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The Woodlands Trolley


PureAuteur

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I think the Woodlands should develop a trolley for public transportation. I just got back from a vacation to San Diego, and their trolley works well, even for a city of 1 million people. I think a small-scale trolley that runs between the main business district and the neighborhoods along Woodlands Pkwy would be ideal. It will help reduce traffic and conserve energy. Once the Woodlands gets more business and nightlife, you could then live there and hardly ever have to use a car, and never need to drive into Houston.

I think I've heard people talk about a tourist trolley bus, but nothing about public transportation. Would this work out well in the Woodlands?

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segway is trying to make a mark here in the woods. they have a thing at market street now where you can rent a segway and tour around market street or town center. you can probably buy one too. i think they are trying to capitalize on our already wide walk/bike/jogging trails, but the woodlands is not budging on it's "no motorized" vehicles on the pathways rule (yet). i'm not sure if the battery power of a segway has enough life to motor someone between villages, in addition, the speed and maneuverability of the segway might be a danger to your average walk/jogger.

i too have wondered if a trolley would work between villages and connecting with town center. if they intend to connect the villages to town center with mass transit they should do it now; however, i don't think the villages are dense enough to support such a system. maybe a trolley/bus route from village retail center to town center daily would work?

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It'll work so long as you keep the transit line running only on the Parkway. It should make around 5-7 stops from I-45 to the other end of the Woodlands, and a few extras around the mall and waterway area. It really wouldn't take that long to put in, and probably wouldn't involve an extensive amount of planning or restructuring of anything.

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It'll work so long as you keep the transit line running only on the Parkway. It should make around 5-7 stops from I-45 to the other end of the Woodlands, and a few extras around the mall and waterway area. It really wouldn't take that long to put in, and probably wouldn't involve an extensive amount of planning or restructuring of anything.

huh? this would involve traffic redirection, there are natural gas lines everywhere, a new bridge across the lake and much, much more restructuring and planning would be required. it would not be easy or quick.

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the median is preserved greenspace. i doubt they would ever approve a trolley down the middle of woodlands parkway. however, i could see a line on one side of the parkway or the other. but again, the potential ridership (i believe) would not be sufficient to justify a trolley system connecting the villages with town center.

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I think the Woodlands should develop a trolley for public transportation. I just got back from a vacation to San Diego, and their trolley works well, even for a city of 1 million people. I think a small-scale trolley that runs between the main business district and the neighborhoods along Woodlands Pkwy would be ideal. It will help reduce traffic and conserve energy. Once the Woodlands gets more business and nightlife, you could then live there and hardly ever have to use a car, and never need to drive into Houston.

I think I've heard people talk about a tourist trolley bus, but nothing about public transportation. Would this work out well in the Woodlands?

I agree that public transportation is sorely missing in The Woodlands. But I've come to realize that people here love their blasted gas guzzlers so much, they'd never go for it. It's hopeless, I'm afraid.

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  • 1 month later...
I think the Woodlands should develop a trolley for public transportation. I just got back from a vacation to San Diego, and their trolley works well, even for a city of 1 million people. I think a small-scale trolley that runs between the main business district and the neighborhoods along Woodlands Pkwy would be ideal. It will help reduce traffic and conserve energy. Once the Woodlands gets more business and nightlife, you could then live there and hardly ever have to use a car, and never need to drive into Houston. I think I've heard people talk about a tourist trolley bus, but nothing about public transportation. Would this work out well in the Woodlands?

East Shore - this new subdivision is being built in walking distance of the town center. Most of the homes will be within one or two miles of everything in the town center. There are some other residential developments in the town center now.

Most residents in the villages of Grogan's Mill, Panther Creek, and some parts have direct routes of less than 5 miles to the town center via bike trails along Grogan's Mill Rd, Woodlands Pkwy, Lake Woodlands Dr, and Research Forest Dr. (http://www.thewoodlandsassociations.org/parks-rec/index.php?page=82) So some 20,000 residents can bike leisurely for less than 30 minutes and get to the town center. I regularly see residents riding bikes to the town center on weekends right now. I just saw one yesterday. I see kids biking to school every day in The Woodlands. Biking to work is trickier because it depends on the weather and the facilities in your workplace.

Any way I look at it, inexpensive or upscale, public transportation in The Woodlands doesn't seem to make much sense to me in a primarily upscale, self-contained, suburban community. The average Woodlands household makes $100,000/year, probably has at least 2 cars, and we're talking about a 10-minute drive to work. And they drive everywhere else they go. So they'd spend 5 or 10 minutes walking on the bike trails to their nearest village shopping center, wait for a bus, pay $X, and then walk to work from wherever the bus stopped? For most folks who worked in The Woodlands, it would be easier to just drive to work. For some folks, it would be quicker to walk to work than to take a bus.

I wonder if they'd consider opening up the bike trails to motorized traffic during commuting hours (weekday mornings and afternoons), and set a speed limit of 15 mph. They could do it on a trial basis and see what the reaction was. They could start out just opening it up a couple days per year. They could even limit it to certain types of motorized vehicles, like ones that weren't capable of going any faster than 30 mph, which would include golf carts, mopeds, kids scooters, and segways. This would keep out things like motorcycles.

Another thing they might consider is to offer police patrol on the bikepaths. Or to have security cameras stationed at places along the bikepaths.

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While the average home may contain 2 or more vehicles, it doesn't mean that EVERYONE in the household is able to drive to their destinations.

There are those that, for whatever reason, can't drive, and if their primary "driver" is gone to work or whatever, that leaves that person stranded at home.

I've lived in the 'burb's without a car and it sucked. There has to be some sort of Transporation to the city center at least. The huge homeowner fees that are being collected, I'm sure a modest shuttle or two would suffice. From the town center they can catch additional transportation in the guise of a car rental or even a local cab company.

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Any way I look at it, inexpensive or upscale, public transportation in The Woodlands doesn't seem to make much sense to me in a primarily upscale, self-contained, suburban community.

town center is its own thing. public transport is key element in the coming "high-density" future of the woodlands town center. it will soon become so difficult to park near your favorite attraction in the woodlands town center that one will have to find a space and take the trolleys or the water taxis. the waterway is to be the "main street" of the woodlands town center.

note to investors: buy homes near north millbend! you can buy a 2000 square foot house for under 120k right now.

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:D

You know, I think one of those little shuttle buses running to market street and stopping at major intersections just might work. There are some many damn stop lights ( or about to be) now down the parkway, everyone is within a 1/2 mile walk of one.

Current light setup it takes 20 minutes from the back of The Woodlands to Market Street. With 4 more lights going up, the time will probably push to 22-25 minutes.

I think the kids would use it in droves. Sorry Market Street, but you're the one that put in the theater, Jamba Juice, Johnny Rockets, Ice Cream shop etc. ;)

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While the average home may contain 2 or more vehicles, it doesn't mean that EVERYONE in the household is able to drive to their destinations.

There are those that, for whatever reason, can't drive, and if their primary "driver" is gone to work or whatever, that leaves that person stranded at home.

I've lived in the 'burb's without a car and it sucked. There has to be some sort of Transporation to the city center at least. The huge homeowner fees that are being collected, I'm sure a modest shuttle or two would suffice. From the town center they can catch additional transportation in the guise of a car rental or even a local cab company.

That's a good point about those who can't drive. But as for a shuttle to the town center, I don't think there is a car rental place in the town center now. I think maybe Sawdust Road or I-45 would be the closest one. And a local cab could go the extra 5 miles to pick you up at your doorstep instead of at the town center. Remember there's also a commuter bus service into downtown Houston every day from a couple different points in The Woodlands.

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The trolleys were finally up and running this weekend for the Waterway Art festival, but does anyone know if they are going to stick around? I rode one and there were all these signs and stuff talking about Bryan, Texas. I guess that since they're operated by Brazos Transit Authority they must have been using them there all these months? It'd be nice if they would be put into full time use in the Town Center with a designated route. The one that I was in was rather nice on the inside, and very well air conditioned. :D

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The trolleys were finally up and running this weekend for the Waterway Art festival, but does anyone know if they are going to stick around? I rode one and there were all these signs and stuff talking about Bryan, Texas. I guess that since they're operated by Brazos Transit Authority they must have been using them there all these months? It'd be nice if they would be put into full time use in the Town Center with a designated route. The one that I was in was rather nice on the inside, and very well air conditioned. :D

The trolleys and the waterway boats are indeed operated by Brazos Transit Authority. For more info, try this link:

http://www.btd.org/Waterway.htm

The trolleys do live in The Woodlands, though. I see them most days parked at the Sawdust park and ride. And all of the BTD vehicles I have experienced seem to be VERY well air conditioned.

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Does anybody know what kind of mph the water taxi goes? If it's equal to or slower than a brisk walk (say 5-7 mph), then I can't see it being used for anything other than sightseeing. Even if it went 35 mph and connected a major parking garage with a major office complex, I'm still hesitant to think many folks would shell out $6 just to travel a mile or two.

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  • 4 months later...

update

Oct. 4, 2006, 1:52PM

The Woodlands hopes to roll out trolleys

Town Center awaits word on funding from federal grant

By BETH KUHLES

Chronicle Correspondent

The Town Center Improvement District is applying for $1.6 million in federal funding to get new trolleys rolling in the downtown area of The Woodlands.

"We are waiting to get the trolleys on the ground and running," said Frank Robinson, president of the Town Center Improvement District. "We just need operating dollars."

link

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I guess it will serve a purpose. It's not easy to walk from the mall to Market Street, or from the mall to the Waterway entrance at the Marriot. The trolley should make things a little less confusing for people until they get used to the layout of Town Center or until they make improved walkways that connect everything.

It should be similar to the trolley for Moody Gardens in Galveston. There's about 5 different stops it makes after you hop on from the parking lot. It takes you to Schlitterbahn, the Aquarium, the visitor center, the IMAX, and the rainforest pyramid. I think Town Center is larger than the Moody Gardens/Schlitterbahn area of Galveston.

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Bach-

Do you know what percentage of federal transportation funds are being used for both the trolley and the water taxis?

i do not know. let us know if you find out.

We do need public transportation here. The traffic is getting horible during peak times. Getting to a concert is maddening. As the topwn center gorws, sop will the traffic problems getting in and out.

there is some relief coming for town center traffic. traffic lights will soon go up on grogan's mill at timberloch, lake robbins and lake woodlands. eventually, all of the traffic lights in town center will be timed like downtown houston. the cameras and sensors that have been and will be installed will allow for traffic sensitive alterations in the light change patterns for individual intersections.

i think that pureauteur's idea for public transportation from the villages is a good idea. it would be great to have circulator vans going between town center and all the villages. every village has a retail center, each one could have a stop. each village's retail center is usually close to the apartment complexes and retirement facilities for that village. these stops would be in walking distance for many residents.

it would most likely be a pricey perk though.

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i do not know. let us know if you find out.

there is some relief coming for town center traffic. traffic lights will soon go up on grogan's mill at timberloch, lake robbins and lake woodlands. eventually, all of the traffic lights in town center will be timed like downtown houston. the cameras and sensors that have been and will be installed will allow for traffic sensitive alterations in the light change patterns for individual intersections.

i think that pureauteur's idea for public transportation from the villages is a good idea. it would be great to have circulator vans going between town center and all the villages. every village has a retail center, each one could have a stop. each village's retail center is usually close to the apartment complexes and retirement facilities for that village. these stops would be in walking distance for many residents.

it would most likely be a pricey perk though.

I have a feeling it would be less expensive than buying a car and maintaining it. My kids could go there without depending on me for their transportation. My daughter could go to work via a village van. I can think of a gillion uses.

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I'm not that familiar with the woodlands proper, but I would imagine a reasonable number of buses that meet ADA standards. Perhaps if a certain amount of buses that would allow a reasonable amount or scheduled stops at the various neighborhoods, so they would know what time to expect the buses/shuttles.

They are in desperate need of some form of public information up there.

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  • 2 months later...
  • The title was changed to The Woodlands Trolley

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