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Does ANYONE on here actually bike/take mass transit to get places?


  

81 members have voted

  1. 1. How often do you bike or use mass transit?

    • Never... whether it be my job, the grocery store, or just hanging out, I am car-dependent
      27
    • Sometimes... I own a car, but I like to commute by bike or transit occasionally
      33
    • Half/half... I bike/ use transit about half the time,
      6
    • Most of the time... I own a car, but try to drive it as little as possible!!
      7
    • Always... I don't own a car, or the one I have I never use it
      9


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I've been car-free for about 2 years now. I lived in the East End previously commuting to the Medical Center and now I live downtown. Living inside the Loop makes it pretty easy to get around and run errands on a bicycle, though Houston has pretty inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

It would be pretty tough in most suburbs outside the Loop or Beltway, imo.

Nearly all Metro buses are equipped to carry a bicycle now. The train is still a problem (no bikes allowed during morning or afternoon commute hours).

Edited by kylejack
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Just out of curiosity, do you think it's feasible to live in Houston and have a bike/ mass transit be your primary mode of transport? Any areas of the city where car-free living is possible?

inside the loop is definitely possible and many do it, esp if you're near a major transportation route that runs frequently. none of the ones i know who use transit ride a bike either.

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I would bike everywhere if I could, but serious question - do you people sweat? I do, in buckets, especially when it's 95 degrees and I'm wearing pants and long sleeves. Add biking to that and I might catch on fire. My workplace doesn't have a shower and I wouldn't want to be taking 2 a day anyway.

If I lived in Calgary I would bike to work every day, and know of dozens there who do (year round, snow and all).

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I would bike everywhere if I could, but serious question - do you people sweat? I do, in buckets, especially when it's 95 degrees and I'm wearing pants and long sleeves. Add biking to that and I might catch on fire. My workplace doesn't have a shower and I wouldn't want to be taking 2 a day anyway.

If I lived in Calgary I would bike to work every day, and know of dozens there who do (year round, snow and all).

Yeah, that's why I bike to mass transit...or at least I did before I moved to Main Street.

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I ride the metro rail into the medical center every day and bike on the days I go to the Rice campus. I do drive my car a few days a week mostly for a few miles each time. I usually stay in the loop unless I'm leaving town or there's something I absolutely need outside the loop (occasional trip to a big box near the Galleria or the mall itself).

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I would bike everywhere if I could, but serious question - do you people sweat? I do, in buckets, especially when it's 95 degrees and I'm wearing pants and long sleeves. Add biking to that and I might catch on fire. My workplace doesn't have a shower and I wouldn't want to be taking 2 a day anyway.

If I lived in Calgary I would bike to work every day, and know of dozens there who do (year round, snow and all).

Same reason I don't bike. I sweat even when its in the 70s, just walking when its sunny. A bike in Houston does nothing for me.

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I always ride METRO to go downtown. Gets around the whole parking hassle and everything. Wish that the bus to take me home ran past closing time though. :(

I live just outside the loop, but want to move downtown and if I lived there I'd probably only use the car to go someplace beyond 610.

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I've been car-free for about 2 years now. I lived in the East End previously commuting to the Medical Center and now I live downtown. Living inside the Loop makes it pretty easy to get around and run errands on a bicycle, though Houston has pretty inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

It would be pretty tough in most suburbs outside the Loop or Beltway, imo.

Nearly all Metro buses are equipped to carry a bicycle now. The train is still a problem (no bikes allowed during morning or afternoon commute hours).

It's entirely possible outside the loop or beltway, depending on where you live. I'm near Westheimer and Dairy Ashford and can bike to numerous big box and smaller stores, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, a couple of cinemas, a hospital, etc. in 15-20 mins or less. I run errands this way as often as I can, 2 to 3 times a week. If you are on the west side you can access the Terry Hershey park trails which run from cinco ranch to the beltway. And, of course, Metro crisscrosses the area. Most of the west side from the loop to highway 6 and Westheimer to I-10 has a similar mix of residential and retail close enough for easy biking. I suspect similar situations exist in other parts of the city outside the loop.

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when I lived in the alief area, it wasn't impossible to bike, it was just hard, mainly because of traffic, and the way people drive. I really only felt safe riding on the sidewalk.

now that I am an east ender, I can pick routes that are less traveled easier than I could out in alief, the people still drive fast, but they at least don't try to push me out of the street.

I work too far from home to commute by bicycle, but once I am home I try to do everything exclusively on my bike, it doesn't always work out that way :P

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I'm a 14 minute walk to the nearest MetroRail station. Ultimately, I'd like to ride my bike to the station and lock it in a rack, but there are none to be found. I'd also be worried about vandals, etc. That point is irrelevant anyway since my bike was stolen. :angry2: Taking the train daily would only save me about $1.50 a day and to me 28 minutes of commute-walking a day is not worth that. It is good to know though, that if my car is in the shop, I'd have that option to get to work or the doctor.

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I love to ride my bike, but only for fun and exercise. You can't carry anything bigger than a small bag of groceries on a bike anyway. I have taken the train downtown from Rice. Once, to an Astros game. It was OK, and cheap, but the return after the game required standing around the station for a long time with some sketchy characters around.

Living in Pearland as I do, the car is pretty much a necessity for everything.

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My wife and I carpool. And while we live but a few miles from downtown, we're not about to try her riding on the handle bars while carrying the insane amount of law txtbooks she has to carry each day.

And i agree with the sweat issue.. unless you're lucky enough to work at a place with changing and shower facilities, its pretty hard for professionals in houston to bike.

I wish that were not the case..but the commute would have to be measured in blocks, not miles, for me to be willing to bike in work attire.

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I think its possible to use mass transit & bike outside the loop (not sure about the beltway).

See i live in the "commercial" area of North Pasadena, not the "industrial" or "residential".

I live behind Wal-Mart on Main St. so everything i need is walking distance, but biking is faster.

Everything is on or by Southmore Ave.

like the library, city hall, police hq, post office, the mall and nearby stores/fast food places.

So I bike to those places and walk to nearby Wal-Mart.

And with the newly opened Pasadena Park& Ride which is on the Town Square Mall lot, I can ride to Downtown.

So yes i bike and use mass transit to get to places.

Living in this part of Pasadena makes everything a lot easier.

Edited by citizen4rmptown
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I'm a 14 minute walk to the nearest MetroRail station. Ultimately, I'd like to ride my bike to the station and lock it in a rack, but there are none to be found. I'd also be worried about vandals, etc. That point is irrelevant anyway since my bike was stolen. :angry2: Taking the train daily would only save me about $1.50 a day and to me 28 minutes of commute-walking a day is not worth that. It is good to know though, that if my car is in the shop, I'd have that option to get to work or the doctor.

I'm pretty much in the same situation except it would cost me more money to ride the rail than drive. Even though my three mile drive takes an inordinate amount of time <_< I'd ride a bike too, but between seeing cyclists maneuvering hazardously with cars and the sweaty factor, it doesn't make sense for me.

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I love to ride my bike, but only for fun and exercise. You can't carry anything bigger than a small bag of groceries on a bike anyway.

For this you want some panniers. I can carry two big paper bags of groceries on the sides plus more in my backpack. For more carrying than that, you can tow a small trailer behind fairly easily.

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I'm a 14 minute walk to the nearest MetroRail station. Ultimately, I'd like to ride my bike to the station and lock it in a rack, but there are none to be found. I'd also be worried about vandals, etc. That point is irrelevant anyway since my bike was stolen. :angry2: Taking the train daily would only save me about $1.50 a day and to me 28 minutes of commute-walking a day is not worth that. It is good to know though, that if my car is in the shop, I'd have that option to get to work or the doctor.
Bicycle storage racks are located at the following stations:

Fannin South

TMC Transit Center

Wheeler

Downtown Transit Center

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With the exception of Wheeler, why would anyone ride their bike to any of the other locations with bike racks. They need to be installed at or near stations where people live, like throughout Midtown.

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I try to bike at least once a week to work. For me parking isn't typically a problem, but I find it fun and have a need for some physical activity during the week..

The ride from Heights to downtown for me is about 30 mins, shower at the YMCA, and off to work. On the way home drivers and traffic are more difficult..

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With the exception of Wheeler, why would anyone ride their bike to any of the other locations with bike racks. They need to be installed at or near stations where people live, like throughout Midtown.

Well I'm not going to advise it because the official position is that they will remove it, but I lock my bike to the thick bar (handrail?) at each station and Metro never touches it. I've been doing this for 2 years now and they've never cut my lock or anything.

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I'm a 14 minute walk to the nearest MetroRail station. Ultimately, I'd like to ride my bike to the station and lock it in a rack, but there are none to be found. I'd also be worried about vandals, etc. That point is irrelevant anyway since my bike was stolen. :angry2: Taking the train daily would only save me about $1.50 a day and to me 28 minutes of commute-walking a day is not worth that. It is good to know though, that if my car is in the shop, I'd have that option to get to work or the doctor.

Similar situation here. If I chose to get rid of my car, I could take the bus pretty conveniently to work. There is a bus stop about 50 paces from my driveway, and one transfer and about 40 minutes to work. Nice to know it's an option, but as it stands the cost to fill up once a month and pay the nomimal parking garage fee is within a couple dollars of the cost to ride the bus. All things being equal, as long as I'm paying the car note and insurance, I'm going to drive it and enjoy the 12 minute commute. We could get by on 1 vehicle quite easily though, and have talked about it. I could probably ride my bike fairly easily, and have a locker room + showers to use at the work gym, but schlepping clothes and makeup is not worth the hassle. Plus, I hate trying to do hair and makeup in locker rooms. Between all the humidity from the showers, sweaty people, and the hair dryers going, you never really can cool down. Us ladies are so much more high maintenance. :D

I park next to a bike rack and there are a half- dozen or so hardcore bike commuters. I often think of it, since I could use the additional exercise, too. But laziness and convenience always win.

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All of the Metro Rail stations should have bike racks but I notice a lot of bikes locked up to the railings near Rice and Museum District stations. I occasionally end up riding my bike to Rice, then biking over to the TMC, then taking the rail home with my bike on board (since that allows me to avoid biking in the traffic on Fannin where I almost got run over twice). Works pretty well for me. Luckily TCH and Rice both have lots of bike racks.

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I'm lucky in that the Montrose Crosstown bus runs from the Heights to the TMC. Easy-peasy for me to use it to get to work. I also bike (have shower facilities available), which is a bit more convenient in that I can arrive and leave whenever I wish.

Jax, where do you need to go that you have to bike on Fannin? I usually ride through Hermann Park then cut over a few blocks east to Austin if I'm going downtown. Otherwise, I ride through Rice and take Mandell through Montrose.

I often use the bike for quick Target runs, too. You'd be amazed what you can shove in panniers on a rear rack. I think my record is something like 40 lbs of stuff (the front wheel wanted to lift up). After Ike, I was all about the bike - no worries about when the gas stations would re-open for me!

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It's entirely possible outside the loop or beltway, depending on where you live. I'm near Westheimer and Dairy Ashford and can bike to numerous big box and smaller stores, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, a couple of cinemas, a hospital, etc. in 15-20 mins or less. I run errands this way as often as I can, 2 to 3 times a week. If you are on the west side you can access the Terry Hershey park trails which run from cinco ranch to the beltway. And, of course, Metro crisscrosses the area. Most of the west side from the loop to highway 6 and Westheimer to I-10 has a similar mix of residential and retail close enough for easy biking. I suspect similar situations exist in other parts of the city outside the loop.

How did you strap down that 42 inch plasma to get it home?

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Take mass transit and bike as much as possible... Plenty of neighborhoods can be accessed/traveled this way. A lot more then people think, including many areas outside the loop as far west as the Energy Corridor.

For walking and biking, I wish sidewalks were wider though. Especially around some of the new developments in Midtown, 4rth Ward area.... I have always thought when a building is built. For all that block, the builder should bury the power lines and make the sidewalks wider all the way to the curb This should be some sort of law...

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Wow this is some really great info!!!!

Now that we're in the throws of summer, I'm regrettably back to a half/half pattern. But now that it's hot, it's become very difficult for me to bike to work. I do work at UofH (so a shower is available), but some mornings it's just tough to get everything ready in the morning. My bike ride is only about five minutes longer than the car though.

Like samagon, I live in the East End, and a really like it here. I do wish we had some better grocery stores in the neighborhood b/c Combat Kroger just doesn't cut it sometimes. But I mostly use my car for times when I need to hit up the surburb box stores, or for when I have gigs outside of the loop. For me, METRO is pretty reliable, but sometimes with these music gigs, I end up staying out pretty late, and it's a lot easier to take my car and pay for gas (though getting harder as prices rise again) than have to call a cab all the time. I love the East End's bike trails though.

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How did you strap down that 42 inch plasma to get it home?

Who said I have a 42 inch plasma? :lol:

Seriously, though, I think you can create a decent mix of car/bus/bike/walk to fit the transportation needs of a lot of people in this city, even outside the loop. For a Southern city, we've got it pretty good. Sometimes all it takes is for you to get out of your car and walk/bike around the edges of your neighborhood to discover that a lot of places are within an easy walk or bike of home. Find some nearby places you can bike or walk to for some of your errands and use public transport and/or your car for the farther away spots or commutes or where you just need to haul that plasma back to the house.

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for those curious about how to live with only a bike to get to work, go shopping, or taking friends places, go to holland and observe.

it is a pretty expensive trip to just watch, so do some vacationing while there ;)

but, most bikes have racks and baskets, here's what one looks like:

ElectraAmsterdamClassicGr.JPG

The rack in the back often will hold a friend, groceries, business stuff, etc.

Anyway, it doesn't look 'cool' but it is very efficient and gets the job done.

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For all that block, the builder should bury the power lines and make the sidewalks wider all the way to the curb This should be some sort of law...

Problem is, the lines don't belong to the builders. They belong to Centerpoint.

Edited by BrewsterMcCloud
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  • 2 weeks later...

When I worked downtown more often than not I commuted by bike. Fortunately there were nearby shower and locker facilities. It was a bit of a pain lugging clothes around, but on the other hand the ride to and from work was always something to look forward to.

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i was irritated to come back to houston and find metro eliminated the day pass when they could have raised the price instead. don't bike as it never seems safe where i live, but i know many who live in the burbs and bike for exercise and local errands using sidewalks. i used metro as primary mode from 1999 to 2007. living by the galleria and trying to utilize public trans now costs me $1.25 for each stop & start, so a trip to borders on the way downtown or med center, with a stop at the water wall and other spots could cost me $20 or more roundtrip. hope metro is putting the money to good use. my youngest uses metro with a student discount and likes the q-card because he can reload it on board, although he reports frequent malfunctions. i suppose the 53/82 is one of the better routes , although it does not connect with wheeler station so i have to get off and walk several blocks, which is ok unless i'm on a deadline. also have to either take 2 buses or walk too far to utilize hilcroft transit that would connect me to 163 or 132 and the rail. so i car share when i need to, and walk which i enjoy, mainly mornings & evenings because of houston's humidity. up north public trans is significantly more practical, something i miss. for now i remain optimistic about houston's future for mass transit, especially rail projects that might change the landscape sufficiently and allow houston to realize its true urban potential.

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i was irritated to come back to houston and find metro eliminated the day pass when they could have raised the price instead. don't bike as it never seems safe where i live, but i know many who live in the burbs and bike for exercise and local errands using sidewalks. i used metro as primary mode from 1999 to 2007. living by the galleria and trying to utilize public trans now costs me $1.25 for each stop & start, so a trip to borders on the way downtown or med center, with a stop at the water wall and other spots could cost me $20 or more roundtrip. hope metro is putting the money to good use. my youngest uses metro with a student discount and likes the q-card because he can reload it on board, although he reports frequent malfunctions. i suppose the 53/82 is one of the better routes , although it does not connect with wheeler station so i have to get off and walk several blocks, which is ok unless i'm on a deadline. also have to either take 2 buses or walk too far to utilize hilcroft transit that would connect me to 163 or 132 and the rail. so i car share when i need to, and walk which i enjoy, mainly mornings & evenings because of houston's humidity. up north public trans is significantly more practical, something i miss. for now i remain optimistic about houston's future for mass transit, especially rail projects that might change the landscape sufficiently and allow houston to realize its true urban potential.

Ha! Metro got rid of the Daypass as part of the Q-Card project, while boasting that they weren't raising fares. Later, they raised fares.

While Metro's fares remain low compared to many other cities--those other cities all sell passes for unlimited travel during specified time periods. While not as cheap as the $2.00 Daypass, they would be useful for real transit users. And short-term passes would be good for tourists; the train connects quite a few of our cultural sites.

Please, if you ever ride Metro, get a Q-Card. You'll get "transfers" & the occasional free trip.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Took the rail downtown to the Astros game...METRO police are out in force now checking people's tickets/Q Cards making sure people paid. Also saw one of them arrest a drunk homeless guy at the Preston station going home, where no fewer than four dozen were waiting for the train. The thing was packed when we got on.

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Took the rail downtown to the Astros game...METRO police are out in force now checking people's tickets/Q Cards making sure people paid. Also saw one of them arrest a drunk homeless guy at the Preston station going home, where no fewer than four dozen were waiting for the train. The thing was packed when we got on.

Yes, they're tagging and bagging almost daily after work at Main Street Square now. They've stopped doing the annoying thing where they get on the train and call "Tickets...tickets..." and now just get people coming off the train, thankfully. There's just not enough room on the busy train to go person to person checking tickets.

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  • 1 month later...

Took the rail downtown to the Astros game...METRO police are out in force now checking people's tickets/Q Cards making sure people paid. Also saw one of them arrest a drunk homeless guy at the Preston station going home, where no fewer than four dozen were waiting for the train. The thing was packed when we got on.

Interesting I went to Herman park for the Independence Day concert and when leaving, there were hundreds of people standing on the platform. Maybe 10 of them got tickets for their trip home.

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Enforcement is now at viciously high levels, they must be paying these guys a lot of overtime. For the past week, there were 2 Metro police at every single station making sure people tapped or bought a ticket. Yesterday afternoon they weren't at every station anymore but they set up a deboarding checkpoint at Main Street Square again. I forgot my video camera AGAIN but one of these times I'll take some video of them tagging and bagging people.

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Enforcement is now at viciously high levels, they must be paying these guys a lot of overtime. For the past week, there were 2 Metro police at every single station making sure people tapped or bought a ticket. Yesterday afternoon they weren't at every station anymore but they set up a deboarding checkpoint at Main Street Square again. I forgot my video camera AGAIN but one of these times I'll take some video of them tagging and bagging people.

I think it's a good thing, I know 9 of 10 times I pay, but I often wondered why. It is an interesting subject as to whether or not they should hand out tickets after special events like Independence day fireworks, there certainly aren't enough places to buy tickets if that is what they want.

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I would imagine compliance was already high, but if they noticed a trend I would imagine they'd jump on it quick to make sure it didn't get out of hand.

As far as special events and "heavy use" days like football, baseball, and rodeo, they probably are a BIT lax. It would be almost impossible to screen that many people.

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Living along METRORail, I can get just about anywhere in the city in one transfer on METRO. I can and do ride METRO just about everywhere I go, including suburban big box stores.

Regarding the poster who complained a day of errands would cost $20: this is not possible unless you double back on the same bus route 16 times or tap your Q card every 2 hours for 32 hours. Getting off and back on a bus in the same direction is a free transfer with Q, as are unlimited transfers between routes within 2 hours.

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Regarding the poster who complained a day of errands would cost $20: this is not possible unless you double back on the same bus route 16 times or tap your Q card every 2 hours for 32 hours. Getting off and back on a bus in the same direction is a free transfer with Q, as are unlimited transfers between routes within 2 hours.

It's probably possible if you're not using a Q card, but are using cash. If I am correct, transfers are nolonger available to cash payers.

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Living along METRORail, I can get just about anywhere in the city in one transfer on METRO. I can and do ride METRO just about everywhere I go, including suburban big box stores.

Regarding the poster who complained a day of errands would cost $20: this is not possible unless you double back on the same bus route 16 times or tap your Q card every 2 hours for 32 hours. Getting off and back on a bus in the same direction is a free transfer with Q, as are unlimited transfers between routes within 2 hours.

Just out of curiosity, what suburban stores are you going to and how long does it take to get there? Living near the western edge of the city limits I can walk or bike to the big box stores but the run times into the city, say to downtown or to the museum district, are at least twice as long as by car.

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Luckily, a lot of big box stores are now within the loop or close to it, be as they may in suburban-style shopping centers. Wal-mart is a four minute walk from West Loop Park & Ride. Target on S Main is easy to get to on the 8 South Main or 10 Willowbend. Home Depot is right on the 9 Gulfton. Staples and another Target are on Sawyer and the 66 Yale. Ikea is not far from Northwest TC, and the 72 Wesview will get you even closer. The Galleria area, of course, is on the 73, 53, 81, 82, 33, and 49 routes. Good shoes for walking are a must when shopping on METRO, mostly for crossing the vast parking lots, but even in summer you don't have to spend inordinate amounts of time between the air-conditioned vehicles and stores.

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...I forgot my video camera AGAIN but one of these times I'll take some video of them tagging and bagging people.

Be careful the Metro Pigs are sensitive about photography. Many folks have been threatened and hassled about taking pics downtown.

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