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  1. After the great news about the MetroRapid Inner Katy corridor yesterday connecting Uptown and Downtown with a fast route, I started thinking about and looking at more things Houston public transit related like the Westheimer Signature Bus and system map. The Westheimer Signature/BOOST Bus is pretty much the 82 bus, but is on 59's HOV lanes from Edloe to around the Wheeler Station area. This will provide a fast connection from the Museum District, Midtown, and a little further Downtown to Greenway/Upper Kirby and a little further Uptown and then is supposed to continue going west on Westheimer all the way to Highway 6. Here's the system map and honing in on the frequent map on page 2 and looking at the activity centers, it got me thinking. What if instead of continuing all the way to highway 6 after leaving Uptown, the bus gets back on 59's HOV lanes and goes straight to the International District/Asiatown instead? Metro obviously recognizes the area is a big enough deal to mark it on their map. Certain areas there always seem packed and it can even be hard to find parking. And I think the biggest thing to remark on is that it offers more unique experiences than alternatives. Going past Uptown, does Westheimer offer anything that you can't already get inside/near the loop? But Asiatown gets you all sorts of East Asian and Southeast Asian food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment and the area continues to develop and looks like it'll be growing up. And the bus could theoretically keep going on Bellaire and get you into the Vietnamese centers beyond Beltway 8, but the emphasis is 59 to the Beltway because these areas are much closer to 59's HOV lanes where the buses can go faster and won't have to stop. The potential I see is a bus route that provides access to some of Houston's major spots quickly by leveraging 59's HOV lanes. Downtown -> Midtown -> Elgin stop (Monstrose) -> Wheeler Station (Museum District) -> (59's HOV lanes) -> Greenway/Upper Kirby @ Edloe -> Uptown and then hop back on 59 towards Asiatown. Is Asiatown just too far for this to make sense even with leveraging more of the highway? Am I overestimating how much interest there is in going there? I do believe the area is the most developed Asiatown in all of the south and if you make it make it easier for tourists staying in the Museum District/Downtown/Uptown to get there, then I think many would be interested in going to try something new.
  2. Has there been any news on the Westheimer Signature Bus Service? It's similar to this line in that it'll also run on a highway (59) a good amount providing an express lane connecting Greenway/Upper Kirby and just a little further Uptown with the Museum District/Midtown and just a little further Downtown. But it's going to do this without being called a BRT and instead use the HOV lanes on 59. Does that mean there's very little stopping them from having this line now? EDIT: https://www.centralhouston.org/media/filer_public/48/85/48853c76-54cd-4cef-b37b-fd944f01b089/1232020_central_houston_inc_5_sm.pdf ^There were some people asking about the MetroRapid University, which is how it's referred to here. I believe the map on the second to last page of this Dec. 2020 presentation looks new. You can see where all of the stops will approximately be.
  3. https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/METRORapid-Inner-Katy.aspx OMG. They actually didn't f*** that part up. THANK YOU. This is huge allowing a rapid connection between uptown and downtown without any transfer. I was so worried they would make you get off at the Northwest TC
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRobrIlwrr0 ^ For those who want to see it in action, here's 40 minutes of it. I keep thinking of it as a train that's how good it looks on the outside and inside. Our BRT still just looks like a bus unfortunately. EDIT: BTW, they even call it rail over there. The translation is Smart Rail.
  5. The news about Uniqlo is really exciting! Even my no name, rock bottom-tier, Chinese hometown village that no one's ever heard of has a Uniqlo, so it's about time Texas joins the fray and I couldn't be happier that I can walk there like I could in my hometown.
  6. I think this sounds possible. Imagine if the opposite had happened. People voting down the proposal because it didn't have enough rail, but Metro interpreting that as people not wanting to expand mass transit at all. The numbers show people support mass transit and it's only going to keep moving that way. Perhaps they will take a second look at some of the routes that will be better off starting off as rail.
  7. I'm praying that NWTC is just a stop and will keep going instead of having to get off at NWTC so you can get on another BRT that takes you to Downtown or Uptown.
  8. Probably the most interesting snippet from the article. They're relocating to southeast corner of I-10 and Bunker Hill and the restaurant will be about 20% smaller.
  9. I don't know what to make of moving the BRT to Beltway 8. People were thinking the I-10 BRT didn't make sense because there isn't too much along that path, but what they were missing is that it provides a fast connection between Uptown and Downtown. This is especially true if the bus keeps going beyond the NWTC and you don't have to transfer to get into Uptown. The two endpoints are major hubs for work, dining, entertainment, shopping, etc. that people need to get to. So what about the Beltway 8 line? Apart from City Center, I don't get the impression anything on that line is walkable. So now you're having to make multiple transfers to get where you need to go. Also, does beltway 8 get that congested? I only ever hear complaining about 610, 59, 290, 45, and I-10.
  10. https://abc13.com/5578971/ ^Rent has been paid and they'll be open again.
  11. Yikes, this is all feels so sudden. Just a few months ago none of those places were closed on that side of the Galleria. I remember seeing someone post a similar notice for the Subway and they did eventually reopen. I wonder if the same thing will happen here. How is Memorial mall fairing compared to the Galleria? Are they also seeing a lot of closings?
  12. Oh wow, so how is this supposed to work? I believe the BRT is going to be operational in March, but I doubt this is going to be finished by then. So people taking Park and Rides won't be able to get into Uptown via the BRT until it's finished? This is going to make ridership look so bad...
  13. The way I see it, you have two options going east and west. The University line is the corridor line that takes you through a lot of the more interesting places where you can get off. The I-10 line looks like an express route to get people between Uptown/future HSR and Downtown as quickly as possible, connecting the two major hubs. The University line in comparison would be moving a lot slower.
  14. Fingers crossed Uptown gets direct non-transfer, non-local road connections to Downtown and Wheeler Station. It would complete connecting the three hubs with fast travel in between and make exploring the major destinations a lot easier for travelers.
  15. That would be amazing and I don't see why it wouldn't be doable. No transfer and then hov on I-10 to quickly get between Downtown and Uptown. And there aren't really any fast options between Uptown and the Med center/museum district right now. This proposal would make it one transfer, hov-ing on 59 and then LRT. Add some metro police to Wheeler station and it's golden. EDIT: Actually, the I-10 route should be it's own lane, not shared with HOV, right? So if they do this, then it's literally a traffic free option between Downtown and Uptown.
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