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Houston Tomorrow Suggestion for Dynamic New Mass Transit Solution

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Interesting how they mention cities like DC, New York and such in their commuter rail paragraph when the bulk of the ridership in those cities is on heavy rail systems, not commuter rail, something they did not even propose. 

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Mr. J. Sam Loot said the freight companies are very scared because they do not want to share the ROR.  I do like the idea with some sort of rail around the loop to connect with heavy rail.

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Interesting how they mention cities like DC, New York and such in their commuter rail paragraph when the bulk of the ridership in those cities is on heavy rail systems, not commuter rail, something they did not even propose. 

 

He is proposed commuter rail  to link up with another rail line.  He said there a lot of land off 290 and 10 of empty warehouses.  That could be a transfer point and avoids downtown.  He only had one hour to show his presentation.  But he is correct he have to do something now!  Other global cities have done it with another 5 million people here we cannot build more roadways.

 

I-10

 

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Why would you do this when expanded Park-and-Ride express commuter services could provide faster service for one-tenth the cost, if not less?

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You get to the point where the streets downtown (I'm thinking of Travis in particular) consist of nothing but park and ride busses

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You get to the point where the streets downtown (I'm thinking of Travis in particular) consist of nothing but park and ride busses

 

Agreed.  Between the Park & Ride busses and the off-duty cops letting people out of garages, Travis gets backed up like crazy.

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Why would you do this when expanded Park-and-Ride express commuter services could provide faster service for one-tenth the cost, if not less?

 

One-tenth the cost is a little misleading, the HOV infrastructure was certainly costly, we've just already built it. 

 

Rail generally gets more ridership than buses, and has higher capacity.  That is probably why they are recommending it as a 100 year solution. 

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I do not want to proclaim anything without facts, but I believe the long term costs of rail, associated with ticket fare & usage, outweighs the same for buses per mile.

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Mr. J. Sam Loot said the freight companies are very scared because they do not want to share the ROR. I do like the idea with some sort of rail around the loop to connect with heavy rail.

Freight traffic is already crowded enough with the booming port industry and will only get more crowded as the Panama Canal expansion brings more shipments to the area. Unfortunagely we can't use freight lines for heavy rail.. Not unless we build new tracks along side the existing ROW, which can be tricky with all the existing infrastructure and what not.

I dont think all of our potential passenger rail lines would be able to support heavy rail.. Obviously select routes on the north and west sides would be the most likely to sustain it.

What corridors do yall think heavy rail could be feasible..?

I think any sort of large rail circulator is a bad idea. 610 is 38 miles long (beltway is 83 mi, Grand Parkway is supposed to be 200 or so miles long when all is said and done), and not all sides of the loop have traffic problems or destinations/populations that warrant rail.

I do however think BRT is a great solution to the circulators/"hubs" for linking "spoke" rail lines.

I wish this city would plan ahead with transit/development a little better and be more proactive with getting mass transit built when and where we need it. Ok, starting to sound a little like that unspeakable Z word.. I better be careful what I wish for. Heh

For real though.. Why can't they do things like implement additional ROW along side the planned Hardy downtown connector for a future commuter/heavy(?) rail line from downtown going to the north? And too bad they had to tear up the MKT rail line when expanding i10.

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I do not want to proclaim anything without facts, but I believe the long term costs of rail, associated with ticket fare & usage, outweighs the same for buses per mile.

Not to mention all the development rail spawns.. I don't see any residential towers or mixed use developments popping up at any of the park & rides..

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Not to mention all the development rail spawns.. I don't see any residential towers or mixed use developments popping up at any of the park & rides..

 

Realistically, have many residential towers or mixed use developments been spawned by commuter rail stations?  Examples?  (excluding those that were developed through subsidies from/joint projects with the rail agency or other governmental entity)

 

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Not to mention all the development rail spawns.. I don't see any residential towers or mixed use developments popping up at any of the park & rides..

There's a mix-use development on 290 at a park and ride, also on 45 south. Apartments, stores... Little pockets of urbanity. Not to deflate your balloon, as we desperately need an alternative transit solution.

Although we have the ridership Metro lacks a spine with our current system. Too many frequent stops, and mingling with traffic.

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There's a mix-use development on 290 at a park and ride, also on 45 south. Apartments, stores... Little pockets of urbanity. Not to deflate your balloon, as we desperately need an alternative transit solution.

Although we have the ridership Metro lacks a spine with our current system. Too many frequent stops, and mingling with traffic.

Which ones? I'm not familiar with everything in the city.. Do the developments front the park and rides or turn their backs to them? It's all good.. I'm just saying, billions of dollars of developments happened to be built along our rail lines and living in these transit friendly locations in the inner city has never been more popular.. Sure you can attribute some of that development to other factors, but there's no denying the appeal of being located near a rail line from an urban development standpoint.

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Which ones? I'm not familiar with everything in the city.. Do the developments front the park and rides or turn their backs to them? It's all good.. I'm just saying, billions of dollars of developments happened to be built along our rail lines and living in these transit friendly locations in the inner city has never been more popular.. Sure you can attribute some of that development to other factors, but there's no denying the appeal of being located near a rail line from an urban development standpoint.

Cypress & Victory Lakes (I'm unsure about the name of the second one), but I pass by it sometimes. The Cypress one is larger and has store fronts with apartments above. The 45 south one has retail stores. Of course, these are two exceptions, as I know the spring and sawdust ones are by apartments but not developed the same way.

But I agree, we need transit, and there's not time like the present.

Edited by Montrose1100
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Cypress & Victory Lakes (I'm unsure about the name of the second one), but I pass by it sometimes. The Cypress one is larger and has store fronts with apartments above. The 45 south one has retail stores. Of course, these are two exceptions, as I know the spring and sawdust ones are by apartments but not developed the same way.

But I agree, we need transit, and there's not time like the present.

You know, I was just thinking of the Cypress P&R the other day, and it finally dawned on me that it's a true mixed-use "residential on-top, retail on-bottom" wet dream we have here, but it's not as successful as other projects near the core. I've always wondered why this is. It has quite a few staples that have been there for years, but there's still a decent sized plot of land that has gone undeveloped for quite awhile. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the recession; that area of Cypress is finally starting to pick itself out this stagnated period it's been in for awhile.

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Neither Park-and-Rides nor commuter rail are about mixed-use near the stations.  That's not their purpose.  They're to get suburban commuters into the jobs in the city.  There are vast swaths of land around the existing light rail stops in the core if developers want to build dense mixed-use communities.  I'm not saying the P&R HOV system is perfect, but a lot fewer dollars could make substantial improvements to it vs. a mega multi-billion dollar commuter rail system.  If there are too many buses on Travis, then distribute the bus routes better on the downtown grid, or transfer passengers to the light rail, or create a new circulator system - any of which is still vastly cheaper than commuter rail (which would also require circulator transfers for the last mile, as the article points out).

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Neither Park-and-Rides nor commuter rail are about mixed-use near the stations. That's not their purpose. They're to get suburban commuters into the jobs in the city.

While it is not their purpose, and as sparse as our metro is, it is nice to have one or two.

Having denser developments by these "stations" serves a purpose. Cheaper rent for people who want walkability and can easily hop onto the bus or future rail that work in town. Walking to a park and ride or a rail station eliminates one less vehicle on the road. Two birds with one stone. Our city will never be urban like New York through and through. But we will have pockets, even in the far suburbs as we are already seeing.

I don't think that having the park and ride like Cypress is a bad thing. It wouldn't be any different than say having a commuter station close to the waterway in the Woodlands.

Edit: Also ample parking should (and is), available for those who live not within walking distance. That I agree with you on.

Edited by Montrose1100

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Oh, I don't have a problem with mixed use near P&R stations.  That's great if the market demands it.  But I don't think that's a criteria for judging a system, since I think most of the people that would want to live in dense mixed-use would pick something along the light rail in the core rather than a remote suburban P&R.  But to the extent it's happening, great!

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Commuter rail is very expensive he said between 2 to 4 billon dollars.  But we have start doing something now or Houston's economy will falter.  Can you imagine traveling on the freeways with another 5 million residents here!  I'm watching the news right now and the major freeways takes 45 minutes to over an hour to get into downtown Houston.    

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Which ones? I'm not familiar with everything in the city.. Do the developments front the park and rides or turn their backs to them? It's all good.. I'm just saying, billions of dollars of developments happened to be built along our rail lines and living in these transit friendly locations in the inner city has never been more popular.. Sure you can attribute some of that development to other factors, but there's no denying the appeal of being located near a rail line from an urban development standpoint.

 

So, you told us that these rail lines (and remember, we are talking here about commuter rail lines) spawn all this commercial development, such as high rises and mixed use developments.  Where are the examples of what you are speaking of? 

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Freight traffic is already crowded enough with the booming port industry and will only get more crowded as the Panama Canal expansion brings more shipments to the area. Unfortunagely we can't use freight lines for heavy rail.. Not unless we build new tracks along side the existing ROW, which can be tricky with all the existing infrastructure and what not.

I dont think all of our potential passenger rail lines would be able to support heavy rail.. Obviously select routes on the north and west sides would be the most likely to sustain it.

What corridors do yall think heavy rail could be feasible..?

I think any sort of large rail circulator is a bad idea. 610 is 38 miles long (beltway is 83 mi, Grand Parkway is supposed to be 200 or so miles long when all is said and done), and not all sides of the loop have traffic problems or destinations/populations that warrant rail.

I do however think BRT is a great solution to the circulators/"hubs" for linking "spoke" rail lines.

I wish this city would plan ahead with transit/development a little better and be more proactive with getting mass transit built when and where we need it. Ok, starting to sound a little like that unspeakable Z word.. I better be careful what I wish for. Heh

For real though.. Why can't they do things like implement additional ROW along side the planned Hardy downtown connector for a future commuter/heavy(?) rail line from downtown going to the north? And too bad they had to tear up the MKT rail line when expanding i10.

 

Your right Kanas City and Union Pacific railroad companies are building two more freight lines.  Getting prepared when the Panama Canal is completed.  They do not want to share it with commuter rail.  We need to build another line next to them.  Houston is the third largest freight line in the country. 

 

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Houston Tomorrow's proposal is interesting, but... a few thoughts: 

 

1.  Is it really even physically feasible to run commuter rail lines to Uptown, Greenway Plaza and the Medical Center? They are talking about running these trains on existing freight rail corridors.  Are there freight rail lines serving Uptown or the Medical Center?

 

2.  While it may be true that the largest concentration of employment centers will remain around and inside the 610 Loop, that raises the point that we simply do not have one concentrated employment center easily served by a hub and spoke commuter rail system like so many of the so-called world class cities to whom we are being compared.  Even the concentration of employment along and inside Loop 610 is broken up into 4+ areas, each of which would require its own commuter rail station (according to their plan). Further, I believe it's true that the vast majority of employment growth, is expected to occur outside of the Loop 610 area.

 

3.  They speak of commuter rail serving communities 50-100 miles from the city center.  For those worried about sprawl, this should be your worst nightmare.

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Forget buses. They should just add Gondola lifts all through the city above existing ROWs. Cheap, other cities are starting to do it, and we can relive our childhood Astroworld dreams.

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I do not want to proclaim anything without facts, but I believe the long term costs of rail, associated with ticket fare & usage, outweighs the same for buses per mile.

 

That is not necessarily true.  In some cases it is, but it really depends.  I've done some digging and looked at the National Transit Database operating ratios for the US's transit system on an operating cost per mile and per passenger basis.  Here's what I found: 

 

Houston's commuter bus mode is actually one of the best commuter systems I've seen, including both commuter rail and bus systems.  Look at these operating cost numbers - 

 

Houston METRO commuter bus    $0.33/pass mile,              $6.05/pass trip

 

This is really low and here's what it is compared to commuter rail systems that would probably be similar to what METRO is trying to build: 

 

Los Angeles commuter rail            $0.41/pass mile,              $14.08/pass trip

Dallas commuter rail                       $0.67/pass mile,              $12.89/pass trip

DC commuter rail (VRE)                  $0.41/pass mile,              $13.34/pass trip

 

However there are bus commuter systems that are just as bad, for example Austin's: 

 

Austin commuter bus                     $0.79/pass mile,              $12.04/pass trip

 

So for commuter systems, most are about the same cost and there really isn't that much difference in cost per passenger mile (except in Houston's case where it is really low, so congrats METRO, lol). 

 

All of that being said, rail is much more cost effective on a per mile and per passenger basis for local systems within the city.  Heavy rail (think NYC subway) is especially cheaper to operate than buses.  

 

Houston local bus                           $0.98/pass mile,              $5.02/pass trip

Houston light rail                             $0.69/pass mile,              $1.62/pass trip 

 

DC local bus                                     $1.37/pass mile,              $6.98/pass trip

DC heavy rail                                    $0.59/pass mile,              $3.32/pass trip

 

LA local bus                                     $0.65/pass mile,              $2.66/pass trip

LA light rail                                       $0.58/pass mile,              $3.69/pass trip

LA heavy rail                                    $0.49/pass mile,              $2.36/pass trip

 

Atlanta local bus                              $0.96/pass mile,              $3.69/pass trip

Atlanta heavy rail                             $0.47/pass mile,              $2.99/pass trip

 

The piecemeal commuter rail service most people propose around here is probably more like the TRE, VRE, or Los Angeles's commuter rail system.  If that is what is being proposed, I say just stick with the P&R buses, we've already sunk in over a billion dollars in the infrastructure and operating wise it's really cheap. 

 

I am in favor of a heavy rail system in Houston though.  It carries infinitely more riders than buses or even light rail, much cheaper to operate in the long run that either of those modes, and is much faster and more reliable.  Unfortunately, heavy rail hasn't been proposed in Houston since the early 1980s, and it's a shame, because that is easily the best form of public transportation out there.  It can act as a commuter system too like it does in DC and Atlanta.  

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Houston Tomorrow's proposal is interesting, but... a few thoughts:

1. Is it really even physically feasible to run commuter rail lines to Uptown, Greenway Plaza and the Medical Center? They are talking about running these trains on existing freight rail corridors. Are there freight rail lines serving Uptown or the Medical Center?

2. While it may be true that the largest concentration of employment centers will remain around and inside the 610 Loop, that raises the point that we simply do not have one concentrated employment center easily served by a hub and spoke commuter rail system like so many of the so-called world class cities to whom we are being compared. Even the concentration of employment along and inside Loop 610 is broken up into 4+ areas, each of which would require its own commuter rail station (according to their plan). Further, I believe it's true that the vast majority of employment growth, is expected to occur outside of the Loop 610 area.

3. They speak of commuter rail serving communities 50-100 miles from the city center. For those worried about sprawl, this should be your worst nightmare.

1. Good question

2. If you look at most commuter rail systems, like London or NYC, They have multiple employment centers as well, we are not special or unique.

3. Some people already do. After the grand parkway get completed, there will be more and more neighborhoods and more and more sprawl. There is nothing stoping us. Now imagine all the sprawl clogging our freeway system. That is my worst nightmare.

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Believe or not Houston metropolitan has the same population as Singapore there population is 5,567,000.  They have a Sengkang District Circulator which discharged 1,000 people at a time.  Houston will need this in the future.

.

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Believe or not Houston metropolitan has the same population as Singapore there population is 5,567,000.  They have a Sengkang District Circulator which discharged 1,000 people at a time.  Houston will need this in the future.

.

 

Believe it or not, the Houston metropolitan population is a good deal larger than Singapore.  (Houston's metro population is 6.5 Million.)

 

Where do you anticipate we would possibly need a circulator that would discharge 1,000 people at a time?

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1. Good question

2. If you look at most commuter rail systems, like London or NYC, They have multiple employment centers as well, we are not special or unique.

3. Some people already do. After the grand parkway get completed, there will be more and more neighborhoods and more and more sprawl. There is nothing stoping us. Now imagine all the sprawl clogging our freeway system. That is my worst nightmare.

 

2.  What are the multiple employment centers served by the commuter rail system in NYC to which you are referring?

 

Some New York commuter trains may stop at secondary and tertiary employment centers on the way, but their raison d'etre is to serve THE concentrated employment center of Manhattan.  Commuter trains make one stop in Manhattan - either at Penn Station or at Grand Central Station.  From there, commuters use buses and subways to circulate within the Manhattan employment center (something around 1.6 MILLION workers).  We simply do not have that kind of concentrated employment center; and in the future will probably have even less concentration, relatively speaking.  Even if you combine the total employment of the Loop 610 employment centers and pretend they are one concentrated center, we have well under 1/2 of that number.  And of course, Houston Tomorrow does not propose to treat them as one.  They would apparently have commuter trains either making four stops (Uptown, Greenway Plaza, Texas Medical Center, and Downtown or have separate trains from all points of the compass running to the four separate employment centers...  

 

I"m not necessarily opposed to the concept, but we should dispense with the fantasy that we will ever have multiple daily trains dispensing 1,000 or more passengers into Greenway Plaza or Uptown, or even Downtown.   Houston Tomorrow is trying to paste a 19th century, NYC/Chicago/London system on to a late-20th century city.

 

We would be likely to have something more like LA's Metrolink system, which averages about 42,000 riders a day (21,000 people) on 165 daily trains, and that's in a city with a greater concentration of jobs in one central area than we have (400,000 workers in the downtown area vs our 160,000'ish).  LA's Union Station averages 12,500 weekday boardings -- NYC's Penn Station handles something 600,000 commuter boardings per day.

 

 

Edited by Houston19514
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I'm tired of people comparing manhattan to downtown Houston..

you do realize Manhattan is 33.77 square miles, right? thats almost 19 times the size of downtown Houston. or 1/3rd the size of the inner loop. at 13.4 miles long, and a few miles wide, if you turned manhattan on its side and imposed it over a map of Houston, it would stretch from Downtown, all the way to Eldridge on the west side. that basically encompasses the entire districts of Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, River Oaks, Upper Kirby, Greenway Plaza, Uptown, Memorial City, Westchase, CityCentre, and Briar Forest.

its no "Manhattan", but thats a pretty damn impressive collection of development/employment centers for a sprawling city without zoning. if commuter trains traveling to Manhattan can get by with only having 2 main transfer hubs/stops, then why can't that same area of Houston get by with 2 transfer hubs/commuter stops that distribute riders to the local employment/population centers?

i don't think anyone here expects a regional rail system in Houston to be as successful as NYCs rail system. if you do, you're crazy.. NYC is 4 times as populated as Houston, while being half the size, and blows all other U.S. rail systems out of the water. but that doesn't mean that we can't/shouldnt build a regional rail system. without alternate forms of mass transit to get places efficiently, and traffic turning into grid-lock, businesses/people will start looking in places elsewhere to relocate their families and corporations.

if we as a city want to continue to thrive, we cant let the things that make Houston attractive disappear.

Edited by cloud713
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Many times the Manhattan/Houston comparison has come up on this forum, and seems similar in size to the inner loop area. And Manhattan has multiple centers (downtown, midtown) that do have their own transfer stations. But if you're going elsewhere you do transfer to local transit. I suspect that for Houston, commuter rail would stop at the galleria and at downtown, with transfers to the med center via light rail (or heavy rail if they could ever happen >.< )

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I'm tired of people comparing manhattan to downtown Houston..

you do realize Manhattan is 33.77 square miles, right? thats almost 19 times the size of downtown Houston. or 1/3rd the size of the inner loop. at 13.4 miles long, and a few miles wide, if you turned manhattan on its side and imposed it over a map of Houston, it would stretch from Downtown, all the way to Eldridge on the west side. that basically encompasses the entire districts of Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, River Oaks, Upper Kirby, Greenway Plaza, Uptown, Memorial City, Westchase, CityCentre, and Briar Forest.

its no "Manhattan", but thats a pretty damn impressive collection of development/employment centers for a sprawling city without zoning. if commuter trains traveling to Manhattan can get by with only having 2 main transfer hubs/stops, then why can't that same area of Houston get by with 2 transfer hubs/commuter stops that distribute riders to the local employment/population centers?

i don't think anyone here expects a regional rail system in Houston to be as successful as NYCs rail system. if you do, you're crazy.. NYC is 4 times as populated as Houston, while being half the size, and blows all other U.S. rail systems out of the water. but that doesn't mean that we can't/shouldnt build a regional rail system. without alternate forms of mass transit to get places efficiently, and traffic turning into grid-lock, businesses/people will start looking in places elsewhere to relocate their families and corporations.

if we as a city want to continue to thrive, we cant let the things that make Houston attractive disappear.

Why so angry? I was just saying that Houston isn't special for having multiple employment centers, as if it were some extreme unique challenge for us to build a rail system.

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Believe it or not, the Houston metropolitan population is a good deal larger than Singapore.  (Houston's metro population is 6.5 Million.)

 

Where do you anticipate we would possibly need a circulator that would discharge 1,000 people at a time?

 

Yes your right we may be close to 6.6 million.  Singapore has 290 square miles very dense.  They use there heavy rail system and connect to there Senkang Circulator.  Because these commuters to get to their final destination. J. Sam Lott said Paris building right now.  They look like the tram system at Bush airport.     

 

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Why so angry? I was just saying that Houston isn't special for having multiple employment centers, as if it were some extreme unique challenge for us to build a rail system.

huh? i wasn't angry.. just saying its ridiculous when people try to compare Manhattan to downtown Houston.. and that post was directed at Houston19514 anyways?

i completely agree.. multiple employment districts aren't something unique to Houston. we can do this.

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I'm tired of people comparing manhattan to downtown Houston..

you do realize Manhattan is 33.77 square miles, right? thats almost 19 times the size of downtown Houston. or 1/3rd the size of the inner loop. at 13.4 miles long, and a few miles wide, if you turned manhattan on its side and imposed it over a map of Houston, it would stretch from Downtown, all the way to Eldridge on the west side. that basically encompasses the entire districts of Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, River Oaks, Upper Kirby, Greenway Plaza, Uptown, Memorial City, Westchase, CityCentre, and Briar Forest.

its no "Manhattan", but thats a pretty damn impressive collection of development/employment centers for a sprawling city without zoning. if commuter trains traveling to Manhattan can get by with only having 2 main transfer hubs/stops, then why can't that same area of Houston get by with 2 transfer hubs/commuter stops that distribute riders to the local employment/population centers?

i don't think anyone here expects a regional rail system in Houston to be as successful as NYCs rail system. if you do, you're crazy.. NYC is 4 times as populated as Houston, while being half the size, and blows all other U.S. rail systems out of the water. but that doesn't mean that we can't/shouldnt build a regional rail system. without alternate forms of mass transit to get places efficiently, and traffic turning into grid-lock, businesses/people will start looking in places elsewhere to relocate their families and corporations.

if we as a city want to continue to thrive, we cant let the things that make Houston attractive disappear.

 

Maybe you should direct your response to Houston Tomorrow.  They are the ones who posited the comparison to NYC and suggested we could have trains depositing 1,000 passengers at a time at multiple destinations in Central Houston.  In fact, my post was all about the fact that Houston is not comparable to NYC and it is fantasy to think otherwise (I guess you prefer the term "crazy"...).

 

Your idea of having 2 main transfer hubs/stops from which commuters are circulated to the central Houston employment centers is an interesting one.  But of course, that is not what Houston Tomorrow proposed and is not what my post was critiquing/questioning. 

 

Contrary to your implication, I did not in any way say we should never have a regional rail system.  But as always, we need to look at these things with clear eyes.  Spending $X for the promise of a commuter rail system like NYC's (as was proposed by Houston Tomorrow) is not something we should even consider.  Spending $X - Y (with Y being quite large) for some commuter rail appropriate for Houston is something we should consider.

 

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If I'm reading my Googles correctly, the Katy Freeway re-do ended up costing $2.8 billion, 290 is in the $1.8 - $2 billion range. 

 

So remind me again about how the cost of rail can't be justified...

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If I'm reading my Googles correctly, the Katy Freeway re-do ended up costing $2.8 billion, 290 is in the $1.8 - $2 billion range.

So remind me again about how the cost of rail can't be justified...

Uhhh I'm almost postive the Katy freeway was more like $6 billion, and a recent article on the chron (shut up I'm citing it anyway, haters) lists the 290 project at $4 billion.

Your point still stands.

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If I'm reading my Googles correctly, the Katy Freeway re-do ended up costing $2.8 billion, 290 is in the $1.8 - $2 billion range.

So remind me again about how the cost of rail can't be justified...

Who said the cost of rail can't be justified?

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This is not "Houston Tomorrow" idea. J. Sam Lott is vice president of Kimley-Horn.  He did a slide show of Houston's Impending Transportation Crisis.  He has a great idea I have not seen anyone with anything better.

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This is not "Houston Tomorrow" idea. J. Sam Lott is vice president of Kimley-Horn.  He did a slide show of Houston's Impending Transportation Crisis.  He has a great idea I have not seen anyone with anything better.

 

I've got one.  Heavy rail technology like what was proposed in 1983, running in a subway under Westheimer from Beltway 8 to downtown, turning north and becoming elevated north of downtown to IAH. 

 

Another line running from Hobby to downtown serving UH, with a transfer point to the other line downtown and continuing out along Washington Ave and eventually joining I10 and running out I10 to Beltway 8.  

 

Finally, a third line running from along 290 south towards the Galleria area, branching off the freeway at Post Oak and running under post oak, under 59 and back down 610 all the way down to South Post Oak/Main. 

 

To connect TMC, have a line from Sugar Land running up Main (with a connection to the Galleria Line at South Post Oak) and continuing to run up Main until NRG, from there take roughly the current Red Line path to the TMC, passing through the museum district and connecting with the 59-IAH line in downtown. 

 

In this system, riders from Katy can go directly downtown, and are 1 transfer away from the Galleria or TMC. 

 

Riders from Sugar Land can go straight to TMC/Downtown and are one transfer away from Galleria. 

 

Riders from north Houston can go straight downtown and Galleria, and connect to TMC via one transfer.  

 

In addition, you could run it like the WMATA in that there can be rush service serving different destinations to eliminate transfers. 

 

Cost of this proposed system if built today: probably between $20-30 billion.  So, yea, while this would never happen, it had a chance of happening had the 1983 proposal went through. 

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Not to mention all the development rail spawns.. I don't see any residential towers or mixed use developments popping up at any of the park & rides..

 

The park and ride system has two end points for possible development. The park point and the point where passengers exit the bus and walk to their destination. You're right, perhaps the park point of the system has not been a stimulus for growth but the passenger exist point has been. Look at all the development in downtown along the park and ride bus stops.

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When did the park and ride services start?  It would seem more logical that the park and ride end points in downtown were chosen by the area's development, not the other way around.

 

I am curious though why you don't see more development around the parking portion of park and rides.  Wouldn't car washes, Starbucks, grocery stores, etc make sense there for people on their way home?

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 It would seem more logical that the park and ride end points in downtown were chosen by the area's development, not the other way around.

 

If that is your position about the park ride development end points, then would you also take the same position regarding Cloud713's claim about "all the development rail spawns". I'm assuming he's talking about light rail in Downtown.

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If that is your position about the park ride development end points, then would you also take the same position regarding Cloud713's claim about "all the development rail spawns". I'm assuming he's talking about light rail in Downtown.

I believe he's talking about the development along all of the light rail lines. The new ones haven't seen as much success yet because, well, they're new.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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If I'm reading my Googles correctly, the Katy Freeway re-do ended up costing $2.8 billion, 290 is in the $1.8 - $2 billion range. 

 

So remind me again about how the cost of rail can't be justified...

 

On top of that, factor in the cost of owning our own personal vehicles, gas, insurance, repairs/maintenance, traffic citations, tolls, parking, etc...plus all the time we waste sitting in traffic.

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I've got one.  Heavy rail technology like what was proposed in 1983, running in a subway under Westheimer from Beltway 8 to downtown, turning north and becoming elevated north of downtown to IAH. 

 

Another line running from Hobby to downtown serving UH, with a transfer point to the other line downtown and continuing out along Washington Ave and eventually joining I10 and running out I10 to Beltway 8.  

 

Finally, a third line running from along 290 south towards the Galleria area, branching off the freeway at Post Oak and running under post oak, under 59 and back down 610 all the way down to South Post Oak/Main. 

 

To connect TMC, have a line from Sugar Land running up Main (with a connection to the Galleria Line at South Post Oak) and continuing to run up Main until NRG, from there take roughly the current Red Line path to the TMC, passing through the museum district and connecting with the 59-IAH line in downtown. 

 

In this system, riders from Katy can go directly downtown, and are 1 transfer away from the Galleria or TMC. 

 

Riders from Sugar Land can go straight to TMC/Downtown and are one transfer away from Galleria. 

 

Riders from north Houston can go straight downtown and Galleria, and connect to TMC via one transfer.  

 

In addition, you could run it like the WMATA in that there can be rush service serving different destinations to eliminate transfers. 

 

Cost of this proposed system if built today: probably between $20-30 billion.  So, yea, while this would never happen, it had a chance of happening had the 1983 proposal went through. 

 

I love this you need to come to the meeting!

 

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On top of that, factor in the cost of owning our own personal vehicles, gas, insurance, repairs/maintenance, traffic citations, tolls, parking, etc...plus all the time we waste sitting in traffic.

Speak for yourself, I'm a model citizen!

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Speak for yourself, I'm a model citizen!

 

Haha.....me too (or at least I try as hard as possible), but many "model citizens" have been issued traffic citations for things (mainly money, but it's also "easy" revenue) that have nothing to do with the reason(s) why they exist (safety) in the first place.

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Believe or not Houston metropolitan has the same population as Singapore there population is 5,567,000.  They have a Sengkang District Circulator which discharged 1,000 people at a time.  Houston will need this in the future.

.

 

Singapore has a density of 19k per square mile vs Houston's density of about 3,500 per square mile.  That makes a huge difference in what is practical for mass transit.

 

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I've got one.  Heavy rail technology like what was proposed in 1983, running in a subway under Westheimer from Beltway 8 to downtown, turning north and becoming elevated north of downtown to IAH. 

 

Another line running from Hobby to downtown serving UH, with a transfer point to the other line downtown and continuing out along Washington Ave and eventually joining I10 and running out I10 to Beltway 8.  

 

Finally, a third line running from along 290 south towards the Galleria area, branching off the freeway at Post Oak and running under post oak, under 59 and back down 610 all the way down to South Post Oak/Main. 

 

To connect TMC, have a line from Sugar Land running up Main (with a connection to the Galleria Line at South Post Oak) and continuing to run up Main until NRG, from there take roughly the current Red Line path to the TMC, passing through the museum district and connecting with the 59-IAH line in downtown. 

 

In this system, riders from Katy can go directly downtown, and are 1 transfer away from the Galleria or TMC. 

 

Riders from Sugar Land can go straight to TMC/Downtown and are one transfer away from Galleria. 

 

Riders from north Houston can go straight downtown and Galleria, and connect to TMC via one transfer.  

 

In addition, you could run it like the WMATA in that there can be rush service serving different destinations to eliminate transfers. 

 

Cost of this proposed system if built today: probably between $20-30 billion.  So, yea, while this would never happen, it had a chance of happening had the 1983 proposal went through. 

 

Exactly. I call bullflurf on people who say we can't have a subway because of the water table or flooding, etc. We have freeways below grade. And we live in the city that invented fracking. Do you mean to tell me that there is no engineering talent in this city that can figure out how to drill a (cost effective) horizontal tunnel and then make it waterproof? They should take advantage of the low oil prices and snag some of that equipment.

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