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Metro Next - 2040 Vision

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46 minutes ago, crock said:

THE FIRST LIGHTRAIL STOP WEST OF DOWNTOWN!!! We'VE FINALLY DONE IT!!!!!!!  URBAN DENSITY, HERE WE COME! 

 

And it only will cost $1 million

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cspwal said:

Hopefully they will keep that open as an option on both ends - I could see having a route that goes just from Wheeler to NW transit Ctr  and back

 

That would be amazing and I don't see why it wouldn't be doable. No transfer and then hov on I-10 to quickly get between Downtown and Uptown. And there aren't really any fast options between Uptown and the Med center/museum district right now. This proposal would make it one transfer, hov-ing on 59 and then LRT. Add some metro police to Wheeler station and it's golden.

 

EDIT: Actually, the I-10 route should be it's own lane, not shared with HOV, right? So if they do this, then it's literally a traffic free option between Downtown and Uptown.

Edited by paul2834

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TMC Transit Center isn't anywhere near as bad as Wheeler, so I think once the Ion opens and there's more activity in the area it will get better

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7 minutes ago, paul2834 said:

 

That would be amazing and I don't see why it wouldn't be doable. No transfer and then hov on I-10 to quickly get between Downtown and Uptown. And there aren't really any fast options between Uptown and the Med center/museum district right now. This proposal would make it one transfer, hov-ing on 59 and then LRT. Add some metro police to Wheeler station and it's golden.

 

That would honestly be amazing. If I could trade the 20 mins (no traffic) to get to Uptown from Med/Museum District and then the 10 mins to find parking (but still worrying about not drinking) for 35-40 mins of transit I would vote for that in a heart beat. For weekends, I could see the Galleria just being absurdly full if that happened. The nice thing is that those who live on Blalock and further down towards Memorial Mall now have the reverse; what used to be a 30-40 min drive for them to the museums or Hermann Park with sometimes painful parking situations all of a sudden has a relatively simple transit option. 

 

Also, if you link everything from the Wheeler station to Uptown, now all those downtown Hotels have a way to get to Uptown too. This almost makes too much sense for Houston. 

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Fingers crossed Uptown gets direct non-transfer, non-local road connections to Downtown and Wheeler Station. It would complete connecting the three hubs with fast travel in between and make exploring the major destinations a lot easier for travelers.

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What they could do is have the Uptown BRT line go from NW transit center to Wheeler with a frequency of every 8 minutes, and then the longer line marked blue on the map have a frequency of every 8 minutes, which would give really high frequency service through the inner loop - a BRT coming every 4 minutes that takes you to Montrose, Greenway, Upper Kirby, etc.  I'd imagine two seperate lines (gold and blue):

Gold Line

Eastbound to Wheeler TC

Westbound to Northwest TC

 

Blue Line

Eastbound to Tidwell TC

Westbound to Westchase TC

 

If they still want to do the line from Bellaire to uptown (the little gold stick on the map) it would have to be a separate line, but you could use that to keep the frequency up on Post Oak Blvd

 

The great thing is that once you make the busways and the stations, you can change all this relatively easily

E2qZiuQ.jpg

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8 hours ago, wilcal said:

I really think that they should combined the I-10 BRT with the Galleria BRT line. That way you can one connection from the red/green/purple lines and other BRT lines ending in downtown (lika IAH) to the Galleria. 

 

They will be connected. The Uptown BRT line will go through the Northwest Transit Center and then run east towards downtown along an elevated busway that METRO and TxDOT are designing right now.

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Don't forget about connecting the Washington and Uptown BRTs to the highspeed rail station at the old Northwest Mall. TCHR is reporting that they are on pace to break ground in the next year. 

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2 hours ago, cougarpad said:

Don't forget about connecting the Washington and Uptown BRTs to the highspeed rail station at the old Northwest Mall. TCHR is reporting that they are on pace to break ground in the next year. 

 

Riiiiiiiight. I'll believe that when I see it. That date has been pushed back so many times. 

 

Will a full connection make sense, or would it be better to have it as a stub with it's own bus or two? Basically, how much extra time would it take if you were doing Galleria to Downtown.

 

I'm not against the idea unless it's less than 8-10 minutes. 

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10 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

Riiiiiiiight. I'll believe that when I see it. That date has been pushed back so many times. 

 

Will a full connection make sense, or would it be better to have it as a stub with its own bus or two? Basically, how much extra time would it take if you were doing Galleria to Downtown.

 

I'm not against the idea unless it's less than 8-10 minutes. 

The proposed high-speed rail station is supposed to be only a couple of blocks from the Northwest Transit Center. The Uptown BRT would only need to be lengthened a short distance north. The schematics that I have seen for this new Metro plan have the BRT accommodating for this.

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9 hours ago, cougarpad said:

The proposed high-speed rail station is supposed to be only a couple of blocks from the Northwest Transit Center. The Uptown BRT would only need to be lengthened a short distance north. The schematics that I have seen for this new Metro plan have the BRT accommodating for this.

 

Yeah, looks like almost exactly 1 mile each direction, which really isn't too bad. That could be done in 6-8 minutes with a dedicated lane/signal prioritization for sure. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 12:48 PM, crock said:

THE FIRST LIGHTRAIL STOP WEST OF DOWNTOWN!!! We'VE FINALLY DONE IT!!!!!!!  URBAN DENSITY, HERE WE COME! 

 

???

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10 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

How does everyone feel about the Metro bond today? I voted just a few minutes ago. 

More money in light rail and less money on rapid bus.

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15 minutes ago, astros148 said:

More money in light rail and less money on rapid bus.

I think this will help pave the way for more rail. You have to get people on board (no pun intended) before you can expand to bigger and better things. Houston will def lead in terms of transit in the state. I would say dallas is ahead but the way they built their system hurt it more than anything. 

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At nearly 70%, think it's pretty clear it passed.

 

Side question, can anyone explain the BRT on I-45 and Beltway 8 to me... so are they saying there will be dedicated bus lanes perhaps flying over the main lanes similar to the 610 project or are they going to be sharing lanes with the rest of the traffic?

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

At nearly 70%, think it's pretty clear it passed.

 

Side question, can anyone explain the BRT on I-45 and Beltway 8 to me... so are they saying there will be dedicated bus lanes perhaps flying over the main lanes similar to the 610 project or are they going to be sharing lanes with the rest of the traffic?

 

There can be no way they could call it BRT and put it in normal traffic with everyone. Maybe utilize the HOV lanes? If they put it in normal traffic, I give up on my dreams of a Smarter Houston.

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17 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

There can be no way they could call it BRT and put it in normal traffic with everyone. Maybe utilize the HOV lanes? If they put it in normal traffic, I give up on my dreams of a Smarter Houston.

Yeah it would have to be a dedicated lane, otherwise it would just be a regular bus route and not BRT. 

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21 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

???

 

The plan quietly includes the green/purple line extending west to the Courthouse.  The lines were already built so that the trains go under i45 and then just sit there to move back to the other side of the track, so the amount of track needed to be built is literally 2-3 blocks.    

So far there haven't been any meetings or documents showing where the courthouse stop will be. hopefully it'll go up along Lubbock street to be closer for 1st ward/6th ward residents.  
 

courthouse-stop.PNG

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9 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

There can be no way they could call it BRT and put it in normal traffic with everyone. Maybe utilize the HOV lanes? If they put it in normal traffic, I give up on my dreams of a Smarter Houston.

Well there are no HOV lanes on Beltway 8. 

 

I figured it would be dedicated lanes too but I seriously wonder how they're going to do that with the I45 final schematics almost here. 

 

Beltway 8 will be tricky as well. Perhaps you can build columns in the center and allow a flyover along the entire route, but once you get to the major interstate and highway intersections, you're going to have a difficult time getting those BRT lines through. 

 

Anyway, just really curious what the plans are. Really excited and especially for the BRT down West Parkway toll way. You could always tell they had plans to build light rail down Westpark on the southern side so glad to see this first step! 

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https://www.metronext.org/assets/pdfs/METRONext_Moving_Forward_Plan_Summary.pdf?v=1.000

These are the HOV lanes that the plan says they will add:

Quote

• United States Highway 90A Two-Way HOV

• Interstate Highway 10 West Two-Way HOV

• Interstate Highway 45 North Two-Way HOV

• United States Highway 59/Interstate Highway 69 South Two-Way HOV Downtown to Edloe

• State Highway 249 Two-Way Diamond Lanes/HOV

 

It sounds like the lanes will be exclusive 

Quote

Exclusive lanes could be used for autonomous vehicle transit in the future

 

The reason for more BRT than LRT is the estimated cost: $3.23 billion for 75 miles of BRT ($43 million per mile) versus $2.10 billion for 16 miles of LRT ($131 million per mile)  With that estimate, the extension of the green/purple line to the courthouse costs as much as all the local bus improvements they're planning

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

The reason for more BRT than LRT is the estimated cost: $3.23 billion for 75 miles of BRT ($43 million per mile) versus $2.10 billion for 16 miles of LRT ($131 million per mile)  With that estimate, the extension of the green/purple line to the courthouse costs as much as all the local bus improvements they're planning

 

Statistics is a game that often takes an orange and calls it an apple .....

LRT spurs development along it's route as it is essentially is a commitment to a corridor ..... BRT isn't (as it can be easily moved) and any additional development along those corridors will be more a matter of happenstance.

Edited by Toopicky
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That is true - light rail usuall spurs more development.  It also has a larger capacity, can run more frequently, and is typically a smoother ride.

 

That being said, I'd prefer to have BRT that reaches as much of the city as this network does.  I suspect that the cost of the full BRT network would be the same as just the original blue line light rail plan.

 

Do we have a completion date for the entire gold line in uptown?  I know the boulevard project is almost done, but the transit center and bus lane don't look very done

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BRT, if done to a decent standard, *cannot* be easily moved. Look at the Gold Line. 

 

Bus lines can be easily moved, but what distinguishes BRT from a normal bus line is the addition of infrastructure that makes it function more like rail *and* gives it more permanence.

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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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23 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

BRT isn't (as it can be easily moved) 

How can BRT be easily moved? Can you move all the concrete poured on Post Oak and easily move all the bridges built over 610?

 

BRT is a cost effective way to building out mass transit. Here's to hoping we eventually move to all electric buses when they're fully available.

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17 minutes ago, Texasota said:

BRT, if done to a decent standard, *cannot* be easily moved. Look at the Gold Line. 

 

Bus lines can be easily moved, but what distinguishes BRT from a normal bus line is the addition of infrastructure that makes it function more like rail *and* gives it more permanence.

 

There is no way that Metro will develop the BRT routes like that of Uptown as that takes almost as much money as LRT per mile.  They will most likely just put 'armadillos' in the existing streets reducing those major thoroughfares. Yes, they will also add 'stations' similar to LRT but that isn't where the costs are ..... it is in the rebuilding of the streets and utilities

Edited by Toopicky
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https://communityimpact.com/houston/cy-fair/transportation/2019/11/07/with-bond-funding-secured-metro-officials-announce-next-steps/

 

"Projects that will move forward first include a new rapid transit line connecting downtown to the Northwest Transit Center at Hwy. 290 and Loop 610—a project that has already been picked by the Houston-Galveston Area Council to receive federal funding—and accessibility improvements, such as sidewalk connections and making bus stops compliant with the American with Disabilities Act."

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So the first line will be the shorter one that will connect downtown to uptown (through the uptown line)

I wonder how they will design the route?  I would have it run all the way downtown

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Here is what HGAC has already approved:

Quote

Project: Inner Katy bus rapid transit and busway
Project scope: I-10 from Loop 610 West to the Katy Freeway HOV lane downtown connector ramp
Federal funding requested: $168.6 million by 2021
Details: Construction of a multimodal dedicated busway with grade separation and connections to high occupancy vehicle lanes and the Burnett Transit Center. The busway would provide routes for rapid transit buses between the Uptown/Galleria area and Downtown Houston, HOV commuters and regional express network buses between Park & Rides on I-10 and Hwy. 290 and Downtown.
Note: This project was the only project submitted to the "Major Investments" category that was recommended for funding by H-GAC in the 10-year plan.

from https://communityimpact.com/houston/transportation/2019/01/18/grand-parkway-widening-fm-2920-improvements-among-top-road-projects-being-considered-for-federal-funding/

 

I'm very curious how it's going to go from the existing 2-way I-10 HOV lanes to Burnett transit center.  Will they have another bridge T'ing off of the current HOV lane?  Or will there be street running to get from Franklin up to Burnett transit center?

 

How congested will the new 2 way HOV lane be if they are letting HOV commuters into it?  That's already a step down from LRT service - I hope they make the BRT a priority to keep flowing otherwise it will be a bad foot start on for the new MetroRapid system

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19 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

https://communityimpact.com/houston/cy-fair/transportation/2019/11/07/with-bond-funding-secured-metro-officials-announce-next-steps/

 

"Projects that will move forward first include a new rapid transit line connecting downtown to the Northwest Transit Center at Hwy. 290 and Loop 610—a project that has already been picked by the Houston-Galveston Area Council to receive federal funding—and accessibility improvements, such as sidewalk connections and making bus stops compliant with the American with Disabilities Act."

 

*Cries* are you saying...I can go from downtown to...UPTOWN? MY GOD IS THIS REAL. I never thought I'd see the day I could take a timely, consistent, and frequent transit option from Downtown to the Galleria. This blows my mind.

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21 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Here is what HGAC has already approved:

from https://communityimpact.com/houston/transportation/2019/01/18/grand-parkway-widening-fm-2920-improvements-among-top-road-projects-being-considered-for-federal-funding/

 

I'm very curious how it's going to go from the existing 2-way I-10 HOV lanes to Burnett transit center.  Will they have another bridge T'ing off of the current HOV lane?  Or will there be street running to get from Franklin up to Burnett transit center?

 

How congested will the new 2 way HOV lane be if they are letting HOV commuters into it?  That's already a step down from LRT service - I hope they make the BRT a priority to keep flowing otherwise it will be a bad foot start on for the new MetroRapid system

I thought the 2 way HOV lanes were being created to strictly move cars and normal city buses. From what I understand the BRT route hasn't been set yet. 

Edited by j_cuevas713

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35 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Details: Construction of a multimodal dedicated busway with grade separation and connections to high occupancy vehicle lanes and the Burnett Transit Center. The busway would provide routes for rapid transit buses between the Uptown/Galleria area and Downtown Houston, HOV commuters and regional express network buses between Park & Rides on I-10 and Hwy. 290 and Downtown.

 

Congratulations on funding another HOV section that (gasp) encourages even more commuter cars to travel more easily to downtown.  At least if the BRT ridership is low it may serve some useful function.   I would imagine this project will entail continuing the two lanes in the middle of I-10 to the existing ends of the existing HOV lane and reworking the currently closed overpass on the western end. Perhaps they will throw a T-bridge off to the side to allow for BRT pedestrian access along the route ....  time will tell.

Edited by Toopicky

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On 11/6/2019 at 11:06 AM, Toopicky said:

 

Statistics is a game that often takes an orange and calls it an apple .....

LRT spurs development along it's route as it is essentially is a commitment to a corridor ..... BRT isn't (as it can be easily moved) and any additional development along those corridors will be more a matter of happenstance.

 

Development related to LRT takes a long time Main took something like 10 years, and in the meantime it was completely screwed up by rail. Same thing on the rail North of Downtown. I am over that way all the time, and there's just not much new development, but is much, much harder to get around, as the rail blocks most of the routes I used to take.

 

57 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

 

Congratulations on funding another HOV section that (gasp) encourages even more commuter cars to travel more easily to downtown.  At least if the BRT ridership is low it may serve some useful function.   I would imagine this project will entail continuing the two lanes in the middle of I-10 to the existing ends of the existing HOV lane and reworking the currently closed overpass on the western end. Perhaps they will throw a T-bridge off to the side to allow for BRT pedestrian access along the route ....  time will tell.

Not everyone wants to ride transit, so having more HOV lanes is useful, and provides benefits for more people.

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12 minutes ago, Ross said:

Not everyone wants to ride transit, so having more HOV lanes is useful, and provides benefits for more people.

 

I am not anti-HOV ..... I am against having politicians tell us a bond issue is for one thing when it really is for another. NEVER trust a politician with a blank check. NEVER!

Edited by Toopicky

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2 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

 

Congratulations on funding another HOV section that (gasp) encourages even more commuter cars to travel more easily to downtown.  At least if the BRT ridership is low it may serve some useful function (or was securing new funding the  construction of the missing HOV lanes along I-10 the real purpose after all?).   Perhaps they will throw a few bridges off to the side to allow for BRT pedestrian access ....  time will tell

So if it's a grade separated HOV then it has to be more than 2 lanes, am I right?

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Why do I remember the BRT project from downtown to the Uptown transit center being elevated over the I-10 highway?

 

I remember reading somewhere that it would travel along the northern side of the interstate between the main lanes and the feeder. The only reason I remember that because I went to Google Earth to see how something like that would work and I saw they would encounter issues near Yale because there isn't a lot of room there to build columns. Maybe it was just a dream... lol

 

Edit: Ah I found it! Knew I wasn't going crazy.

Highly recommend people check Houston-Galveston Area Council's 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. This BRT project is high priority on their list of project. Now, perhaps it changed with Metro, but the plan was to have the BRT come down Houston Ave and ramp off to I-10. Check out the map here and click the red line along I-10:

 

https://h-gac.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5f2a62060d074a5d8c3f00a40bb6b3b2

 

It calls for grade separated BRT over I-10.

I-10_BRT.PNG

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

Why do I remember the BRT project from downtown to the Uptown transit center being elevated over the I-10 highway?

 

I remember reading somewhere that it would travel along the northern side of the interstate between the main lanes and the feeder. The only reason I remember that because I went to Google Earth to see how something like that would work and I saw they would encounter issues near Yale because there isn't a lot of room there to build columns. Maybe it was just a dream... lol

 

Edit: Ah I found it! Knew I wasn't going crazy.

Highly recommend people check Houston-Galveston Area Council's 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. This BRT project is high priority on their list of project. Now, perhaps it changed with Metro, but the plan was to have the BRT come down Houston Ave and ramp off to I-10. Check out the map here and click the red line along I-10:

 

https://h-gac.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5f2a62060d074a5d8c3f00a40bb6b3b2

 

It calls for grade separated BRT over I-10.

I-10_BRT.PNG

So it’s grade separated BRT with access to HOV, not all of it running together. The boosted regional routes will also use this elevated portion.

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21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So it’s grade separated BRT with access to HOV, not all of it running together. The boosted regional routes will also use this elevated portion.

Just keep in mind I'm sure Metro is going back to the drawing boards on a lot of these projects. The RTP 2045 plan even has BRT going down Gessner which is no longer the case (it's Beltway 8 instead now). But the 2045 plan by the HGAC does give us a better idea of what to expect.

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

Just keep in mind I'm sure Metro is going back to the drawing boards on a lot of these projects. The RTP 2045 plan even has BRT going down Gessner which is no longer the case (it's Beltway 8 instead now). But the 2045 plan by the HGAC does give us a better idea of what to expect.

Ahh ok that makes sense. This is exciting. All of this new transit will really tie in all of the development going on around the city. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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On 11/5/2019 at 10:38 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

And does anyone have info on a timeline for proposed projects? 

 

I was at a public meeting with a senior Metro comms person last Wed and they said that they hadn't actually decided yet and that was the next step. Community involvement would help with priority. 

 

On 11/6/2019 at 11:31 AM, Triton said:

BRT is a cost effective way to building out mass transit. Here's to hoping we eventually move to all electric buses when they're fully available.

 

I asked same rep about electric buses. They said that the tech wasn't there for the distances they cover while also providing the level of A/C that they would need. They are becoming a little more prevalent outside of China though. Santiago just took a bunch of them. 

 

23 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I thought the 2 way HOV lanes were being created to strictly move cars and normal city buses. From what I understand the BRT route hasn't been set yet. 

 

I was told by Metro that BRT would utilize same lanes as two-way HOV, at least on 45 to get to IAH. 

 

15 hours ago, Triton said:

Just keep in mind I'm sure Metro is going back to the drawing boards on a lot of these projects. The RTP 2045 plan even has BRT going down Gessner which is no longer the case (it's Beltway 8 instead now). But the 2045 plan by the HGAC does give us a better idea of what to expect.

 

1000%

 

They made it sound like plans are very very very flexible going forward. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

I was at a public meeting with a senior Metro comms person last Wed and they said that they hadn't actually decided yet and that was the next step. Community involvement would help with priority. 

 

 

I asked same rep about electric buses. They said that the tech wasn't there for the distances they cover while also providing the level of A/C that they would need. They are becoming a little more prevalent outside of China though. Santiago just took a bunch of them. 

 

 

I was told by Metro that BRT would utilize same lanes as two-way HOV, at least on 45 to get to IAH. 

 

 

1000%

 

They made it sound like plans are very very very flexible going forward. 

Damn so do you know if the connection from Downtown to the NW Transit Center would do the same or would it be fully grade separated?

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On 11/7/2019 at 4:21 PM, X.R. said:

 

*Cries* are you saying...I can go from downtown to...UPTOWN? MY GOD IS THIS REAL. I never thought I'd see the day I could take a timely, consistent, and frequent transit option from Downtown to the Galleria. This blows my mind.

 

I'm praying that NWTC is just a stop and will keep going instead of having to get off at NWTC so you can get on another BRT that takes you to Downtown or Uptown.

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I’ve come to agree with the BRT option too. With the money that available, and the ground that we need to make up, it’s the best option imo. Also, if done right, Houston may become a roll model for the country. Are there any other US cities which use BRT as extensively as what’s Proposed in MetroNext? 

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On 11/8/2019 at 5:33 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

Damn so do you know if the connection from Downtown to the NW Transit Center would do the same or would it be fully grade separated?

 

That is less clear since it is funded separately from Metro Next. If I had to guess, I'm going to say not separated. 

 

On 11/8/2019 at 9:39 PM, paul2834 said:

 

I'm praying that NWTC is just a stop and will keep going instead of having to get off at NWTC so you can get on another BRT that takes you to Downtown or Uptown.

 

I've been beating this drum pretty hard. Nobody likes transfers and nobody would be backtracking, so why the hell not? It would provide a one transfer solution from IAH as well.

 

Someone (on here?) was saying that the existing light rail stations in downtown could actually be integrated as BRT stops. 

 

It would be great if the Uptown BRT routing was Westpark -> Gallera -> NWTC -> the semi-random planned stop at Shepherd @ I-10 -> Preston LRT station -> Convention District LRT station and return.

 

Do a similar thing with the IAH BRT line and have it stop at Preson/Convention as well. 

 

Edit: not sure what to do when high-speed rail launches, but it's pretty close to NWTC

Edited by wilcal
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I agree that the gold line should go downtown once the BRT lanes are made, but I think it can stop at Burnett TC if that is a more direct route.  The Purple/green line tracks downtown are barely better than what a regular bus would be on - having the BRT vehicles have to get to them wouldn't be great

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