George H. Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is North America's 10th busiest passenger airport and three 3 parallel runways helped it become one of the largest international airports in America. A new Terminal B south is slated to open in 2013. Five passenger terminals are laid out in linear fashion for ease of navigation, but the distance between Terminal A and E is 1.5 miles. IAH Airport ranks 1st among U.S. Airports for on-time performance. Mexico City and Cancun are its busiest international routes, while Los Angeles and Chicago are its busiest domestic routes. Terminal amenities include WI-FI, Multi-lingual Service Reps, 50+ food and beverage establishments, specialty and gift retailers, visitor information centers, currency exchange booth, ADA amenities and 8 on-airport car rental companies. Courtesy vans for nearby hotels also frequent the airport. IAH AIRPORT TERMINAL MAP
Houston IAH Terminal Link
Transit: air-conditioned Terminal Link automated people mover transports passengers between terminals without having to re-pass through security. Car Rentals: Take the Rental Car Shuttle for Avis, Hertz, National and Thrifty car renters who are on or near both airports. JFK Blvd leads you to Airport Tollway for the quickest route to Downtown. Otherwise, take Route 59 to Beltway 8, then change to I-45 Freeway to downtown Houston. Shuttles: provided by Super Shuttle (800-258-3826). Taxis: Houston has the third-largest taxi fleet in the country and four patrons can ride for the price of one. From IAH Airport to Downtown costs about $40. Service is provided by Fiesta Cab (713-236-9400), Liberty Cab (713-695-6700), United Cab (713-699-0000) and Yellow Cab (713-236-1111). On return, catch a taxi at hotels Downtown, Galleria/Post Oak, Texas Medical Center and Greenway Plaza.
William Hobby Airport (HOU) was Houston's 1st major airport; it has been modernized and receives many regional and national flights. If you are traveling to South, Southwest or Southeast Houston, this may be your best choice to save time once on the ground. Car Rentals: service provided by Avis, Hertz, National and Thrifty car renters who are on or near both airports. If you don't know the local streets well, only follow signage to I-45 Freeway when leaving HOU Airport. Shuttles: provided by Super Shuttle (800-258-3826). Taxis: HOU Airport is a better option for points southeast of Downtown, Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza and Galveston.
Amtrak station is located at 902 Washington Avenue in downtown Houston. Unbefitting such a large metro area, there is no Houston-Dallas train service and this non-descript shed serves only one Amtrak route 3 times per week:
Sunset Limited: Los Angeles-Phoenix-San Antonio-Houston-New Orleans-Mobile-Jacksonville
Houston Amtrak Station
Houston-Dallas-Oklahoma City is listed as a corridor suitable for future High Speed Rail service by the U.S. Department of Transportation. See this important article about Interstate High Speed Rail.
Houston METRORail is a single Light Rail line running on Main Street in the 7.5-mile Downtown-Midtown-Museum District-Texas Medical Center-Reliant Stadium corridor. A Free trolley connects Main Street Line with popular downtown destinations such as the Theater District, Bayou Place, Main Street Square, Shops at Houston Place, Minute Maid Park, Discovery Green and Toyota Center. METRORail SYSTEM MAP
On a per mile basis, Main Street carries more weekday passengers (45,000) than any other light rail system in the USA. Main Street's patronage success sparked three METRORail expansions opening in 2014. Main Street Line will extend northerly to Northline Transit Center, thereby forming a 13-mile Red Line. A 4-mile Green Line heads east from Downtown to Magnolia Transit Center. A 6-mile Purple Line heads southeast from Downtown through U. of Houston, then on to Palm Center.
Houston METRORail on Main Street, downtown
Houston Metro also has 14 transit centers with parking and easy transfers to rapid buses.
Houston Freeway & Tollway Network: Immense and sprawling, Houston freeways and tollways take advantage of modern design architecture, HOV lanes, metered entrances, and freeway status signs, enabling them to transport more vehicles per lane. Unfortunately, HOV lanes are heavily used by carpools and van pools, so don’t get your hopes up with this mode of transportation.
I-45 and I-10 Freeway Interchange, northwest of downtown
The Hardy Tollway is recommended during commute hours from the I-610 Freeway interchange to IAH airport. I-610 Loop, I-10 and I-45 freeways are crush packed during normal commute hours. The Good News - you can also traverse Harris County quickly via the Sam Houston Tollway by circling Houston 12 miles outside Downtown. Residents refer to freeways and tollways by name or number:
Hardy Toll Road
8 Sam Houston Tollway
10 Baytown East Freeway/Katy Freeway
45 North/Gulf Freeway
59 Eastex/Southwest Freeway
90 Crosby Highway
225 Pasadena Freeway
288 South Freeway
290 Northwest Freeway
610 East Loop/North Loop/ West Loop/South Loop