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Metro Next - 2040 Vision

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On 11/24/2019 at 5:39 PM, Trae said:

 

Pretty much every city in America of Houston's caliber or higher (and quite a few lower) have been mainly looking at rail transit and expanding that, with BRT as a complement at best. Seattle recently converted their bus tunnel to rail. Los Angeles is looking to do the same with its Orange Line. The only sizable city which had a huge BRT plan was Nashville, but the voters there turned it down. With the high margin this referendum passed with, I bet Metro could have had some of these routes as rail (Inner Katy, University, Westheimer) and the voters still would have approved. It's clear Houstonians were hungry for something so Metro could have proposed a little more.

Metro def played it safe. I'd rather play it safe and for sure pass than tease an idea and it fails. 

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11 hours ago, Texasota said:

Also, what Metro proposed takes the entire existing system and improves it. All of it. Across the board. In some ways that's more ambitious than a few big flashy projects, and it is 100% necessary to get our overall transit system to anywhere near world-class. Copenhagen has a subway, but it also has a network of high-frequency buses that get their own lanes. Same with Barcelona. The only local rail Bordeaux has is three light rail lines. Buses don't have to be an embarrassment; they can provide a strong, independently useful foundation on which to build future projects as capacity needs grow.

 

I agree it improves the system but they low balled it at the end of the day. Those buses in Copenhagen are in addition to its 105-mile S-Train (light rail) and 23-mile Metro train (heavy rail subway). Barcelona's buses are in addition to its over 89 miles of rail, with more on the way (commuter, subway, and light rail).  Bordeaux is a small city, and it's metro isn't even larger than Austin. It's not a city Houston should be compared to.

 

Metro could have re-implemented the rail lines from the 2008 proposal and with the improved bus routes. Yeah it would have taken money, but it's at a time when Houstonians have become sick with traffic and driving, and now the city has much better urban offerings. It's almost a perfect storm. This was the same city that approved the heavy rail plan in the 80s before a mayor diverted the funds. I'm happy the system is improving, but hopefully there's a way to convert some of these BRT routes to LRT (like they were originally) because it'll be decades before they eventually make the switch.

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Don't get me a wrong: I would love to see a referendum next year converting the University line to rail (before it's built), building the 90 and 290 commuter lines (but as true regional rail), regional lines along Hardy and 45 S to Galveston, and a serious proposal for rail into the Heights and Montrose (probably 3-4 lines, though a N-S cross-neighborhood line would actually be pretty useful - maybe it could even swoop down through the Village and into the medical center.)

 

I agree that below a certain size it makes no sense to use another city for comparison, but I think mid-size cities are absolutely fair game. I personally view that Houston as functionally a mid-size city with big city suburbs. I do think we need to stop relying on American cities and start looking at cities in other countries that actually have functioning transit. Many of which manage to take buses and make them work as real transit, regardless of whether that's part of a larger system or the backbone. Copenhagen didn't have a subway until pretty recently, and the bus line that runs along Norrebrograde is still incredibly heavily used and important for getting in and out of the center city.

 

And for what it's worth, Bordeaux's metro area is actually almost exactly the same as Austin's at roughly 2.1 million

Edited by Texasota

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1 hour ago, Texasota said:

Don't get me a wrong: I would love to see a referendum next year converting the University line to rail (before it's built), building the 90 and 290 commuter lines (but as true regional rail), regional lines along Hardy and 45 S to Galveston, and a serious proposal for rail into the Heights and Montrose (probably 3-4 lines, though a N-S cross-neighborhood line would actually be pretty useful - maybe it could even swoop down through the Village and into the medical center.)

 

I agree that below a certain size it makes no sense to use another city for comparison, but I think mid-size cities are absolutely fair game. I personally view that Houston as functionally a mid-size city with big city suburbs. I do think we need to stop relying on American cities and start looking at cities in other countries that actually have functioning transit. Many of which manage to take buses and make them work as real transit, regardless of whether that's part of a larger system or the backbone. Copenhagen didn't have a subway until pretty recently, and the bus line that runs along Norrebrograde is still incredibly heavily used and important for getting in and out of the center city.

 

And for what it's worth, Bordeaux's metro area is actually almost exactly the same as Austin's at roughly 2.1 million

 

the problem is, the voters asks questions about what was the money you just got used for?

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Maybe, but that seems like an easy question to answer: the previous budget was for bus upgrades, which cost $X. If we want to upgrade some lines to rail, which is more expensive, that will cost an additional $Y.

 

Not saying the city would vote for it (that would probably depend on what the *details* of "it" ended up being), but the explanation isn't really all that complicated. And with almost 70% of the voting electorate behind this year's bond, that's a decent sign for clearly defined future additional projects. 

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5 hours ago, Texasota said:

Don't get me a wrong: I would love to see a referendum next year converting the University line to rail (before it's built), building the 90 and 290 commuter lines (but as true regional rail), regional lines along Hardy and 45 S to Galveston, and a serious proposal for rail into the Heights and Montrose (probably 3-4 lines, though a N-S cross-neighborhood line would actually be pretty useful - maybe it could even swoop down through the Village and into the medical center.)

 

I agree that below a certain size it makes no sense to use another city for comparison, but I think mid-size cities are absolutely fair game. I personally view that Houston as functionally a mid-size city with big city suburbs. I do think we need to stop relying on American cities and start looking at cities in other countries that actually have functioning transit. Many of which manage to take buses and make them work as real transit, regardless of whether that's part of a larger system or the backbone. Copenhagen didn't have a subway until pretty recently, and the bus line that runs along Norrebrograde is still incredibly heavily used and important for getting in and out of the center city.

 

And for what it's worth, Bordeaux's metro area is actually almost exactly the same as Austin's at roughly 2.1 million

 

It depends on what you define as a mid-size city, and if that's Bordeaux then Houston is not midsize. Copenhagen has had a subway for almost 20 years, and a light rail system for decades longer. The urban core of Houston has reached substantial size and density, or at least enough to warrant much more rail. Even some of the projections of a few BRT lines are enough to federally petition for light rail instead.

 

I think we agree that Metro wasn't ambitious with this plan. It's telling when literally every city of Houston's caliber has banked on rail transit and has only included BRT options as supplements to the overall system. None of them seem to think that BRT is right as a first option for their system for a reason, yet the densest and most urban side of Houston is going to use the less attractive transit mode. I really hope Metro goes back to the table after the holidays, looks at the margin this won by, and starts working on a referendum. If they can do that for some of the lines you named, along with the other BRT proposals feeding into them, then Houston might have a true mass transit system.

Edited by Trae

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I asked a Metro PR person about how much latitude they have in deciding what to do with the bond authority... and it sounded like a lot.

 

If they wanted to change the plan to include university line as light rail then I'm pretty sure they still can. 

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3 hours ago, Trae said:

I really hope Metro goes back to the table after the holidays, looks at the margin this won by, and starts working on a referendum. 

 

I think this sounds possible. Imagine if the opposite had happened. People voting down the proposal because it didn't have enough rail, but Metro interpreting that as people not wanting to expand mass transit at all.  The numbers show people support mass transit and it's only going to keep moving that way. Perhaps they will take a second look at some of the routes that will be better off starting off as rail.

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22 hours ago, Toopicky said:

You people are dreaming.

Metro won't change their plan other than perhaps a simple reroute until AFTER all the money is spent..... the voters have spoken.

 

 

Almost all of the plan is contingent upon matching federal funds. If those don't materialize they'll have to change it on that basis alone. 

 

See: the last referendum and the university line. 

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On 11/29/2019 at 5:58 AM, Toopicky said:

You people are dreaming.

Metro won't change their plan other than perhaps a simple reroute until AFTER all the money is spent..... the voters have spoken.

 

Dropping a line because Federal funding was blocked isn't nearly the same as Metro deciding to upgrade from BRT to LRT.

The former was blocked and no funds were spent, while the later is simply IGNORING what the electorate voted to do and spend  MORE that they approved.

 

Not going to happen without another vote, and that won't happen until this tranche of money is spent.  Even then, how does Metro approach the voters again and say. "Remember all that money we spent building BRT ? Well, we want to tear it all up and spend even more and BTW we will have to shut down the BRT route for a few years while we replace all the new concrete to support the rail we should have built in the first place."

 

Wait another 30 years ......

 

Isn't that what a referendum is? Which is what I said Metro should have based on the margin of victory. Also if BRT is supposed to be easily switched to rail, then converting any voter approved lines to LRT during construction will only delay it a couple of years at worst. The likelihood of a referendum happening to convert these lines back to LRT as originally voted on years ago is not high, so Houston will have to deal with the Great Value form of transit for a few decades.

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On 11/28/2019 at 5:35 PM, wilcal said:

 

Almost all of the plan is contingent upon matching federal funds. If those don't materialize they'll have to change it on that basis alone. 

 

See: the last referendum and the university line. 

 

I mean, 70% of voters want transit in this city.

 

anyone who would specifically block federal funding coming to Houston for the purpose of transit might have a harder time than they did when it was barely 51% of voters that wanted transit.

 

besides, the people who would have attempted this are no longer representatives, right?

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27 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

 

I mean, 70% of voters want transit in this city.

 

anyone who would specifically block federal funding coming to Houston for the purpose of transit might have a harder time than they did when it was barely 51% of voters that wanted transit.

 

besides, the people who would have attempted this are no longer representatives, right?

 

Logic and politics.... oil and water.

 

And yes, the aforementioned person is no longer a rep, but it's very much a swing district. 

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29 minutes ago, samagon said:

besides, the people who would have attempted this are no longer representatives, right?

 

Why did I suddenly hear a cackle in the background when I read that?

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If they made the buses electric, powered by overhead catenary lines, and painted parallel lines on the ground, how many people would think it was actually a train?

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1 hour ago, viajes said:

If they made the buses electric, powered by overhead catenary lines, and painted parallel lines on the ground, how many people would think it was actually a train?


The question is, how many people who are actually riding on it would think so.
Unless the bus operator has very finely honed driving skills, and the pavement is kept in pristine condition, the answer will be "Not many".

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On 11/6/2019 at 12:21 PM, cspwal said:

If they made the buses electric, powered by overhead catenary lines, and painted parallel lines on the ground, how many people would think it was actually a train?

 

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This city, known for its innovation in aeronotics and space along with advanced medicine is so freaking backwards. When will city officials understand that buses are NOT sexy and they have a negative connotation that they serve only the lower classes of people in our city--lone exception being The Woodlands Express.

 

Trains are much fancier, sexier and attractive and the focus should be bringing commuter rail to the main suburban centers like Sugar Land, Katy, Clear Lake, The Woodlands and Kingwood. Buses are a thing of the past. They add to congestion, ride slowly in the fast lanes and are constantly stopping on main thoroughfares like Westheimer backing up cars and traffic to let one or two people off at a time. 

 

To see so much planning and energy being put into a stupid bus is typical government at work. So much money, so much time and so little in the way of moving our city into the 21st century. 

 

The high speed rail is also sort of a joke on Houston's end. The main terminal is in a piss poor location at a conjunction of two major, clogged freeways that is convenient for exactly nobody unless you live in Oak Forest. To stop before even reaching Houston is silly. I mean is it asking too much to at least get it to the Galleria area? It would be best to get it downtown like Dallas. 

Edited by wxman
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All of those problems are true of trains/trams in shared lanes and are solved by dedicated lanes, as is planned for every magenta line (and the Regional Express network not shown) on that map above. And a full network can be built out much more cheaply than rail. And that matters- a working, interconnected network is worth far more than a single line, no matter how good it is. 

 

Edited by Texasota
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4 minutes ago, Texasota said:

All of those problems are true of trains/trams in shared lanes and are solved by dedicated lanes, as is planned for every magenta line (and the Regional Express network not shown) on that map above. And a full network can be built out much more cheaply than rail. And that matters- a working, interconnected network is worth far more than a single line, no matter how good it is. 

 

What good is this 'well planned out network' if nobody rides the stupid thing. It's embarrassing honestly. Have you seen the clientele METRO is trying to move around? I bet you dollars to donuts it's not somebody you'd want to sit next to.

 

And btw, Harris County is home to over 5 million people -- of which METRO serves only about a 1/3 of that population. If you add in the surrounding counties, you get another 1.5 million. So the problem with congestion is coming from outside the city limits which is why the focus should be on transporting those people to and from without using the freeways that are busting at the seams.

Edited by wxman

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1 hour ago, wxman said:

What good is this 'well planned out network' if nobody rides the stupid thing. It's embarrassing honestly. Have you seen the clientele METRO is trying to move around? I bet you dollars to donuts it's not somebody you'd want to sit next to.

 

And btw, Harris County is home to over 5 million people -- of which METRO serves only about a 1/3 of that population. If you add in the surrounding counties, you get another 1.5 million. So the problem with congestion is coming from outside the city limits which is why the focus should be on transporting those people to and from without using the freeways that are busting at the seams.

Two points:

1. The current park & ride buses are very popular with the people who you'd like to target with commuter rail.  The 5 pm buses from downtown to all points are usually packed, all with people that I'm sure you'd be fine sitting next to.  Same with the light rail - during commute times the red line is also packed with packed with people going to/from downtown and the Med Center; even the purple line seems to have decent passenger counts in the afternoon.

 

2. METRO only serves the jurisdictions that pay into the service.  Any service outside of the "METRO service area" has to be explicitly paid for by someone.  If you want Metro to expand to more of Harris county and surrounding counties, you have to talk to the incorporated cities that don't pay in right now, and the counties at large that also don't.  I agree that a lot of the congestion is from outlying suburbs that don't have any sort of transit into town; the solution is to get those places to join up with a regional transit authority (Metro) to pay into it so that they can get service.

 

I've been using the buses and trains to get around for both work and daily errands for a year now.  I live and work inside 610, which helps, but I've found that you CAN do most errands, but only the trains and express buses (which have their own lanes) will get you there faster than a bike.

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I can't believe how well this serves the inner parts of Houston. When this is all in place it's going to help Houston become many times more walkable. When it's completed you'll be able to go from a rockets game in Downtown, to shopping around uptown, then go get some food/also shop around in chinatown, and then catch a plane ride to any destination. This will also be a huge boost to tourism, and just overall livability in Houston. Personally I would have some rail/brt going from N Shepherd to Durham, and Greenway plaza so you can connect that area a little better. 

 

While I do see the issue with suburb commuters from outside the city, the main purpose of metro is to serve the city of Houston. Which, with this plan, it's doing fantastically. Having a strong rapid transit foothold in the west side and airports of Houston will ultimately benefit everybody, LRT or BRT. While it would be nice to have commuter rails in this plan, metro has to focus on expanding rapid transit inside the city of Houston first. We can't go the way of DART and neglect connecting major areas inside the city, it's just a waste of resources at that point. 

Hopefully the improved park and ride network will mitigate a good amount of the super commuters struggles. 

 

 

 

Edited by TheSirDingle
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I think upgrading the park and ride to all-day, every day regional express buses has the potential to be genuinely transformational. The details will be important of course, but even seeing these proposed BRT stations along 45 gives me a lot of hope.

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12 hours ago, TheSirDingle said:

Hopefully the improved park and ride network will mitigate a good amount of the super commuters struggles

 

The new Conroe P&R gives me some hope on the future direction of peak only buses - have them go way far out for super commuters, and have the established routes go all day/week

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18 hours ago, cspwal said:

Two points:

1. The current park & ride buses are very popular with the people who you'd like to target with commuter rail.  The 5 pm buses from downtown to all points are usually packed, all with people that I'm sure you'd be fine sitting next to.  Same with the light rail - during commute times the red line is also packed with packed with people going to/from downtown and the Med Center; even the purple line seems to have decent passenger counts in the afternoon.

 

2. METRO only serves the jurisdictions that pay into the service.  Any service outside of the "METRO service area" has to be explicitly paid for by someone.  If you want Metro to expand to more of Harris county and surrounding counties, you have to talk to the incorporated cities that don't pay in right now, and the counties at large that also don't.  I agree that a lot of the congestion is from outlying suburbs that don't have any sort of transit into town; the solution is to get those places to join up with a regional transit authority (Metro) to pay into it so that they can get service.

 

I've been using the buses and trains to get around for both work and daily errands for a year now.  I live and work inside 610, which helps, but I've found that you CAN do most errands, but only the trains and express buses (which have their own lanes) will get you there faster than a bike.

 

this is where TXDOT could really come into turning the last letter of the acronym into real meaning. not sure why they chose TXDOT when TXDOC is the more accurate name. department of transportation gives you the feeling that they would be involved in a holistic approach to regional transportation, not just cars.

 

but I digress, these other cities don't want to get involved with METRO because METRO kind of has a bad record at doing transit well. I think the best solution would be to marry METRO and HCTRA into a new entity that would be in charge of not only providing excellent tollways, but mass transit as well. use some of that money to work towards a diverse transportation future, rather than working towards just more toll roads. aside from my CC being hacked each time I would update my EZTag account, they really have done well for regional mobility (specific to just cars), and have shown they can manage money well, which is more than can be said of METRO.

 

note, when I say marry the two, I mean, give all the assets of METRO to HCTRA and make them responsible for maintaining and increasing regional mass transit, and toss the rest of METRO to the curb, including their bus drivers who don't seem to be too concerned with stop lights, or blocking the box, other vehicles that are operating on the roadways.

Edited by samagon

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20 hours ago, wxman said:

What good is this 'well planned out network' if nobody rides the stupid thing. It's embarrassing honestly. Have you seen the clientele METRO is trying to move around? I bet you dollars to donuts it's not somebody you'd want to sit next to.

 

I wouldn't want to sit next to me either.

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Does anyone have any insight into what Metro actually wants to do with the Metro Rapid "West Houston Corridor" BRT?

 

It went from being a BRT on Gessner to something that uses Beltway 8 with limited stops. Are they proposing some kind of HOV lane on the Beltway? Is there funding to tear up the highway and rebuild it? Or is just going to be a bus on the Beltway?

 

Kind of a kooky idea, IMO.

 

 

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2 hours ago, zaphod said:

Does anyone have any insight into what Metro actually wants to do with the Metro Rapid "West Houston Corridor" BRT?

 

It went from being a BRT on Gessner to something that uses Beltway 8 with limited stops. Are they proposing some kind of HOV lane on the Beltway? Is there funding to tear up the highway and rebuild it? Or is just going to be a bus on the Beltway?

 

Kind of a kooky idea, IMO.

 

 

I think you can look to 610 as the primary example. I think it's pretty clear that they would build an elevated structure along Beltway 8, whether that be in the median or between the main lanes and feeder road or both.

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18 hours ago, Triton said:

I think you can look to 610 as the primary example. I think it's pretty clear that they would build an elevated structure along Beltway 8, whether that be in the median or between the main lanes and feeder road or both.

 

To do that across the entire length would be extraordinarily expensive though, compared to every other single corridor proposed thus far. And this corridor isn't being shown as having many stations. And the alignment in the highway makes having transfer stations to other routes tough to say the least.  Not saying it's undoable, but I can't imagine Metro deciding on such a radical upgrade on short notice with no fanfare. Especially when its part of a much larger project with a finite budget.

 

I get the feeling, personally, that maybe they are going back to the drawing board and showing a mere representation of a corridor and not a true plan?

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8 hours ago, zaphod said:

 

To do that across the entire length would be extraordinarily expensive though, compared to every other single corridor proposed thus far. And this corridor isn't being shown as having many stations. And the alignment in the highway makes having transfer stations to other routes tough to say the least.  Not saying it's undoable, but I can't imagine Metro deciding on such a radical upgrade on short notice with no fanfare. Especially when its part of a much larger project with a finite budget.

 

I get the feeling, personally, that maybe they are going back to the drawing board and showing a mere representation of a corridor and not a true plan?

I’m sure there’s an engineer who can figure all that out. I think they’re going to build a dedicated lane alone the Beltway. Regardless of how expensive it is. 

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On 2/6/2020 at 3:22 PM, wxman said:

This city, known for its innovation in aeronotics and space along with advanced medicine is so freaking backwards. When will city officials understand that buses are NOT sexy and they have a negative connotation that they serve only the lower classes of people in our city--lone exception being The Woodlands Express.

 

Just... wow. Metro's Park & Ride has a very good reputation and is continuing to see increased ridership. Also, plenty of non low economic people take the bus. Also, METRO is not a city agency.

 

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Trains are much fancier, sexier and attractive and the focus should be bringing commuter rail to the main suburban centers like Sugar Land, Katy, Clear Lake, The Woodlands and Kingwood.

 

They also cost a shit ton more money. Like 5-10X as much. A commuter rail to Kingwood would cost nearly $2 Billion and the Kingwood P&R serves... 800 people per day. Even if you add in Eastex and Townsen it's less than 3,000/day. 

 

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They add to congestion, ride slowly in the fast lanes and are constantly stopping on main thoroughfares like Westheimer backing up cars and traffic to let one or two people off at a time. 

 

Clearly the more than 12,000 people per day that ride the 82 on Westheimer should just buy their own car, drive down Westheimer, and traffic would be greatly relieved. 

 

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Buses are a thing of the past.

 

Doubtful. There are significantly more BRT than light rail systems being planned around the world. Single occupant vehicles are more likely to be a thing of the past. 

 

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To see so much planning and energy being put into a stupid bus is typical government at work. So much money, so much time and so little in the way of moving our city into the 21st century. 

 

I agree, but then again I don't think taxpayers should be subsidizing massive highway and road projects. Less than 1/4 of TxDOT's budget comes from car registration fees and gas taxes. If car drivers had to pay their fair share and we could use the $20+ billion/year in car subsidies to actually develop a public transit network that would work and get people out of cars. 

 

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The high speed rail is also sort of a joke on Houston's end. The main terminal is in a piss poor location at a conjunction of two major, clogged freeways that is convenient for exactly nobody unless you live in Oak Forest. To stop before even reaching Houston is silly. I mean is it asking too much to at least get it to the Galleria area? It would be best to get it downtown like Dallas. 

 

Why didn't Texas Central think to just move the station closer into town? 

 

It does happen to be about a mile away from the Northwest Transit Center which allows zero-transfer access to the Galleria and Downtown on BRT. 

 

Also, Texas Central is making a significant real estate play, which is additionally why they chose the old mall. 

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Posters on another thread said that Tom Delay and John Culberson were primarily responsible for the cancellation of the University Line for MetroRail.  Now that both are out of office, will  MetroRail include it in their construction plans?

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The proposed University BRT should be a commuter rail. I feel like the ridership count and the length justifies it. That and it makes more sense than the light rail expansion plans.

1 hour ago, Geographer said:

Posters on another thread said that Tom Delay and John Culberson were primarily responsible for the cancellation of the University Line for MetroRail.  Now that both are out of office, will  MetroRail include it in their construction plans?

Unfortunately no, or at the very least, not in a while. Metro said in an interview that the reason they can't build the University Line as light rail is due to cost.

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1 hour ago, Some one said:

 

The proposed University BRT should be a commuter rail. I feel like the ridership count and the length justifies it. That and it makes more sense than the light rail expansion plans.

Unfortunately no, or at the very least, not in a while. Metro said in an interview that the reason they can't build the University Line as light rail is due to cost.

 

So did something change cost-wise?  I heard for years and years it seems that the only block to the University Line LRT was political.

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10 minutes ago, august948 said:

 

So did something change cost-wise?  I heard for years and years it seems that the only block to the University Line LRT was political.

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/11/07/311132/metro-hopes-for-a-strong-advocate-in-congress-with-lizzie-fletchers-election/

Quote

Patman said for cost reasons they’re now considering bus rapid transit for the Richmond corridor, to help provide better connections between downtown and The Galleria.

I'm also guessing the expanded length contributed to the cost. Either way it's unfortunate.

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It looks like METRO's gearing up to  start the next BRT line- the extension north toward the proposed HSR site at the NW mall site from the NW transit center, and then moving east along I-10 to link the NW transit center up with downtown. I couldn't find anything on their site, but I did see this article from abc13. Nice to see that it sounds like they're moving forward on the next phases of the plan, which also makes me wonder if METRO has high confidence that the HSR to Dallas is actually happening (despite opposition from some folks at the moment)- I am so pumped to check out the BRT line when it's open this summer.

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On 2/12/2020 at 3:26 PM, august948 said:

 

So did something change cost-wise?  I heard for years and years it seems that the only block to the University Line LRT was political.

 

what changed cost wise is that the matching funds from the national government were blocked by these two distinguished gentlemen, so the internal funds for the project were moved to other projects. 

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

 

what changed cost wise is that the matching funds from the national government were blocked by these two distinguished gentlemen, so the internal funds for the project were moved to other projects. 

 

So matching funds are no longer available?

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45 minutes ago, august948 said:

So matching funds are no longer available?

 

To the extent we ever got them, they've been reallocated.  Of course, these are long lead time projects so it's impossible to snap your fingers and bring them to immediate full fruition.

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Holy shit good stuff @BeerNut. So far it's looking to be a pretty good plan, that covers a good amount of Houston. Also I was looking at the total miles added to both the rail and BRT, and saw they didn't include the miles for the line to sugar land. So I went my way to google maps and measured the distance, finding it to be around 17.5 miles of commuter rail. Nearly doubling the proposed inner city rail line extensions. If they're able to get the partnership this would bring the total amount of rail to 49.5 miles. 

This On top of the new BRT (including Uptown BRT) would bring the total rapid transit mileage to around 129 miles. Increasing the total miles by 6.23 times the original system.  

Edited by TheSirDingle
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3 minutes ago, TheSirDingle said:

Holy shit good stuff @BeerNut. So far it's looking to be a pretty good plan, that covers a good amount of Houston. Also I was looking at the total miles added to both the rail and BRT, and saw they didn't include the miles for the line to sugar land. So I went my way to google maps and measured the distance, finding it to be around 17.5 miles of commuter rail. Nearly doubling the proposed inner city rail line extensions. If they're able to get the partnership this would bring the total amount of rail to 49.5 miles. 

This On top of the new BRT (including Uptown BRT) would bring the total rapid transit mileage to around 129 miles. Increasing the total miles by 6.23 times the original system.  

 

That's listed as "Potential Partnership" meaning it's not part of the MetroNEXT plan.

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I'm super pro-rail and pro-LRT, but I am also pretty surprised at just how much cheaper it is to build BRT than LRT. I totally get why, and I'm not knocking LRT, but wow that is pretty nuts, and it really makes a lot of sense why METRO's opting to go this route, and I respect it. I was disappointed that old maps that showed heavy implementation of LRT/heavy rail seem to have been scrapped in favor of BRT and less LRT, but now that I've actually seen the cost, and understand that it's been a huge fight for METRO to even get money for these projects at all, it does seem like BRT will be more bang for their buck, let them move more people, and maybe be able to prove that Houston CAN be a transit-friendly city.

 

Those BOOST lines sound neat, too. Are they currently being implemented around town? I think I saw on one of the bike path threads they were (painted bike lanes and 'floating' bus stops). If that's what the BOOST lines will all be like, that will be awesome!

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I understand why the current emphasis is on areas which are in the central part of the city. Suburban bus routes have a hard time attracting ridership.

 

Still, I've been playing around in google maps and discovered there are some underrated transit friendly corridors that are ignored. North of I-10 in the Energy Corridor is a Park Row, which is really the western extension of Dairy Ashford. It's solid apartment complexes and office buildings all the way out to Katy. Goes past Addicks P&R. Another area like that is Northborough and Ella in Spring.

 

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Another thing is there's a couple of spots the local bus network narrowly misses the existing park & rides - mainly at Fuqua and Kuykendahl.

 

16 hours ago, BeerNut said:

O0jKiep.jpg

 

This image of the inner Katy BRT makes me a little sad that it won't be light rail (it could be an extension of the green or purple) but it will really increase frequency east-west downtown.  Even if each line is every 12 minutes, that's 4 minute frequency between the theater district and the convention district

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So transit would end up running down both the North and West boundaries of Memorial Park with no access.

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10 minutes ago, JJxvi said:

So transit would end up running down both the North and West boundaries of Memorial Park with no access.

 

The 20 Canal/Memorial runs right through the middle of Memorial Park with at least 4 stops in the park.

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Yeah, I really think there needs to be a BRT station west of Shepherd. To me, the obvious location is where Washington goes under I-10. I don't think you'd want a station that *only* serves Memorial Park, but this would provide access to the park, relatively dense residential neighborhoods, and an area that just in general is redeveloping pretty rapidly.

Edited by Texasota
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