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Visitors to Houston are well advised to hire a car, which is relatively inexpensive and provides the quickest and most convenient way to navigate the spread-out city. There are plenty of car parks and a well-managed road system. To hire a car (for up to 90 days), a full national driver's license is required and drivers must be at least 25 years old (some companies hire cars to those aged 21 to 24 with surcharges). Those opting for public transport will find that the METRO has it well covered with an efficient and extensive bus service, as well as a light rail line which links Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District, Hermann Park, the Texas Medical Center, and Reliant Park. Correct change is required for on-board bus fare boxes, or purchase tokens or a day pass in advance from local stores sporting the Metro sign. Taxis are a rather expensive option, though readily available downtown.
GMT -6 (GMT -5 from March to November).
Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs (two flat parallel pins and a rounded pin) are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.
The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, especially all urban areas. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities and wifi is widely available.
Numerous shuttle services, including minibuses and limousines, are available from the airport to downtown Houston and a variety of other destinations, including the Gulf Coast resort city of Galveston. SuperShuttle shared-ride service picks up from any home or business. The Houston Metro offers public bus services from the south side of Terminal C, including an express airport bus. The fare is $1.25 per ride to downtown Houston. Courtesy vans are operated by various hotels and there are courtesy telephones in the baggage claim area.
Numerous shuttle services, including minibuses and limousines, are available from the airport to downtown Houston and a variety of other destinations, including the Gulf Coast resort city of Galveston. SuperShuttle shared-ride service picks up from any home or business. The Houston Metro offers public bus services from the south side of Terminal C, including an express airport bus. The fare is $1.25 per ride for a total fare of $2.50. Courtesy vans are operated by various hotels and there are courtesy telephones in the baggage claim area.
Metered taxis are available outside each terminal. A $2.75 departure fee will be added to the meter, plus $1 should the journey be between 8pm and 6am.
The free Skyway, an above-ground automated people mover, links the terminals for passengers who are inside security. A free, below-ground Subway train provides inter-terminal transportation to those who are outside of security.
Facilities at the airport include dozens of food and beverage establishments from formal dining to fast food. There are also many newsstands and speciality shops throughout the airport. There is an art gallery and live performances in the airport. Duty-free shops are available in the international terminal. ATMs and currency exchange are available throughout the airport. Disabled facilities are good.
Parking rates start at $5 per hour with a $22 daily maximum, and parking lots are located near all the terminals.
Free wifi is available throughout the terminal.