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MetroRail Main Station (Red/Green/Purple) Opening

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Received this press release today:


Central Station Main to Open for METRORail Passengers

 
Another plus for commuters as a new station is about to open on the METRORail Red Line. METRO Board members, staff, and special guests, including representatives of the Downtown Management District, will be on hand at METRORail’s Downtown Construction office, 712 Main Street, at 6:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18.  Shortly after their arrival a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on the Central Station Main platform signaling the beginning of passenger service at that station.  
 
The station, located in the 700 block of Main between Rusk and Capitol, will also become a transfer point when the new East End/Green and Southeast/Purple Lines open in April.   
 
post-1-0-86214400-1424131646_thumb.jpg
METRORail passengers will have a new station from which to access transit service beginning Wednesday, Feb. 18. The station will provide a transfer point for riders from the soon-to-open East End/Green and Southeast/Purple Lines. 
 
post-1-0-73836900-1424131660.jpg
Central Station Main features works from artist John Runnels whose paving stones showcase time. Using language as art Runnels seeks to establish a positive transit experience by creating a "psychological space" where time is optimized.

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I'd been hoping that they would go ahead and get this open sooner rather than later.  That extra three blocks' walk was killing me. 

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Why would you have a ribbon cutting ceremony this crap..just open it...this thing will be the center nexus for the three line..and I can't see how well that will workout... on peak ridership times give it a very thin platform

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Received this press release today:


Central Station Main to Open for METRORail Passengers

Another plus for commuters as a new station is about to open on the METRORail Red Line. METRO Board members, staff, and special guests, including representatives of the Downtown Management District, will be on hand at METRORail’s Downtown Construction office, 712 Main Street, at 6:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18. Shortly after their arrival a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on the Central Station Main platform signaling the beginning of passenger service at that station.

The station, located in the 700 block of Main between Rusk and Capitol, will also become a transfer point when the new East End/Green and Southeast/Purple Lines open in April.

central-station-3-edited-1_crop.jpg

METRORail passengers will have a new station from which to access transit service beginning Wednesday, Feb. 18. The station will provide a transfer point for riders from the soon-to-open East End/Green and Southeast/Purple Lines.

central-station-3-pavers-edited-1_crop.jpg

Central Station Main features works from artist John Runnels whose paving stones showcase time. Using language as art Runnels seeks to establish a positive transit experience by creating a "psychological space" where time is optimized.

We should've had this...

Houston-Central-Station01.jpg

But this was chosen, possibly because it was more affordable...

SNOHETTA_01_resized-1024x579.jpg

And now all we got is some damn brick pavers. Go screw yourself Metro.

Edited by tigereye
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What erks me is they have a surplus they they will still go ahead with this crap...instead of just saying they will hold off on open this station because they had more money than they thought and want to carry out the original platform plan...given the choice I'm willing to bet the people would be willing to wait a few months more..instead given the logic of metro people they will wait till it has operational and people have become use to it before they say ooh were shutting it down for six months for renovations.

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this thing will be the center nexus for the three line..and I can't see how well that will workout... on peak ridership times give it a very thin platform

Same.. How do other side by side platforms compare during peak times? I'm not sure how they're going to address that...

This station is begging to be connected to the tunnel system with 2 new tunnels dug below the block to the east, connecting this station to the other 2 transfer stations on Capitol/Rusk. Anyone ever see that happening?

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Not well during peak times the other platforms are maxed out and people are standing at tail ends of it..my prediction this will be PR mess with people complaining about there being nowhere to stand..I'm calling it now

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We should've had this...

Houston-Central-Station01.jpg

But this was chosen, possibly because it was more affordable...

SNOHETTA_01_resized-1024x579.jpg

And now all we got is some damn brick pavers. Go screw yourself Metro.

 

Well if it's any constellation what they went with instead is complete crap which will be replaced in 5 years. Once ridership rises is when you can get a little more playful with these stations.

Edited by Luminare
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They are already reaching max..I ride the rail every day around 12.30 to work and 70%of the time it standing room only..even Sunday is packed but that because they use a one car system on sunday..a concert that has become out dated...since market square area is buzzing With people on Sunday thanks to honey moon cafe, batanga and even her say is open on Sunday afternoon

They are already reaching max..I ride the rail every day around 12.30 to work and 70%of the time it standing room only..even Sunday is packed but that because they use a one car system on sunday..a concert that has become out dated...since market square area is buzzing With people on Sunday thanks to honey moon cafe, batanga and even her say is open on Sunday afternoon

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I think what really pisses me off about metro management. .is the leadership. ..after that buy America debacle. .Parker ignore a opportunity to go in and really clean house. .instead she just appointed the next person up leaving many of the Same senor leadership in place.

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Actually I should have read all the way to the end. This looks like a down payment with the source of the remaining funds in question.

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I think it will happen. It just makes sense.

 

This should have been ready in time for the Final Four, which is four months away.  Hopefully, MetroRail will have dedicated lanes before Super Bowl 51.

 

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Restricting the rail lanes to trains and turns only (like the rightmost lane of many of the north/south streets) ought to be enough to give the trains some breathing room... though as one who mixes it up with them daily, it doesn't seem like that giant of a problem even in the teeth of drive time.  The METRO train drivers aren't shy about using their horns.

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It's really only an issue during rush hour. Other than that time, the only problem I notice is when trains have to wait behind cars trying to turn in the same lane as the tram.

During rush hour though; those trams are stopped at every freaking light at every block. If they can synchronize the lights then it would be much better.

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Its so stupid that the train doesnt have its own right of way and has to follow behind traffic. it defeats the entire purpose of the lightrail.

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What would work better downtown, in the med center, and in other congested places would be grade separation, either above or below ground.  Like what every other major city that comes to mind does.

 

Of course, that costs money, and heaven forfend any sort of investment spending for that, because as we know all public transportation spending for anything other than giant freeways is wasteful.

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I think it would be cool to have the light rail below ground in downtown - the stations could be in the tunnel system directly, and they could be air conditioned too.

When the light rail was first being proposed, were there any alternatives with grade separation in downtown or the med center?  I'm curious how much they saved by just building at grade.

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I think it would be cool to have the light rail below ground in downtown - the stations could be in the tunnel system directly, and they could be air conditioned too.

When the light rail was first being proposed, were there any alternatives with grade separation in downtown or the med center?  I'm curious how much they saved by just building at grade.

 

Makes too much sense, so of course it didn't happen. 

 

In the 80s I believe that there were two proposals for underground rail downtown, one heavy rail which was voted down, and one light rail which was approved but Bob Lanier was elected after he promised to kill the light rail proposal.  

 

The original METRO line had to be built with local funds after federal funding was blocked, so they didn't have enough money to incorporate it in the existing tunnel system downtown. 

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And now it would be very difficult to change, especially without disrupting the red line now

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I honestly think it's an easy fix, just make the furthest left lane grade separated with some sort of fencing like on the Red Line, sync up the lights to give trains the right of way, and make the furthers left car lane for turning only with a designated green arrow turn signal. 

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Grade separated means like a tunnel or overpass - think subway or L-train.  Closing off a lane to give the train an exclusive right of way is a good step, but wouldn't be grade separated - it would still be susceptible to people jamming up the intersection (blocking the box)

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Grade separated means like a tunnel or overpass - think subway or L-train.  Closing off a lane to give the train an exclusive right of way is a good step, but wouldn't be grade separated - it would still be susceptible to people jamming up the intersection (blocking the box)

Well whatever the correct term is I think that closing off the lane and creating a dedicated lane for left or right turns is the best option.

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  I'm curious how much they saved by just building at grade.

 

Rule of thumb is it costs twice as much to elevate and four times as much to tunnel. So instead of the original ~8 mile Red Line we could have had 4 miles elevated (UHD to Rice) or 2 miles of subway (UHD to McGowen). There's no question that either of those would have had fewer riders and therefore a lower benefit/cost ratio.

 

As for syncing signals for the east-west lines, there's only so much that can be done without un-syncing the north-south streets.

 

But yes, there are a lot of ways the Green and Purple Lines could have been designed better through Downtown.

Edited by JamesL
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Rule of thumb is it costs twice as much to elevate and four times as much to tunnel. So instead of the original ~8 mile Red Line we could have had 4 miles elevated (UHD to Rice) or 2 miles of subway (UHD to McGowen). There's no question that either of those would have had fewer riders and therefore a lower benefit/cost ratio.

 

As for syncing signals for the east-west lines, there's only so much that can be done without un-syncing the north-south streets.

 

But yes, there are a lot of ways the Green and Purple Lines could have been designed better through Downtown.

 

It'll eventually be redone when the density and transit use demands it, albeit it will be extremely costly.

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It'll eventually be redone when the density and transit use demands it, albeit it will be extremely costly.

Labor is a big reason, and land acquisition. But with oil dropping the latter price is decreasing

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I doubt there'd be "no question" that if it was tunneled or elevated for a short stretch there'd be fewer riders, in most cases grade separation increases ridership.  Especially if it were integrated with the downtown tunnel system. 

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I doubt there'd be "no question" that if it was tunneled or elevated for a short stretch there'd be fewer riders, in most cases grade separation increases ridership.  Especially if it were integrated with the downtown tunnel system. 

 

Houston's "tunnel system" is various basements, connected by slender tunnels built under the streets.  It's also only open during Business Hours, 5 days a week.  Real subways run through purpose-built tunnels. 

 

To go from the tunnel to the train, walk upstairs.  (Or take an escalator.)  Then go outside.  

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Drag racing the train to make a left turn on the next block adds just the right bit of competitive stimulation to start my day off right.  If you travel down Capitol every morning and turn left on any of the southbound streets, you get to do this at least twice a week.

 

I'm still waiting for an inspired train driver to try to make it close.

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Drag racing the train to make a left turn on the next block adds just the right bit of competitive stimulation to start my day off right. If you travel down Capitol every morning and turn left on any of the southbound streets, you get to do this at least twice a week.

I'm still waiting for an inspired train driver to try to make it close.

Why not just slow down a bit and yield to the train? Edited by j_cuevas713

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Houston's "tunnel system" is various basements, connected by slender tunnels built under the streets.  It's also only open during Business Hours, 5 days a week.  Real subways run through purpose-built tunnels. 

 

To go from the tunnel to the train, walk upstairs.  (Or take an escalator.)  Then go outside.  

 

In Munich, they have the tunnels that are used by their subway, but at the main junctions of multiple lines they have an underground mall area above the subway system. Food courts, small shops, etc. all in this area. It's really nice.

 

it's very similar to our downtown tunnel system, only the walkways are wider.

 

It would be great, if Houston ever got a subway system, that the downtown tunnels be incorporated into the design.

Edited by samagon
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Why not just slow down a bit and yield to the train?

 

You must not be from around these parts. What is this yield that you speak of?

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Houston's "tunnel system" is various basements, connected by slender tunnels built under the streets.  It's also only open during Business Hours, 5 days a week.  Real subways run through purpose-built tunnels. 

 

To go from the tunnel to the train, walk upstairs.  (Or take an escalator.)  Then go outside.  

 

I understand what Houston's tunnel system is.  Each station would have an exit directly to the street as well as to any nearby tunnels.  The actual train tunnels would be below the pedestrian tunnels.  The mezzanine levels of the subway stations above the platforms would be at the same level as the tunnels. 

 

Many Houstonians don't like to sweat, so if they can avoid going outside, they will.  

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You must not be from around these parts. What is this yield that you speak of?

Hahaha nice response... well there has to be some solution to this... maybe designated left and right turns is necessary to either side of the track

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I'm curious how the rail is performing during large events like the games at MMP, BBVA, and the UH stadium? Anyone taken the train instead of driving to yesterday's game?

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I did, and thank god METRO had the intelligence to double stack the Purple line trams. Plent if people are taking the purple line to UH, and for rush hour times during the weekday it should be double stacked

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I doubt there'd be "no question" that if it was tunneled or elevated for a short stretch there'd be fewer riders, in most cases grade separation increases ridership.  Especially if it were integrated with the downtown tunnel system. 

 

There is no question that a line of 1/2 or 1/4 the length would have lower ridership. Ridership is driven by jobs, residences, and other destinations within walking distance of the stations and by connections to bus routes. A line that didn't reach the TMC or Reliant would have dramatically fewer of these. Dryden/TMC is the highest ridership station in the system.

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There is no question that a line of 1/2 or 1/4 the length would have lower ridership. Ridership is driven by jobs, residences, and other destinations within walking distance of the stations and by connections to bus routes. A line that didn't reach the TMC or Reliant would have dramatically fewer of these. Dryden/TMC is the highest ridership station in the system.

 

I misunderstood.  I thought you were saying that if the red line was exactly the same except that it was tunneled in downtown and/or elevated in the TMC ridership would be lower, not if the line only went from one end of downtown to the other. 

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I'm curious how the rail is performing during large events like the games at MMP, BBVA, and the UH stadium? Anyone taken the train instead of driving to yesterday's game?

 

This was around 10:30 PM from the UH game on Saturday. The rail made it very easy and we avoided all the traffic. Double stacked cars too!

post-14294-0-22360500-1447688092_thumb.j

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Took the green/purple line this morning to the Thanksgiving Day parade. Got on at EaDo Station and got off at Theatre District Station. Going there wasn't too bad as we left after the parade started. However, coming back was a nightmare. Everyone was trying to walk back to their cars and walking in the streets (and on the rails). Police were yelling at pedestrians to get off the rails. The trains couldn't proceed. It was so slow. I think I could've walked faster than the train was travelling between Theatre District Station and Convention District Station. Once we passed Convention District Station the train sped up to normal speed. I really think METRO blew it with this section within Downtown. This section should be elevated. Yeah I know its a cost issue but I'm just saying.

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The point of taking public mass is that you dont have to worry about traffic plain and simple. When you take the train to an astros game and it takes 15 min to take you 2 stations is just how epic of a failure it is. Needs it's own dedicated lane

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Took the green/purple line this morning to the Thanksgiving Day parade. Got on at EaDo Station and got off at Theatre District Station. Going there wasn't too bad as we left after the parade started. However, coming back was a nightmare. Everyone was trying to walk back to their cars and walking in the streets (and on the rails). Police were yelling at pedestrians to get off the rails. The trains couldn't proceed. It was so slow. I think I could've walked faster than the train was travelling between Theatre District Station and Convention District Station. Once we passed Convention District Station the train sped up to normal speed. I really think METRO blew it with this section within Downtown. This section should be elevated. Yeah I know its a cost issue but I'm just saying.

Elevated? Downtown? Sounds like a nightmare compared to at-grade. Do you know how miserable the street life would be? Imagine the connectivity underground with the street and tunnels. Subway. Period.
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