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Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime

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  • Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  • #2
    - The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there's "a bus that goes there."

    - The new plan says that the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders.

    That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop.
    Exactly what we're talking about. Pity we didn't beat them to it.

    Come on, council!
    Last edited by JayBee; 19-02-2015, 12:25 AM. Reason: spelling...
    Let's make Edmonton better.


    • #3
      No mention of Metrorail in that article.
      Just enjoying another day in paradise.


      • #4
        Walker was also the key advisor on a potential transit redesign for Edmonton. Pitty that it's slow as mollasas for the idea to get traction with ETS.


        • #5
          City council is expected to debate this in the spring.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Drumbones View Post
            No mention of Metrorail in that article.
            Nothing direct however the map does indicate the current Red line (Northline to Fannin South) and the under construction Green and Purple lines both are currently being tested and scheduled to open April 2015.


            • #7
              Wow, what a battle to get that metro built. Yikes. More efficient transit is key. Lots of examples to go by for Edmonton.
              Live and love... your neighbourhood.


              • #8
                I think everyone has said this for a while. Pull the lower ridership routes. Focus on routes people will use.


                • #9
                  ^Not everyone has said this.

                  Link to a thread on the same topic in Edmonton.



                  • #10
                    I think there are going to be 3 hurdles:

                    1) People with mobility issue - easy 10-minute walks for the able-bodied might be unreasonable for them.

                    2) The transit union. Will they support this?

                    3) The suburbs. Will they support this? Last fall, councillor Oshry, signalled that he was open to the idea, justifying that the data supports that his southwestern suburbs do not rely on public transit, and that it's ok if different parts of the city use different services. Will his constituents support him?

                    Anyways, city council will be debating this in late spring. Keep your ears to the ground if you're interested. When the time comes, a note to your councillor can help sway them.


                    • #11
                      My question. If we go to smaller coverage, higher frequency network, will the suburban constituents then shift to more of an attitude that if they are not served by public transit, it therefore will not matter? We see this attitude in Edmonton already (although hopefully it's waining). Lorne Gunter for one, always goes on about how transit should be eliminated and the money spent on snowclearing and potholes instead.

                      On the other hand, a better system, even if smaller, could mean higher transit numbers, and especially working middle-income people. These could mean more advocates for better service, including expansion.


                      • #12
                        ^Usually the 2nd case of what you pointed out. Our "express" buses even now are not really all that "express", and connecting transit centres and routes do not connect or time well for a variety of reasons. There are many small issues with ETS along with a more efficient high-frequency routes. Transferring at transit centres can be confusing and with bad timing transfers lost many times. Oh well.
                        Live and love... your neighbourhood.


                        • #13
                          Why does virtually every mid-sized North American city I know of have a high-coverage system, and it's only now I hear of them trying to make the switch to higher frequency? It's not like riders 20 years ago enjoyed their windy 1hour frequency routes to nowhere.

                          Maybe I haven't been exposed to cities that have had better routes, but I suspect there are reasons why most cities are high coverage, even if they're not "good" reasons.