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Simbha

Would A Jitney Designated For The Museum District Help Boost The City's Rep?

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I was at a conference, the Houston Summit for the Creative Economy, a few weeks back (I think it was Oct 22nd) and some people were discussing the potential for a shuttle bus/jitney loop which could carry museum-goers from facility to facility with ease. Just park your car at any of the member institutions and hop on and off the bus to visit the facilities.It might especially be popular with tourists...

What do you all think of this idea?

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While it doesn't go door to door, the 34 Montrose bus is within walking distance (or an easy bike ride) of many of Houston's museums. Most buses have bike carriers.

I hope Metro will consider adding evening and weekend hours, and more frequent runs to the 34 route. An unrestricted day pass would also be an incentive for people to museum, restaurant and bar hop the neighborhood.

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The Art Cart works well in Dallas. It's basically a 14-passenger golf cart. It travels around the Arts District taking people between restaurants at One Arts Plaza and the art facilities (and even to the DART station). People hop on for a drink before the opera or for an express ride down Flora Street. What makes it successful is that it is free and easy to hop on and off. There are talks of adding more of these small shuttles around downtown.

http://artsplazaevents.blogspot.com/2009/11/art-cart.html

Art+Cart.JPG

Edited by dfwcre8tive

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Nice idea - but I'd question an open air vehicle in Houston.

During rain and during winter, the sides are covered in plastic much like a golf cart would be. It's more approachable than a dark van/shuttle bus (it doesn't scare the suburbanites), it's relatively inexpensive (LINK), and there's no emissions or noise. It's not a solution for anything longer than a few blocks (Dallas had to make some changes for it to be street legal) but it has been an interesting experiment. You see similar -- but not as stylish -- electric shuttles at amusement parks or fairs.

Edited by dfwcre8tive

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Not sure a golf cart-like vehicle would suffice. As most of you probably know, the 'museum district' as a coordinating body covers institutions within several square-miles, including (for example) the Menil. I think this would require one or more standard shuttle buses.

Edit: Perhaps two types of routes. One could be a local 'art cart' in the 'core' district bordered roughly by 59, La Branch, Hermann Park and Montrose. Another could be a wider route that carries passengers to and from: this core museum district, Bayou Bend/Rienzi, the Menil/Montrose District, and the DT theater district. I would think that would be appealing to residents and tourists alike and could really help to boost Houston's reputation as a center for the arts (in general).

Yes, I know that the rail goes between the museum district and the theater district, but I think that having people look to two distinct routes for this need wouldn't be very pleasant for them. Much easier to say, "Hop on the Arts Bus and it'll take you there" rather than "Oh, well... to get to such-and-such a place, you'll need to take the rail but to get to this other place, you should take that bus."

Edited by Simbha

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What ever happened to WALKING?

I have no problem with walking, but a jitney would be much quicker if you're trying to get from MFAH to the Buffalo Soldiers Museum.

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