Rice students all agree that public transportation in Houston is inconvenient. While Amtrak, Greyhound, taxis, and the light rail system are all available, most Rice students prefer to hitch a ride with their friends to get around town. Metro bus stops are located very near to campus, but some students indicate that they do not feel safe riding the city buses, and the bus stops themselves are scary places if you are alone at night. The travel times on the city buses also vary with traffic, making them undependable at best.
If you want to travel around town, you should definitely bring a car if possible, despite the cons of parking. Most students have their own cars or rely on the kindness of friends who have cars to get them around town. Houston traffic is a nightmare, as are Houston drivers (although students from other large U.S. cities seem to think the driving is comparable).