km from the downtown area. Houston Airport is well equipped with all kinds of facilities, and passengers have options for various kinds of ground transportation, either from or to their airport terminal. The airport buses are a popular way to travel, and can be very cost efficient. The buses may take a little longer than taxis, but are comfortable and help passengers to save a few dollars. Taking an airport bus is also considered as more convenient than paying for airport parking.
The Houston George Bush Intercontinental has five terminal buildings, some of which are the airport’s latest developments. There are two terminals that are dedicated to international arrivals and departures, and three terminals that handle the majority of domestic flights. The airport is served by several airline companies, of which United Airlines is the most significant. Terminal C is used solely by United Airlines, and Terminal E is the airline company’s hub for international flights. Arriving passengers have access to the inter-terminal trains that travel between the terminals, to information counters and to the ground transportation centres of the airport, from where buses and taxis are available. In general, there are three types of airport buses – a local bus service, a shared-ride service and courtesy shuttle services. The airport bus services are also available for departing passengers who need to reach the airport, and travel from various locations in the city of Houston.
Public transport in Houston is operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, or the METRO. It is a large public transportation agency that runs a significant number of bus services, a light rail system and paratransit services that are referred to as METROLift. The METRO services are available in the city of Houston, in most of Harris County and in two cities of the Fort Bend County as well. Houston’s buses are extremely well used services by locals and visitors of the city, and are considered as the busiest bus system in Texas and the Southwest. Before the light rail system of the city was built, METRO also operated the largest bus fleet in the United States.
METRO’s bus route to and from George Bush Intercontinental Airport is known as the Route 102, and is referred to as the 102 Bush IAH Express. The local airport bus stops only at Terminal C, and takes passengers to the greater Greenpoint business and residential district before travelling on the I-45 to downtown Houston. Terminal C can easily be reached by travellers on the inter-terminal trains, which are underground trains free for all airport passengers or visitors. This train is also a connection to the Marriott Airport Hotel that is found on the airport grounds. From 2008 to 2011, METRO also had an express bus service referred to as Airport Direct, that went from the airport to downtown Houston and in the alternative direction as well. It used the HOV lane of the Eastex Freeway US 59. However, even though various changes were made in price and pickup locations, the bus was operating at a loss, and was eventually discontinued. Bus fares for the METRO buses range from $1.25 to $4.50, depending on the zone in which it travels. Further details regarding the local George Bush Airport buses can be found at http://www.ridemetro.org.
Shared-ride shuttle services
Various carriers provide shuttle services to locations in the city, including downtown Houston, the Greenway Plaza, Uptown, the Texas Medical Centre, Reliant Park, hotels in the Westchase, the Energy Corridor business districts and the William P. Hobby Airport, but SuperShuttle is one of the main providers of ground transportation from and to George Bush Intercontinental. The majority of their services for arriving passengers are available from the south sides of Terminals A, B and C, and from the west end of Terminal D. Passengers are advised to make an advanced reservation with SuperShuttle, on their website at http://www.supershuttle.com, and once at the airport, they should check-in at the SuperShuttle ticket counter, which can be found inside the baggage reclaim areas on the lower level of the terminals. There will be a short wait while the dispatcher assigns a van to your destination, and while the van travels to the terminal from where you are departing. The shuttle vans are not permitted to wait outside the airport terminals, but are waiting at a nearby ‘holding area’.
SuperShuttle currently travels from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to the Greater Houston Metro Area, downtown/medical centre, Galleria, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Katy, The Woodlands, Kingwood and the Cruise Terminals. Passengers travelling to the airport can request pickup from their residential address, business location or hotel, and will find the journey to be reasonably quick and convenient. Passengers will be assigned a pickup time, and will be collected within fifteen minutes of the time specified. Luggage may be carried on board the SuperShuttles, but their policies in this regard are similar to those of an airline company. Each passenger may have two luggage pieces and one carry-on bag. Extra charges will be applicable to luggage items that exceed fifty pounds in weight and for large and awkward objects, such as a surfboard or golf clubs. Further details are available from the following telephone number: (800) BLUE VAN (258-3826) or from the website mentioned above.
There are a large number of hotels in the nearby vicinity of George Bush Airport, and many offer courtesy shuttle services to and from the airport. There are courtesy telephones in the baggage claim areas of the airport so that passengers may request collection by their hotel shuttle. Some of the hotels nearby include AmeriSuites, the Best Western Atascocita, Comfort Suites Intercontinental, the Crowne Plaza Houston North Greenspoint, Days Inn Greenspoint, Days Inn Intercontinental, the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn, La Quinta, Knights Inn, the Holiday Inn Express and the Marriott North at Greenspoint.
Further details regarding the George Bush Intercontinental buses are available from the ground transportation centres of the airport.