$620 MILLION SALES TAX COLLECTED
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced recently he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $620.2 million in local sales tax allocations for April, 4.9 percent more than in April 2016. These allocations are based on sales made in February by businesses that report tax monthly. “The cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Hegar said. “The cities of Sugar Land, McAllen, Irving and Grand Prairie saw noticeable decreases.”
CITY OF HOUSTON OKS BIKE PLAN
Houston City Council recently voted to approve the Houston Bike Plan, supported by four goals: improved safety, increased ridership, increased access, and improved development and maintenance of facilities. The plan provides recommendations on the general location and types of bicycle facilities, projects, policies and programs that support these goals and vision. The plan, which was developed through extensive public and private partnerships, is the product of substantial public engagement and does not commit any city resources or funding. The last time the city adopted a comprehensive bicycle plan was in 1993. This plan recognizes that the city and region have changed significantly in the 24 years since and provides recommendations for programmed projects, short-term opportunities and key connections to add over 600 miles to the current 270-mile, high-comfort bikeway network. That is more than triple the existing mileage and will put over 80 percent of people and jobs within half a mile of a comfort bikeway. For more information, visit houstonbikeplan.org.
IAH TOP IN DINING
When it comes to finding something good to eat – and something healthy to eat, as well – George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is one of the top airports in the U.S., according to a top travel industry website. RewardExpert.com ranked IAH No. 5 overall in its 2017 Airport Dining Scorecard, and ranked it tops among the top 20 most trafficked airports for vegetarian and vegan dining options. IAH received 3.5 stars (out of 5) overall, including a customer satisfaction rating of 4 stars. IAH was the highest-ranked airport in Texas. The rankings come as both IAH and William P. Hobby Airport complete an upgrade of overall concessions choices at both airports. Travelers can search dining options by location, hours of operation and restaurant type – including vegan, kid-friendly, gluten-free and vegetarian – at fly2houston.com/hou/dine.
The Humble BizCom will be May 11 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Bender Performing Arts Center, 611 Higgins. It will feature a blend of businesses, community members and school officials coming together to address specific needs and issues of the Humble community. Area citizens, community organizations, businesses and other interested parties are welcome to attend. A free grab-and-go meal will be provided if an RSVP is made. Speakers include Darrell Boeske, city manager, City of Humble; Jennifer Wooden, Humble Civic Center manager; Mark Mitchell, incoming president, Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership; Donna Ullrich, principal, Humble High School; and Ginger Noyes, principal, Quest Early College High School. Call 281-446-2128 to RSVP.
TRANSPORTATION OUTLOOK LUNCHEON
Planes, trains and automobiles. The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon May 16 at the Kingwood Country Club from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. as a panel of transportation chiefs and experts take the stage to discuss the plans for mobility in the rapidly growing Lake Houston Area.
UNITED PREVIEWS NEW TERMINAL C NORTH
United Airlines previewed its new Terminal C North at George Bush Intercontinental Airport recently in partnership with the Houston Airport System and the airport hospitality group OTG. At 265,000 square feet, the new $277-million space is more than 100,000 square feet larger than the already existing Terminal C, offering a more comfortable and lavish concourse-to-gate experience for United's customers. Aircraft enthusiasts will enjoy the sweeping tarmac views courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling concourse windows. United's Terminal C North will be home to several unique eateries, including a taqueria by Chef Roland Laurenzo, a Neapolitan-style pizza concept imagined by Chef Ryan Pera, Chef John Nguyen's Vietnamese-Cajun fusion eatery, a panini bar designed by Chef Monica Pope, and a Houston-centric tavern by the James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd. When construction on the new concourse is completed later this spring, the Houston Airport System will begin moving forward with the reconstruction of the Mickey Leland International Terminal D. The international terminal is critical to Bush Airport’s extensive connecting air traffic, particularly for those customers connecting between United flights and flights operated by United’s international airline partners.
BUSH TOPS FOR ON-TIME
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently ranked Bush Airport No. 8 among the top 29 hub airports in the U.S. for on-time performance in 2016, with more than 83 percent of flights operating on time. Houston Airports has partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration on numerous projects to enhance the efficiency of the Houston airspace, including the Houston Metroplex project. The project introduced changes to airspace design and procedures for airports in the Houston region. These changes included 49 additions, 11 modifications and 20 removals of various types of arrival and departure procedures. It also included development of new performance-based navigation procedures, as well as expanded use of time-based flow management.
BUSH UP 8 PLACES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Bush Airport is among the most improved in the world, according to industry expert survey results. Results from a survey of nearly 14 million airline customers cited George Bush Intercontinental Airport as one of the most improved airports in the world, and among the best in the world for airport dining. Bush Airport was ranked No. 3 among the most improved airports in the world and the No. 9 airport in the world for dining, according to an annual survey conducted by Skytrax, recognized as a leading global air transport rating organization. The Skytrax World Airport Awards – a global benchmark of airport excellence, and widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards – are among the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, and are compiled through the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. Overall, Bush Airport was ranked No. 54 in the world in the Top 100 airport ratings for 2017, an improvement from the 2016 ranking of No. 71.
WESTJET ADDS FLIGHT
WestJet will double its service to Houston with a new daily flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport beginning in May. With the addition, the Calgary, Alberta-based airline – which debuted nonstop service to Houston from Calgary International Airport in September 2015 – will offer an 8 a.m. flight from Bush Airport to Calgary every day except Sundays, and a 6:45 p.m. flight from Calgary that will arrive in Houston at 11:44 p.m. WestJet will continue its six-day-per-week route that arrives at Houston at 3:24 p.m. and returns to Calgary at 5 p.m.