Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ricco67

Free Metro? No Rail And More Buses? Please

Recommended Posts

In today's MOVE IT!, it seems that Kemah's former Mayor, Bill King is giving some advice on how to run metro:

<quote>By canceling the planned spending on rail, he said, Metro could afford a huge increase in bus service. And the lure of free rides could "jump-start" a mass migration of solo drivers to mass transit.</quote>

While a free metro would be nice, a free TODAY's Metro would be insane. What good is having more buses on the streets if they move no better than the regular traffic.

The additional problems that Austin had with the issue back in 1991 that it was (Good research, Chron!) having crime and homeless on the buses. If this would to happen today, People who do not rely on metro as its sole means of transportation would abandon it with ease.

Why do people propose these insane solutions with insane solutions in a city they don't live in? Don't they read HAIF? :)

Oh...the bike thing? Blah. blah. blah. You got bike racks, be thankful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel June 9, 1940 creeping up again. He must have the Holcombe/Lanier fetish with diesel and concrete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why do people propose these insane solutions with insane solutions in a city they don't live in? Don't they read HAIF? :)

Oh...the bike thing? Blah. blah. blah. You got bike racks, be thankful.

and rail is a sane solution?

Edited by musicman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and rail is a sane solution?

If you have something to add, then by all means....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you have something to add, then by all means....

not sure how more buses would be insane. sure would get better coverage for the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you have something to add, then by all means....

Been there, done that.

I agree that free busses can create more problems than they solve. As far as congestion goes, local busses actually do more to cause congestion--given frequent stops on roads without pull-ins--than they do to aleviate it. Express and Park & Ride routes on the other hand, do wonders to releive congestion. These are what ought to be made free, with many more of them made available to serve a variety of cross-regional routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In today's MOVE IT!, it seems that Kemah's former Mayor, Bill King is giving some advice on how to run metro:

<quote>By canceling the planned spending on rail, he said, Metro could afford a huge increase in bus service. And the lure of free rides could "jump-start" a mass migration of solo drivers to mass transit.</quote>

While a free metro would be nice, a free TODAY's Metro would be insane. What good is having more buses on the streets if they move no better than the regular traffic.

The additional problems that Austin had with the issue back in 1991 that it was (Good research, Chron!) having crime and homeless on the buses. If this would to happen today, People who do not rely on metro as its sole means of transportation would abandon it with ease.

Why do people propose these insane solutions with insane solutions in a city they don't live in? Don't they read HAIF? :)

Oh...the bike thing? Blah. blah. blah. You got bike racks, be thankful.

Does Kemah even pay Metro sales tax? Why would anyone care what this guy thinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free buses? Is cost really keeping people from riding buses? I wouldn't even have the slightest idea how much it costs to ride a Metro bus. I may not be an expert but I don't think people aren't riding metro buses because they can't afford it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a dollar per ride unless you are a student, senior, or disabled (.50).

It's more about the appeal of getting something for free than folks not being able to afford it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does Kemah even pay Metro sales tax? Why would anyone care what this guy thinks.

Being the mayor of Kemah is like being president of an HOA - powerless AND no one listens to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget that as stupid as this may sound, some people who ride the rail would never ride busses. I read somewhere that a high percentage of regular metro rail riders said they didn't used to take the a bus before the Metro Rail opened. I'm not saying that makes sense, but apparently it's true. I actually know many people at Rice and in the Med Center (grad students and medical residents mostly) who commute regularly on MetroRail and won't go near the busses.

Last time the metro rail was shut down and we had to take a bus instead, everybody (even the poor people) were pissed off that they couldn't stay on the train. The fact is, the trains are all around more comfortable than a bus (not to mention faster and on time more often, and having a higher capacity).

Edited by Jax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does Kemah even pay Metro sales tax? Why would anyone care what this guy thinks.

He plans on running for Mayor of Houston in 2009. He's just posturing right now.

Niche, regarding your point about making express routes free and such, i agree with it on the surface--as long as they are like express overlay routes of busy local routes. Making commuter buses and suburban surfaces free and not local service has got equitability issues written all over it. People who think that the rail doesn't serve them would pale in comparison to those who would feel (and I don't necessarily consider this a favorite word) "disenfranchisement" by preferential treatment to choice riders. At least all of the rail lines (except Uptown) will go through transit dependent areas. Actually basically all of North, nearly all of East End, nearly all of Southeast, and maybe a third of University would go through transit dependent areas.

EDIT: I should also add that in my opinion working to reduce congestion is a losing battle. Maybe we can try reducing the *growth rate* of congestion, but if Houston remains economically strong, traffic congestion will just become a part of more and more parts of our lives. Doing "what has always worked" may not work as well as we move forward. If H-GAC is right and Houston grows by about 60-70% over the next thirty years, there's basically no way that there will be a 60-70% increase in roadway/travel/transit capacity in that time frame. It can be done for a price--one that Houstonians are not willing to pay through tolls, taxes, leases to private companies, or increased fares. Changing the Houston mindset of "fixing congestion" to "providing as many travel options as possible" is going to be difficult, but it has to be the way we proceed. Lastly, Cleveland is a city that has had improved traffic conditions recently, but that's due to it's stagnant economy and shrinking population.

Edited by GovernorAggie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last time the metro rail was shut down and we had to take a bus instead, everybody (even the poor people)
even the poor people? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The fact is, the trains are all around more comfortable than a bus
wow a fact? ask a park and ride user whether they'd agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't forget that as stupid as this may sound, some people who ride the rail would never ride busses.

--snip--

The fact is, the trains are all around more comfortable than a bus (not to mention faster and on time more often, and having a higher capacity).

Which is why the second clause of your first sentence isn't as stupid as it sounds.

wow a fact? ask a park and ride user whether they'd agree.

In my experience, the P&R buses are a whole 'nuther animal than the local buses. Your mileage my vary....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my experience, the P&R buses are a whole 'nuther animal than the local buses. Your mileage my vary....

I agree with you on that. Park and Ride busses are nice, but I am talking about city busses. Unless somebody has suggested that we replace the proposed Metro Rail lines with park and ride busses that run every 6 minutes along the proposed routes.

Changing the Houston mindset of "fixing congestion" to "providing as many travel options as possible" is going to be difficult, but it has to be the way we proceed

I totally agree with you on that. There is no way the congestion is ever going to be "fixed" but wouldn't it be nice to cruise by a congested street on the light rail at Christmas to go shopping in the Galleria, for example? Once I decided to take the highway (stupid I know) in December on a Sunday morning to the Galleria. It took me about an hour to get there from the Museum District, and 45 of those minutes were going from the 59 to 610 and exiting on Weshteimer, and trying to find a parking spot. It was a nightmare.

Edited by Jax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Niche, regarding your point about making express routes free and such, i agree with it on the surface--as long as they are like express overlay routes of busy local routes. Making commuter buses and suburban surfaces free and not local service has got equitability issues written all over it. People who think that the rail doesn't serve them would pale in comparison to those who would feel (and I don't necessarily consider this a favorite word) "disenfranchisement" by preferential treatment to choice riders. At least all of the rail lines (except Uptown) will go through transit dependent areas. Actually basically all of North, nearly all of East End, nearly all of Southeast, and maybe a third of University would go through transit dependent areas.

Yeah, the political backlash could be something fierce. I accept that though it may have real merit, it may not be politically feasible.

I'm not clear exactly how any of the rail lines are going through transit-dependent areas, though. Would you care to define what is "transit-dependent"?

EDIT: I should also add that in my opinion working to reduce congestion is a losing battle.

It can be done for a price--one that Houstonians are not willing to pay through tolls, taxes, leases to private companies, or increased fares. Changing the Houston mindset of "fixing congestion" to "providing as many travel options as possible" is going to be difficult, but it has to be the way we proceed.

Politically speaking, I suspect you're right. The only solution I can think of is to do a dramatically better job at providing economics education to people throughout the country so that they understand the various options we have and so that they are rid of this irrational fear of such things as toll roads and foreign direct investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't forget that as stupid as this may sound, some people who ride the rail would never ride busses. I read somewhere that a high percentage of regular metro rail riders said they didn't used to take the a bus before the Metro Rail opened. I'm not saying that makes sense, but apparently it's true. I actually know many people at Rice and in the Med Center (grad students and medical residents mostly) who commute regularly on MetroRail and won't go near the busses.

This is very true as I know some of those types of people. I know a couple who are not willing to ride a bus from Spring to Downtown but have admitted they would ride a train. In fact the wife who travels a lot for work, brags about riding the train in DC, Toronto and San Francisco. The same holds true for another friend in Sugarland who will not ride a bus but would be willing to ride a train if one existed.

I agree with you Jax in that whether it makes sense or not, there are a lot of people who would not ride a bus but would more than be willing to ride a train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wow a fact? ask a park and ride user whether they'd agree.

Last time I looked, no trains were replacing a Park & Ride buses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last time I looked, no trains were replacing a Park & Ride buses.

i didn't say that. however METRO is more than trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In today's MOVE IT!, it seems that Kemah's former Mayor, Bill King is giving some advice on how to run metro:

<quote>By canceling the planned spending on rail, he said, Metro could afford a huge increase in bus service. And the lure of free rides could "jump-start" a mass migration of solo drivers to mass transit.</quote>

While a free metro would be nice, a free TODAY's Metro would be insane. What good is having more buses on the streets if they move no better than the regular traffic.

The additional problems that Austin had with the issue back in 1991 that it was (Good research, Chron!) having crime and homeless on the buses. If this would to happen today, People who do not rely on metro as its sole means of transportation would abandon it with ease.

Why do people propose these insane solutions with insane solutions in a city they don't live in? Don't they read HAIF? :)

Oh...the bike thing? Blah. blah. blah. You got bike racks, be thankful.

Actually, I kinda like the free or reduced fare bus rides to get people thinking about it as an alternative. BUT, they would have to create some super bus lanes to get people from downtown or wherever out to the burbs. If it's a longer commute, I wouldn' care if it's free.

And they need lots of buses to make it work. Waiting an hour between buses is ridiculous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why the hell is Bill King telling Houston what it should do. I guess its because he spent years being told what to do by Tillman Fertitta, that he has developed a Napoleon complex over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...