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Fort Bend County, an area of over 800,000 residents, currently has absolutely abysmal public transportation. They have no connections to METRO transit centers or park and rides such as at Grand Parkway, Mission Bend, West Bellfort or Missouri City, no fixed route local service in the Sugar Land/Missouri City/Stafford area, nor in the rest of the county besides three unintelligibly convoluted, unusably infrequent "Fixed Deviation" routes in the Richmond/Rosenberg that only run on weekdays. The Park and Ride service leaves anything to be desired, with poor frequency, no midday or later evening service, a short departure window, very few actual park and rides, and services running to some random place in Greenway and the VA Hospital, not at all connecting with proper METRO services. Perhaps worst of all is their "Demand Response" service. Call them at least a day in advance from when you want to go, and you'll be sent to a call center in India to place a reservation for a bus, Which may or may not show up at your house at the scheduled time to take you to your destination, Which cannot be outside of a specific area, cannot be used to transfer to METRO, and can be no earlier than 8AM, No later than 5PM, Monday-Friday Only. Transit in Fort Bend in it's current form is unacceptable, and would not be adequate for a county of 8,000, let alone one a rapidly growing county of 800,000 in one of the largest metropolitan areas in America. As METRO focuses on expanding it's current transit network, Fort Bend desperately needs to focus on having some sort of usable transit at all, that is able to connect with METRO, otherwise, traffic will only continue to grow worse in Fort Bend County, and the entire Houston region as a result.

Edited by DrKlener
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I agree completely. Here's what I'm aware of in the county:

1. Metro recently received a federal bond to unify the pay systems of FT. Bend transit system and Metro's transit system. Whether that means Ft. Bend is going to start using q cards or something, I don't know. But the goal is to make it easier to use the two systems.

2. I still haven't heard shit on the "potential commuter rail to sugar land/missouri city" on the HWY 90 corridor. I've seen studies done in the past decade or so, and lots of maps that show it included as a potential partnership including MetroNext, but I haven't heard a damn peep from anyone on actually moving forward with it, ever. It's insane to me that the potential Texas High Speed Rail seems more likely right now than a simple commuter line to the most populous region in the Houston-Sugarland-Galveston metro, but there we have it.

Ideally, I think Metro should expand to at least Missouri City and/or Sugar Land, the issue is the entire city is one giant suburb built since the 70s entirely for cars so it's going to be incredibly hard to build good transit for getting around within their neighborhoods. Plus, there are just way too many karens there and I assume if they ever try and improve service "moms against transit" will immediately spring up in the interest of keeping the poors away from the children or something.

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Part of the problem with expanding Metro to new areas is that it relies in part on a 1% sales tax.  The maximum sales tax in Texas is 8.25%, 6.25% of which is collected by the State of Texas.  Places like Sugar Land charge 2% sales tax (Pearland is 1.5% because Brazoria County charges .5%), while the cities in the Metro service can only charge 1%.  The 2% cities can't or aren't going to take that big a hit to their tax base, and they can't make it up from property taxes because of ceilings on increases that the Lege has imposed.

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Completely agree with the need for better transit! I would love it if most of our suburbs did have better access. Unfortunately, the way the streets are designed around the car and the negative opinions associated with buses make it really difficult to see it becoming a reality. If the sales tax thing wasn't an issue, ideally it would be nice to have METRO takeover the park and rides from Ft Bend Transit. They have really perfected the Park and Ride model. There is a want for better park and ride service in that area. METRO's route 265 that runs from W Belfort P&R (the closest P&R to Fort Bend) to DT is the second highest ridership route for their park and ride network averaging 2,800+ rides a day back in Feb 2020 (before ridership plummeted). 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/29/2020 at 6:09 PM, Houston19514 said:

I saw something recently in HGAC's transportation plans regarding Ft Bend acquiring a bunch of buses to provide transit service, IIRC, to downtown Houston.

They've certainly made acquisitions lately . . .

According to this, they just got a new operations center last year, which combines their bus depot, refueling, maintenance, and operations/offices all into one 21$ million dollar facility. 

Despite the fact that they've only got 60 busses, I feel like I've seen a ton of these around the med center recently and on HWY59.

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In response to @HouTXRanger yeah there have been more Ft Bend busses in the med center lately, but still not as frequent it seems than the Woodlands busses. 

 

Also in response to Ranger, I went to a meeting maybe 2-3 years ago in Ft Bend with a friend who had moved there about transportation and busing and rail. Lotta Karens. A loooot of karens (male and female) worried about the homeless from Houston making their way to Ft Bend. In my head I was like, yall got Mo City and Rosenberg and yall looking down on the rest of Houston? But I think most of the karens live on the outer parts of Ft Bend (Fulshear, Sienna, etc) that really wouldn't be affected if a rail line went to Mo City or had busing out of Rosenberg that followed the highway. 

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40 minutes ago, Texasota said:

What exactly is wrong with Missouri City?

 

Nothing wrong with it, just didn't fit the narrative of what some of those people at the meeting made it seem Ft Bend is like. I'm a minority, and when Karens say "we're worried about the homeless", and this even includes the people in my neighborhood not Ft Bend only, it also typically refers to black/hispanic minorities in a low key way when it comes to housing and transit. At least in my experience. Dunno last time you checked, but we make up a lot of Mo City. And Ft Bend is also incredibly diverse. So like, if the karens are worried that the homeless and minorities are gonna ride a train/bus to Ft Bend uhhhh...surprise? lol. 

Edited by X.R.
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/30/2020 at 2:03 PM, X.R. said:

 

Nothing wrong with it, just didn't fit the narrative of what some of those people at the meeting made it seem Ft Bend is like. I'm a minority, and when Karens say "we're worried about the homeless", and this even includes the people in my neighborhood not Ft Bend only, it also typically refers to black/hispanic minorities in a low key way when it comes to housing and transit. At least in my experience. Dunno last time you checked, but we make up a lot of Mo City. And Ft Bend is also incredibly diverse. So like, if the karens are worried that the homeless and minorities are gonna ride a train/bus to Ft Bend uhhhh...surprise? lol. 

I've known Ft Bend to be growing increasingly blue over the last decade and I don't see that slowing down. So the Karen's need to either move or idk lol

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