Nine people were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a Metro bus and a light rail train collided near Metro headquarters downtown.
A preliminary investigation showed that the bus, westbound on St. Joseph Parkway, ran a red light and collided with the train, northbound on Main, Metro spokeswoman Carolina Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the bus driver, who joined Metro in 2000, and a passenger on the train were among four people taken to nearby St. Joseph Hospital. Four others were taken to Ben Taub General Hospital and one person was taken to Memorial Hermann. All injuries were reported to be nonlife-threatening. The train operator, who joined Metro a year ago, was treated and released on the scene.
Bus service was substituted for Metrorail northbound from the downtown transit center to the University of Houston-Downtown, Mendoza said. Rail service continued south of the transit center with trains going back and forth on a single track while the other track is out of service, she said.
Trel Robinson, who was sitting near the rear of the train, said he felt the impact of the driver applying the brakes before he heard the sound of the collision about 3:30 p.m.
“I was sitting in my seat, tweeting,” Robinson said. “I heard the crash, and they told us not to leave our seats.”
Passengers who were not injured were permitted to leave after about 20 minutes, Robinson said.
Robinson, a writer and musician who moved to Houston about three years ago, said he has been trying to take public transportation more often rather than drive. Monday’s episode won’t dampen the effort, he said.
“Things happen,” he said. “I’m from Chicago.”