Transportation in the United States is facilitated by road, air, rail, and water networks(Boats). The vast majority of passenger travel occurs by automobile for shorter distances, and airplane or railroad for some people, for longer distances. In descending order, most cargoes travel by railroad, truck, pipeline, or boat; air shipping is typically used only for perishables and premium express shipments.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (often referred to as METRO, or MTA) is a major public transportation agency based in Houston (Texas, USA). It operates bus, light rail, future commuter rail, and paratransit service (under the name METROLift) in the city as well as most of Harris County. METRO also operates bus service to two cities in Fort Bend County. The METRO headquarters are in the Lee P. Brown Administration Building in Downtown Houston.
The Texas State Legislature authorized the creation of local transit authorities in 1973. In 1978, Houston-area voters created METRO and approved a one-cent sales tax to support its operations. METRO opened for business in January 1979, taking over the bus service run by the City of Houston known as HouTran. HouTran was plagued by outdated equipment, infrequent service, and a route structure which failed to account for Houston's rapid population growth.
For more information about Valley Metro (Regional Public Transportation Authority) in Maricopa County, Arizona, see: Valley Metro (Phoenix).