July 6, 2023

District, Uber provide ride discount for Medical Center and popular destinations

The Texas Medical Center, located in the Greater Southeast Management District (Houston Southeast), is the largest medical complex in the world. TMC has 106,000 employees and 10 million patient encounters a year.

Add to that $3 billion in construction projects underway and you can begin to understand that getting to where you need to go in the medical center can be tricky.

But ride-sharing with Uber, as a District sponsored initiative; is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to get where you need to go in the medical mini-city where, on average, there’s a baby born there every 20 minutes and a surgery performed every three minutes.

Uber and the District launched the program last year. Each one-way trip includes discount up to $4 and more for travel to special events. To qualify, you can get picked up anywhere in the city but you must be dropped off within the boundaries of the District any time from 4 p.m. on Thursdays to 3:00 a.m. on Mondays. (Scroll down here to see the online map).

You just enter a code into your Uber app or open your app while visiting in the area. You can find the code at https://r.uber.com/rfrhfDSNccb for general use. Special event codes will be found at houstonse.org and on the District’s social media channels.

Why Uber and TMC? “Medical care is a basic human need. Getting direct access to said care should not be a burden. Rideshare as a courtesy is an innovative approach to ‘curbside care,’ ” said  Houston Southeast Program Manager Nikki Knight. “This service offers a level of comfort and surety that makes going to the doctor a less stressful and more dignified experience.”

It’s not just access to medical care that you can experience; you can also use the rideshare program to visit museums, parks, and some of the great restaurants in the District.

TMC marked on district map

(In the historic Third Ward alone you’ll find such culinary treasures such as Turkey Leg Hut, home to the famous giant smoked turkey legs and Creole sides of dirty rice and boudin balls; Alfreda’s Soul Food and the original Frenchy’s Fried Chicken, serving up crispy, golden-brown birds since the 60’s).

In the Juneteenth celebration period between June 16 and 120, riders downloaded 151 vouchers, saving a total of almost $300.

To be clear, there are multiple ways to travel to and from the Medical Center, “depending on your needs,” said Abbey Roberson, vice president of campus planning at TMC. “We have three light rail stations in the heart of the medical center, METRO buses, and commuter express buses that run from The Woodlands and other surrounding areas.”

Parking lots and garages offer monthly parking contracts for frequent users. Got to tmc.edu/parking/contract-parking details. You can also check online for shuttle schedules for getting around the TMC. And many institutions offer valet parking.

— by Marene Gustin