HoustonTransportation & Infrastructure

Houston Sparks Change, City Council Charges Up EV Access With $250K for Free Rides in Underserved Areas

Houston Sparks Change, City Council Charges Up EV Access With $250K for Free Rides in Underserved AreasSource: Google Street View
Alyssa Ford
Published on November 30, 2023

In a move electrifying for both the environment and Houston's underserved populations, the city council has greenlit a cool quarter-million bucks to boost the ranks of free EV rides, making an eco-friendly cruise through town more than just a pipe dream for the average Joe. The Third Ward, already wheeling in near 3,000 riders monthly with the RYDE service, now sees its sustainable transport trend setting off to jazz up another needy 'hood under the city's ambitious Complete Communities banner.

Rolled out by the non-profit Evolve Houston, the program's been a hit, and with the city drawing another $281,000 from its coffers—$250,000 pitched in by Mayor Turner's crew and another $31,000 tossed in by District D's very own Council Member and enthusiast of the initiative Carolyn Evans-Shabazz—two more electric sets of wheels are poised to join the fleet as early as December 1, and this is in addition to the continued service of two vehicles in Third Ward. "The program has seen amazing success in the Third Ward, and now another historically underserved community will be able to benefit from a service that gets residents to and from in-town destinations for free," gushed Evolve Houston's top dog, Casey Brown, in a statement obtained by the official press release.

The City of Houston doesn't shy away from its reputation as an oil titan, but it flexes hard on the green front these days. Mayor Turner's a big believer in the environmental pluses that these low-emission rides offer, calling the funding decision a "win-win."

These micro-mobility maestros operate Monday through Friday, tight hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a schedule no-doubt tailored to slide into the everyday grind of those it serves, the RYDE initiative is a living, breathing manifestation of the city's Climate Action Plan and Complete Communities ideal, marrying eco-savvy with community service, and as the city watches this plan unfold, with the anticipation high, what's kicking off in December could just be Houston's blueprint for a more socially just and ethically fueled urban shuffle.

HoustonTransportation & Infrastructure