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Posts Tagged ‘light rail’

Metro gets more money

Good news. Congress has appropriated $189 million for two of our light-rail lines – the North/Red Line extension and the Southeast/Purple Line. Each line will receive $94.5 million. The funds are part of the $900 million Full Funding Grant Agreements signed by federal officials in November 2011. METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia called this appropriation vital. “This […]

On closing Main Street to cars downtown

Houston Tomorrow runs a post by Kyle Nielsen that he originally published in May advocating for more of Main Street downtown to be like Main Street Square, that is, closed to automotive traffic. What if we were to close Main Street to motor vehicle traffic and make it an exclusively pedestrian and bicycle corridor? It […]

More on Rep. Poe and the University line

Here’s the Chron story on Rep. Ted Poe’s surprising-to-me support of building the University Line. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, whose district shifted earlier this year to include portions of the area where the planned University Line would run along Richmond Avenue, said door-to-door canvassing by his staffers as well as phone and online responses demonstrate […]

Rep. Poe supports rail on Richmond

He supports something, anyway, and that’s a step forward. After seeking input from Houstonians, Congressman Ted Poe has spoken out in favor of building “something” in the University transit corridor. A statement outlining his position was released on Facebook yesterday: “On Monday, I asked for your opinion on whether or not federal funds should be […]

The University Corridor

Sorry for the late notice about this. Every year Houston combs its plan for future road building and improvements and makes changes. Generally, it’s relatively minor stuff that reflects putting on paper something that is going to happen anyway. […] Other times, even though everybody knows the writing on the wall, the changes are worth […]

Please try to avoid getting hit by the new light rail trains

Seriously, watch where you’re driving when you drive along or past the new rail lines. The train is bigger than you and your car, and if you pick a fight with it you will lose. Metro is working to make sure drivers and pedestrians get that message. Starting next year, Houston will have 15 new […]

North Line on track to open early

Excellent. Metro’s North Line light rail extension will open ahead of schedule in December, officials said Thursday, providing the first new light rail service in Houston in almost 10 years. The announcement at the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s monthly board meeting followed a series of delays and setbacks for the agency’s light rail expansion project, authorized […]

If only it were that easy to get our act together

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has some blunt words for Houston about light rail. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood likes Houston’s light rail that’s up and running but warns that regional transit officials have squandered opportunities the past decade by not building greater consensus. “The region needs to get its act together,” LaHood said during […]

The updated TRIP app is here

This came in last week: If you’ve got a smart phone, we’ve just made riding our buses or trains a lot easier. Today, we officially launched the METRO T.R.I.P. app – a tool that retrieves our schedule information, predicts real-time arrival of buses and helps you plan your trip on our system. T.R.I.P. stands for”transit […]

Fare enforcement for Metro

Dodging the fare on the light rail lines could become more difficult to do. Provided a key piece of state legislation comes through, Metro officials said the plan is to have new monitors in place when the new North, East and Southeast lines start ferrying passengers along the city’s rail system. “It is growing a […]

Mattress Mack’s Uptown rant

There’s a lot missing from Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale’s screed in the Sunday op-ed pages. When you get right down to it, the recent announcement that the Uptown Houston Management District wants to spend $177.5 million to “redesign and widen” Post Oak Boulevard and build a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system through the heart of […]

Biking to transit

KUHF has an update. Metro’s Strategic Planning Committee got an update on the “Bike and Ride” Access Study. Metro says it wants to make it easier for Houstonians to combine bike and bus travel. Metro officials say between 10,000 and 15,000 people every month bring their bikes aboard when they use the bus. Every bus […]

Feeling good about the Super Bowl bid

The city of Houston has submitted its bid to host Super Bowl LI in 2017, and they feel pretty good about their chances. Houston’s competition will be San Francisco or Miami – the city that fails to get the coveted Super Bowl L. League owners will vote on both Super Bowls on May 22 in […]

The day pass is back

From Metro: The METRO Board of Directors [Thursday] took the first step to bring back the “day pass.” The Board voted to commit $175,000 to adapt METRO’s Q Card system so a $3.00 extended “day pass” feature can be accommodated later this year. The action allows METRO to modify an existing contract with ACS/Xerox so […]

Metro’s bus strategy

We know that the 2012 Metro referendum was intended to help Metro boost ridership by improving and expanding its bus service. Metro Board member Christof Spieler explains what that means. First, in many cases, transit doesn’t go to the right places. Over time, Houston’s population has shifted as the urban core has redeveloped, older suburbs […]

Another reason why bike parking matters

This comment of the day on Swamplot points out a salient fact about bike parking. In all honesty, I only ride my bike for fun with the family on the weekends. However, after a couple of very frustrating attempts to park around White Oak to go out to dinner, I recently rode my bike down […]

Tell Rep. Culberson how you feel about rail on Richmond

From RichmondRail.org: We’ve learned recently that US Congressman John Culberson is soliciting input regarding the planned METRO rail line on Richmond Avenue. While the Congressman has directed his request to property owners and occupants on Richmond Ave., rail transit on Richmond would have an impact throughout Houston. We believe it’s important for as many people […]

In the HAUS

Meet Houston’s first housing co-op. Technically, this is HAUS, the Houston Access to Urban Sustainability Project, a housing co-op for those willing to work for their cheap rent and board by making meals, cleaning toilets and recycling – lots of recycling. The three founders, who had lived in or visited co-ops in other cities, began […]

The return of the day pass

Remember the day pass? One fare, and you could ride the bus and/or light rail all day? Metro is thinking about bringing it back. After a five-year hiatus, the daypass may soon return as an option for Metro bus and train riders. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is studying what it would take to reinstitute single-day […]

Uptown BRT

Interesting news from Swamplot. The driving force of a project that Uptown Houston District has proposed to the city to transform Post Oak Blvd.? Big beautiful buses. With both residential and commercial developments like Skanska’s 20-story office building popping up along the major transit corridor and METRO’s Uptown/Gold Line nowhere in sight, the District has […]

Time for another report on how much traffic sucks

We love this sort of thing, don’t we? Houston commuters continue to endure some of the worst traffic delays in the country, according to the 2012 Urban Mobility Report released Tuesday by the Texas A&M Transportation Commission. Area drivers wasted more than two days a year, on average, in traffic congestion, costing them each $1,090 […]

The case against Metro advertising

Ed Wulfe isn’t happy with talk about Metro putting ads on buses and trains. In the late 1970s, Houston voters overwhelmingly defeated a local referendum to allow ads on bus shelters. Soon after, Houston City Council banned all new billboards within the city limits, then extended the prohibition to the limits of the city’s extraterritorial […]

Here comes that B-Cycle expansion

Excellent. Houston’s bike-sharing program downtown is getting a boost from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, city officials announced Wednesday. The insurance company will contribute $750,000 to expand the B-Cycle system from three stations and 18 bikes to 24 stations and about 200 bikes, the city said in a news release. “Bike Share is […]

Metro moving forward with advertising

This has been in the works for a long time. Depending on what Metropolitan Transit Authority officials decide regarding a new revenue plan, your light rail trip could end at the Taco Bell Station, or some similarly named stop. Officials in early 2013 are expected to receive more information on a revenue plan exploring potential […]

Greanias officially resigns, interim Metro CEO named

George Greanias may have stepped down as CEO of Metro, but he’ll still be around for awhile, as Metro searches for his successor. Metropolitan Transit Authority board members on Thursday accepted Greanias’ resignation, named an interim replacement and approved a six-month, $117,500 contract with Greanias – equivalent to half his annual salary – to consult […]

Greanias to step down from Metro

Bummer. George Greanias, appointed to lead the Metropolitan Transit Authority in September 2010 after political squabbling and inefficiencies led to widespread criticism of the bus and train system, is resigning, a Metro spokeswoman confirmed Friday. Greanias has stated his intent to resign from his position as president and chief executive officer, but a formal letter […]

Don’t write off the University line

Metro certainly hasn’t, judging by what they’re saying. “Dallas has almost 100 miles of light rail,” Metro board chairman Gilbert Garcia told a business luncheon Tuesday. “Certainly we can get to The Galleria.” What hasn’t been figured out, yet, is how to pay for the project. Federal money was heavily leveraged to get the North […]

Help Metro figure out the bike and transit thing

Your public service opportunity of the day: METRO and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) are seeking input from bicyclists on the use of public transit. Want to join? You must meet the following criteria: Already integrate biking and public transit Bike but not currently using public transportation Use public transit but not with a bike […]

Precinct analysis: Metro

The first rule of precinct analysis, at least as I do it, is that you really can’t learn much by doing it on lopsided elections. The Metro referendum, which passed with 78% of the vote, is Exhibit A of this phenomenon. Here’s how the vote went in the State Rep districts for the Metro issue: […]

Buses and trains, not buses or trains

I have a lot of emotion about this, but I’m still working through how to express it. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials say the agency is on firmer financial footing than it has been in years. They plan to add shelters at 100 bus stops in the next year, replace aging buses with larger and smaller […]

Closing arguments for the Metro referendum

One way or another, this argument will be settled on Tuesday. What happens after that is still anyone’s guess. The referendum on Tuesday’s ballot asks whether to continue spending some public transit sales tax money on streets and bridges. Opponents have campaigned against it by recasting the question: Should transit money be spent on roads […]

KHOU story on the Metro poll question

I noted yesterday that there would be a separate story on the Metro referendum result from that KHOU/KUHF poll of Harris County.That story is here. A new poll indicates the Metro referendum on Houston area ballots will probably pass, but as early voting began a large number of voters hadn’t made up their minds. About […]

Metro’s new trains

Last week, Metro announced that it had received delivery of a new train, the first of a batch of new light rail vehicles (LRVs) scheduled to arrive in town. Gilbert Garcia, METRO board chairman, said the light-rail Siemens S70 represents a savings of almost a year’s time in getting optimal service to our riders. METRO […]

More back and forth on the Metro referendum

Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia explains the referendum for those who say they don’t understand it. The referendum is as easy as 1-2-3. If approved, it will: 1. Continue the road-building program. 2. Expand Metro’s bus system. 3. Pay down Metro’s short-term debt. Sure, the mathematics of how the money flows to accomplish these items […]