yaga

Metro Next - 2040 Vision

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yaga    23
Posted (edited)

Metro unveiled their Preliminary Long Term Vision for Projects through 2040 on Thursday July, 2018 at the MetroNext Board Workshop. 

 

Perliminary Long Term Vision (discussed at the 17:30 mark) - Pretty much a pipe dream and estimated to Cost $35 Billion

- 100 miles of Light Rail (to both IAH and Hobby, Inner Katy Line to High Speed Rail Station at Northwest Mall)

- 90 Miles of BRT 

 

Forward Plan A (discussed at the 1:03:00 mark) is the more optimistic plan with the Metro receiving higher funding levels

- 12 miles of Light Rail (Red & Purple Extensions to Hobby; Red line extension to Tidwell)

- 34 miles of BRT (University Line, Inner Katy, Uptown Extension)

 

Forward Plan B (discussed at the 1:22:00 mark) is the pessimistic plan with Metro receiving lower funding levels

 - 1 mile of Light Rail (Red line extension to Tidwell)

 - 11 miles of BRT (Inner Katy, Uptown Extension)

 

 

Video

http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1651

 

 

 

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Edited by yaga

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cspwal    2,140
17 hours ago, yaga said:

Forward Plan A (discussed at the 1:03:00 mark) is the more optimistic plan with the Metro receiving higher funding levels

- 12 miles of Light Rail (Red & Purple Extensions to Hobby; Red line extension to Tidwell)

- 34 miles of BRT (University Line, Inner Katy, Uptown Extension)

 Rail to Hobby? We need to make this happen

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mfastx    469

I like the idea of connecting the airports by rail, but I am a little disappointed at how much light rail they're proposing in what they call "dense" areas.  The actual "dense" areas have no rail going to them at all (basically the entire west side of Houston).  For the one rail line going towards the west side, having it in the middle of I-10 will also limit ridership.  

 

But BRT can work as well so hopefully something gets done on the west side.  I just think it's backwards, BRT is better served on the east side areas with fewer population. 

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Angostura    518

Sorry, Metro, but density is upstream of transit, and density is out of your control. 

 

Maybe lobby CoH to eliminate parking minimums and building setbacks, reduce RoW widths, encourage road diets, and tax surface parking. Then build light rail where density can make it viable. At current per-mile costs, it's important to reduce the number of miles by only serving areas of sufficient density.

 

 

(Also, a 20-mph light rail line to IAH strikes me as an especially dumb way to provide this service.)

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cspwal    2,140

The thinking is probably that building out BRT will be less disruptive in the dense areas, and once it's built they could slowly convert some to rail lines as ridership demands.

 

Hopefully a light rail to IAH would have a higher average speed - but that would require many fewer stops on the extension line, as well as grade separation to get it up to 66 mph safely

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LBC2HTX    85
Posted (edited)

Light rail to IAH doesn't make any sense. What are they going to do, extend the rail up Airline (which isn't at all dense) all the way through Greenspoint? While that MIGHT benefit the low-income neighborhoods in that path, it doesn't make any sense to anyone trying to get to IAH... too many stops and not fast enough. 

 

If they want to do it right, they should either

1) no additional stops after the planned tidwell extension, and send the train up the Hardy Toll Road ROW at higher speeds; or

2) since they are extending Hardy TR to downtown, create a new commuter rail along the ROW with a straight shot to IAH with 2 or 3 stops along the way. If needed, put in a new light rail line taking you to the commuter terminus. 

 

Additionally, is there no mention in their plan to push forward with the Blue/Gold lines? Are these "visions" in addition to those?

Edited by LBC2HTX

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Houston19514    2,458
Posted (edited)

The map clearly shows the red-line extension following I-45 and shows stations at the new Tidwell Transit Center, Shepherd, and Greenspoint.  But there is not much point spending time discussing the routing, station placement or theoretical speed at which light rail trains would run on their way to Bush Airport.  There is very little likelihood of a scenario unfolding that would provide light rail to Bush Airport in this planning period (through 2040).

Edited by Houston19514

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LBC2HTX    85
2 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

There is not much point spending time discussing the theoretical speed at which light rail trains would run on their way to Bush Airport.  There is very little likelihood of a scenario unfolding that would provide light rail to Bush Airport in this planning period (through 2040).

Which is exactly why they should've at least expended their visionary efforts on rail lines that actually makes $s and sense. 

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Houston19514    2,458
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, LBC2HTX said:

Which is exactly why they should've at least expended their visionary efforts on rail lines that actually makes $s and sense. 

 

Maybe you should watch the board meeting video so you can understand the process. (The focus going forward is on the "Moving Forward" plans; neither of which includes light rail to Bush Airport.)

Edited by Houston19514

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cspwal    2,140
Posted (edited)

They also are planning a "signature express bus" from downtown to IAH via Greenspoint.

 

Digging deeper into the handouts from the meeting, the numbers for the University line corridor and the Inner Katy corridor are impressive; 59,500 predicted daily boardings on the university line and 28,650 predicted daily boardings on the inner Katy line.  The university corridor really should be train, not BRT - those BRT buses will be packed if they get anywhere near those numbers.

 

http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1651&meta_id=37660

Edited by cspwal

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Houston19514    2,458
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, cspwal said:

They also are planning a "signature express bus" from downtown to IAH via Greenspoint.

 

Digging deeper into the handouts from the meeting, the numbers for the University line corridor and the Inner Katy corridor are impressive; 59,500 predicted daily boardings on the university line and 28,650 predicted daily boardings on the inner Katy line.  The university corridor really should be train, not BRT - those BRT buses will be packed if they get anywhere near those numbers.

 

http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1651&meta_id=37660

 

That is a pretty impressive forecast.  The route is also 22 miles long with 34 stations.  Keep in mind, riders won't be on the bus for the whole 22 miles, or anything close to it.  I expect there will be room on the buses.

 

I like the plan for signature bus service to Bush Airport, but it should stop at the Tidwell Transit Center (thereby connecting to the Red Line) and the other bus lines that meet at the Transit Center) instead of the random stop at Shepherd.

Edited by Houston19514

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samagon    2,204
On 8/1/2018 at 8:27 AM, mfastx said:

I like the idea of connecting the airports by rail, but I am a little disappointed at how much light rail they're proposing in what they call "dense" areas.  The actual "dense" areas have no rail going to them at all (basically the entire west side of Houston).  For the one rail line going towards the west side, having it in the middle of I-10 will also limit ridership.  

 

But BRT can work as well so hopefully something gets done on the west side.  I just think it's backwards, BRT is better served on the east side areas with fewer population. 

 

There are certain political entities that will do everything in their power to keep rail out of the west side of town.

 

If you want rail, move east.

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cspwal    2,140

Just did some scribbling on a map.  I estimate the one-way time between Hobby and downtown on the Redline will be about 45 minutes; the current ride is 33 minutes to get to Fannin South, and the 9 miles of new Redline will probably take about as long as riding the purple line to the end.  This isn't too bad, though it is slower than driving, which is only 30 minutes if you're in the HOV lane or there's no traffic.

 

What's more interesting is how they will leave Palm Center TC - the maps they drew imply that the purple line will continue down MLK, which would mean having to turn around and back out of Palm Center to leave.  The alternative is to build a large amount of elevated rail over Long Drive/Griggs/Myawaka, which is currently a mess of train tracks and roads.

 

It will be interesting to see how they have the University line interact with the existing light rail stations - will they have new platforms for the BRT guide way?  Or will the guide way guide it onto the tracks and the bus will pull up to the current light rail platforms?

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Houston19514    2,458
17 hours ago, cspwal said:

Just did some scribbling on a map.  I estimate the one-way time between Hobby and downtown on the Redline will be about 45 minutes; the current ride is 33 minutes to get to Fannin South, and the 9 miles of new Redline will probably take about as long as riding the purple line to the end.  This isn't too bad, though it is slower than driving, which is only 30 minutes if you're in the HOV lane or there's no traffic.

 

What's more interesting is how they will leave Palm Center TC - the maps they drew imply that the purple line will continue down MLK, which would mean having to turn around and back out of Palm Center to leave.  The alternative is to build a large amount of elevated rail over Long Drive/Griggs/Myawaka, which is currently a mess of train tracks and roads.

 

It will be interesting to see how they have the University line interact with the existing light rail stations - will they have new platforms for the BRT guide way?  Or will the guide way guide it onto the tracks and the bus will pull up to the current light rail platforms?

 

Unfortunately, unless they build and operate the Red Line extension differently, 45 minutes seems pretty optimistic.  33 minutes to travel 6 miles and then 12 minutes to travel 9 miles?

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pablog    129
26 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Unfortunately, unless they build and operate the Red Line extension differently, 45 minutes seems pretty optimistic.  33 minutes to travel 6 miles and then 12 minutes to travel 9 miles?

That’s how it is in Seattle. The light rail they have there goes from the airport to downtown, and the train goes through a long stretch alongside the freeway very quickly, but once you get close to downtown, it has more stations and it slows down considerably even though it is a lot shorter distance wise. 

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Houston19514    2,458
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, pablog said:

That’s how it is in Seattle. The light rail they have there goes from the airport to downtown, and the train goes through a long stretch alongside the freeway very quickly, but once you get close to downtown, it has more stations and it slows down considerably even though it is a lot shorter distance wise. 

 

But this line is not planned to run alongside a freeway. I suspect it will have fewer stops per mile, but still, 12 minutes seems ambitious.  I hope it's feasible.

Edited by Houston19514

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cspwal    2,140

The planned route is along Bellfort; between Fannin South and Sunnyside park I guessed that there wouldn't be any stops (there would have to be a minimum of 2 overpasses, so I could see it being much more grade separated than typical.  That lops 2 miles off the route, leaving 7 miles of line similar to the purple line in length and road network density. 

 

The purple line's end to end time is 27 minutes to go 6.6 miles, with 8 stops between Theater District and Palm Center.  That's averaging 14.7 mph with 1.2 stops/mi.

 

The green line's end to end time is 21 minutes to go 4.3 miles, with 7 stops between Theater District and Magnolia Park TC.  That's averaging 12.3 mph with 1.6 stops/mi.

 

The red line's current end to end time is 55 minutes to go 12.8 miles, with 23 stops between Fannin South and Northline TC.  That's averaging 13.9 mph with 1.8 stops/mi.

 

The extension is planned to have 9 new stations; assuming one is a new Hobby station, that leaves 8 intervening stations to go through in that 7 miles of line (1.1 stops/mi).

 

So judging by this, the train will take about 27 minutes to go from Hobby to Sunnyside Park, and I would expect from there it would travel at 45 mph to Fannin South, which would only take about 3 minutes.

 

That means it will probably take 33 + 27 + 3 = 1 hour and 3 minutes to go from Downtown to Hobby.  That is much worse than I expected - maybe they can speed it up some going down Bellfort compared to the Purple line.  How fast do you all think it needs to go for it to be a reasonable alternative?

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102IAHexpress    117
56 minutes ago, cspwal said:

That means it will probably take 33 + 27 + 3 = 1 hour and 3 minutes to go from Downtown to Hobby.  That is much worse than I expected - maybe they can speed it up some going down Bellfort compared to the Purple line.  How fast do you all think it needs to go for it to be a reasonable alternative?

 

Metro's 40 Telephone Rd bus from downtown to Hobby is actually faster than a light rail extension costing hundreds of millions of dollars. lol.

 

https://www.ridemetro.org/MetroPDFs/Schedules/BusSchedules/n040-Telephone-Heights.pdf

 

 

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cspwal    2,140

Granted the extension isn't primarily for connecting downtown to the airport, it is funny that it wouldn't beat a local bus because of all the stops it's making

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102IAHexpress    117

Harris County should be grateful it has spent as little on light rail as it has and be done with future expansion. Instead, Metro should pour more money into maintaining and upgrading existing local/commuter bus routes. Cars are just too inexpensive and convenient for Houstonian's to give up for public transportation. Outside of the region investing 25 billion for a regional mag lev and or hyperloop, people are not going to start riding Metro in high enough numbers to justify the costs. 

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Houston19514    2,458
56 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Granted the extension isn't primarily for connecting downtown to the airport, it is funny that it wouldn't beat a local bus because of all the stops it's making

 

It seems the red line extension is not at all for connecting Hobby to downtown.  The purple line would be much more direct.  Maybe 35 minutes?

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cspwal    2,140
1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It seems the red line extension is not at all for connecting Hobby to downtown.  The purple line would be much more direct.  Maybe 35 minutes?

It takes 27 minutes to travel to the end of the purple line; double that to get to Hobby and it comes out around 54 minutes.  A little faster, but still pretty slow.

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Houston19514    2,458
8 minutes ago, cspwal said:

It takes 27 minutes to travel to the end of the purple line; double that to get to Hobby and it comes out around 54 minutes.  A little faster, but still pretty slow.

 

Why would the travel time double?  The purple line extension to Bellfort is only 2.5 miles with 4 stations.  Another mile to Hobby.

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cspwal    2,140

Oops forgot where the purple line would be hitting the red line 

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felt38    6

Is turning the red line to Hobby really the right thing to do? Why not extend further SW?  It seems like the Green line is the best candidate for extending to Hobby.  

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Nate99    6,336

Light rail to the airports seems a bad idea. Heavier rail, like NJT in Newark or BART in SFO works to some expensive extent where you have a dense destination, but taking an hour and a half tour of Acres Homes and Greenspoint to get to/from IAH is a joke. 

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j_cuevas713    1,251
13 hours ago, Nate99 said:

Light rail to the airports seems a bad idea. Heavier rail, like NJT in Newark or BART in SFO works to some expensive extent where you have a dense destination, but taking an hour and a half tour of Acres Homes and Greenspoint to get to/from IAH is a joke. 

It would take an hr and a half? I heard it would be less stops with right of way for the train.

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Nate99    6,336
16 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

It would take an hr and a half? I heard it would be less stops with right of way for the train.

 

Hopefully it would be faster, mine was just an uneducated guess based on how long it takes to get to NRG and how long the drive would be along the same route.  

Edited by Nate99

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Houston19514    2,458
On 9/16/2018 at 11:25 PM, felt38 said:

Is turning the red line to Hobby really the right thing to do? Why not extend further SW?  It seems like the Green line is the best candidate for extending to Hobby.  

 

The plan would also connect the purple line to Hobby. 

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felt38    6

Yes, isn't one of the three lines is enough?  Seems like overkill to have all three lines go to Hobby. 

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Houston19514    2,458
10 hours ago, felt38 said:

Yes, isn't one of the three lines is enough?  Seems like overkill to have all three lines go to Hobby. 

 

Yeah, probably would be overkill to have all three lines go to Hobby.  Of course, nobody has proposed such a thing.

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cspwal    2,140
52 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Yeah, probably would be overkill to have all three lines go to Hobby.  Of course, nobody has proposed such a thing.

I propose also creating 2 more lines that originate at Hobby

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felt38    6

Alright, stand corrected - two lines.....still think it's a bad idea to swing the red line over there...

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felt38    6
On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 3:55 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

Yeah, probably would be overkill to have all three lines go to Hobby.  Of course, nobody has proposed such a thing.

 

Slide 18 of the MetroNext plan shows them proposing just that.  However, I really doubt we will ever get anything like what they have in this plan.

 

And....looking at it further, I now can see having the red line go there so that TMC workers have a straight shot to Hobby, rather than going downtown and switch lines. But it would be good to show at least one of those three lines go elsewhere, IMO.

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pablog    129

So, Culberson just lost... so y’all think this will have an effect on rail in Houston?

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j_cuevas713    1,251
12 minutes ago, pablog said:

So, Culberson just lost... so y’all think this will have an effect on rail in Houston?

I was just about to ask the same thing!

 

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pablog    129
15 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I was just about to ask the same thing!

 

 

3 minutes ago, EllenOlenska said:

It's why I logged onto HAIF. 

 

We on the same page :D

 

literally was so excited when I saw the news

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Moderators    12

This is good newsfor rail fans with Culbertsong gone. Metro can proceed with the expansion of the light rail to the westside.It can only get better from now on.

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j_cuevas713    1,251
7 hours ago, Moderators said:

This is good newsfor rail fans with Culbertsong gone. Metro can proceed with the expansion of the light rail to the westside.It can only get better from now on.

What do yall think the timeline is for Metro to say something?

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ADCS    343
46 minutes ago, Luminare said:

From Swamplot today:

 

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/11/23/312741/metro-moves-to-the-next-phase-in-developing-a-regional-transit-plan/

 

Lets change that BRT to Lightrail! We have the government components in place. Time to upgrade that plan!

 

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw they were opening the plan up to discussion again.

 

And why settle there? Let's get heavy rail down Washington or Westheimer!

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45 minutes ago, Luminare said:

From Swamplot today:

 

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/11/23/312741/metro-moves-to-the-next-phase-in-developing-a-regional-transit-plan/

 

Lets change that BRT to Lightrail! We have the government components in place. Time to upgrade that plan!

 

That would be great news, but I just don't want to get my hopes up too much. 

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Luminare    1,570
Just now, CaptainJilliams said:

 

That would be great news, but I just don't want to get my hopes up too much. 

 

One of my mottos is: "Always aim high."

 

Actually another motto I live by kinda relates to your profile pic haha: "You will miss 100% of the shoots you don't attempt."

 

If we want these things then we must make it known.

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j_cuevas713    1,251
4 minutes ago, CaptainJilliams said:

 

That would be great news, but I just don't want to get my hopes up too much. 

I honestly think the issue has been the divided politics in the Loop. The people have already voted many times for better transit. Now that the county has become more blue, I think we have a better chance at getting what we've wanted. 

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Luminare    1,570
4 minutes ago, ADCS said:

 

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw they were opening the plan up to discussion again.

 

And why settle there? Let's get heavy rail down Washington or Westheimer!

 

I agree. However I kinda want METRO to focus on local transit. I really think we need to lure a different company or create a quasi private government partnership for Heavy Rail. Would be a good idea to wait till TCR activates the HSR. If its successful then rail will go bananas.

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3 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I honestly think the issue has been the divided politics in the Loop. The people have already voted many times for better transit. Now that the county has become more blue, I think we have a better chance at getting what we've wanted. 

 

That's very true. I guess the question is whether or not the Post Oak Blvd BRT could be converted to light rail at this point in time. Can the infrastructure being built currently support a change like that? I think this was discussed on another thread, but I don't know if we ever got a good answer.

 

As for a Richmond/Westheimer line, I believe either of those is in the realm of possibility in comparison to Post Oak.

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j_cuevas713    1,251
Just now, CaptainJilliams said:

 

That's very true. I guess the question is whether or not the Post Oak Blvd BRT could be converted to light rail at this point in time. Can the infrastructure being built currently support a change like that? I think this was discussed on another thread, but I don't know if we ever got a good answer.

 

As for a Richmond/Westheimer line, I believe either of those is in the realm of possibility in comparison to Post Oak.

BRT is a solid investment right now for the city. It’s cheaper and just as asthetically pleasing as light rail. There are a few success stories in SF and Chicago. I think the best option right now for Richmond is BRT. And we can focus our energy on getting the airports connected to light rail. 

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