About 4,500 fans who park away from the Reliant Stadium property on game day are being asked to take advantage of the MetroRail system, which runs trains from downtown to the east side of Reliant Park.
Texans senior vice president of sales and marketing Jamey Rootes detailed the plan to replace previous park and ride systems with the rail at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Rootes said more than 65,000 fans park at Reliant Park, leaving the remainder of the 71,525 people filling the stadium on game days to park off site. He said more than 100,000 parking spaces are on the rail line, with enough spaces to accommodate fans directly north at the Smith Lands lot and south at the Fannin South lot.
To supplement the rail system, the Texans will provide 10 buses from the Fannin South lot to the stadium before games and 30 buses back to the lot after games. Added Rootes, it is a closer walk from several lots along the line than it is from some of Reliant Park's lots to the stadium.
Senior vice president of operations for Metro, Jeffrey Arndt said two trains will run every 12 minutes on game days with the option to add trains if necessary.
"MetroRail is the option for fans who don't have parking passes to get to games on game day," Rootes said. "There are over 100,000 parking spaces along the rail line. There are a number of spots along the rail. It's an easy, convenient and efficient way for fans to get to the game on game day."
Arndt said similar plans involving the rail line for the Super Bowl, Astros games and the Major League All-Star Game have been successful.
He said the rail line is an example of how Metro services during special events has evolved and most fans at other events, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, used the rail system.
There were no traditional "park and ride" systems in place for the All-Star game or the Super Bowl. Arndt said about two-thirds of the fans who attended the Super Bowl used the rail to get too and from downtown.
"We have been able to run these types of services with the rail extremely successfully and we anticipate we will have the same success this coming week," Arndt said.
Tickets to the rail system on game day will be two dollars round-trip.
Rootes also announced changes in security on Texans' game days. Starting Aug. 14 against the Cowboys, all fans will be subject to a "pat down" by security personnel.
He said the league would mandate the heightened security if the nationwide terror threat rose and the team wants to be pro active in its approach to security.