To beat the heat, METRO offers free rides to City’s cooling stations

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HOUSTON, TX - It's hot in Houston.  It's so hot that even mosquitoes are saying, "Hey, Alaska is not such a bad idea after all."  But despite the record-high temperatures, some folks won't even consider taking a break.

"I exercise twice a day, no matter if there's rain, sleet, snow or heat," said Daunay Willis, who was jogging at noon around Rice University in almost 100 degrees.  To each his own.  And speaking of records… ERCOT, which operates the state's largest electrical grid, said the peak hourly demand for electricity surpassed 69,000 megawatts for the first time in history.  Somebody's loving their air conditioning!

Though not everybody has the chance to be cool at home, whether it's because they don't have air conditioning or because the unit is not working properly.  "The heat is a problem with us here in Houston," said John Benson before catching his bus. "I'm dealing with it because I'm able to go to the cooling stations."

Coincidentally, Metro has some awesome news for all those Houstonians who want to escape the heat and need a ride:

"Metro is partnering with the City of Houston, in order to facilitate the use of public air-conditioned facilities that are available," explained Margaret O'Brien-Molina, Media Manager for the Metropolitan Transit Authority.  "We are offering to take people to these locations for free."

A free ride from hell to heaven.  Not bad.  There are 49 public cooling stations around town, and that includes libraries and community centers.  But the deal is not quite as simple as hopping on the first bus you see: you need to call 311 and make arrangements.

"We're asking people to call 311, tell them which one of the city facilities they'd like to go to and then Metro will arrange transport and come over to pick that person up," O'Brien-Molina added.

Do what you can to beat the heat before you melt trying.

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