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Posts Tagged ‘Metro’

Uptown BRT update

From Swamplot: HERE ARE SOME of the purty watercolor renderings the Uptown District has been presenting of what Post Oak Blvd. will look like after the addition of 2 dedicated bus lanes down its middle. The proposed changes to the thoroughfare won’t take away any of the 6 existing car lanes or 13 existing left-turn-signal […]

When are we getting those trains again?

The Metro board has some doubts about railcar manufacturer CAF’s ability to keep its promises. Houston transit officials, worried that the light rail system might run short of trains for months after two new lines open, are not satisfied with a new schedule for delivery of delayed rail cars. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials expressed deep […]

Park and Ride parking

I have no problem with this. Park and ride buses are among the cheapest options for suburban commuters who work downtown, in part because Metro provides free parking. But just as new highways increasingly require drivers to pay tolls, officials are considering changes to the park and ride system that would shift more costs to […]

Transit ridership up nationally

Some encouraging news here. More Americans used buses, trains and subways in 2013 than in any year since 1956 as service improved, local economies grew and travelers increasingly sought alternatives to the automobile for trips within metropolitan areas, the American Public Transportation Association said in a report released on Monday. The trade group said in […]

Metro reports an increase in boardings with bikes

From the inbox: The number of people using bikes to extend their bus trips (or vice versa) increased more than 47 percent jumping from 12,111 bike bus boardings in January 2013 to 17,859 in January this year, That’s according to METRO figures which do not account for bikes taken onto light-rail trains. At the METRO […]

We’ll get our new trains in January

We have a deadline. The company building Metro’s new trains will deliver the final car to Houston five months late, according to a revised schedule submitted to the transit agency. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is reviewing the schedule, spokesman Jerome Gray said, and hasn’t agreed to the new timeline. The revision was one of the  […]

State of the county 2014: Let’s keep working together

Time for Judge Emmett to tell us how things are going in Harris County. (Spoiler alert: They’re going fine, thanks for asking.) On the eve of what could be his final term as Harris County’s top elected official, County Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called for the consolidation of various government entities and services, citing […]

Leaning towards the over

Metro is working on a solution to the Harrisburg Line over/underpass problem. “We want the community involved and for this to be as open and honest as possible,” [Metro Board Chair Gilbert] Garcia said. Before Metro makes a decision, Garcia said, he wanted residents to have a better sense of the problem. Leaking gasoline tanks […]

Metro reports good first month North Line numbers

Off to a fine start. In its first month of operation, the Red/North Line extension exceeded ridership projections by 62 percent. METRO launched its 5.3-mile extension of the Red/North Line last Dec. 21 – extending the line from HCC-Downtown Station eight more stops to Northline Transit Center/HCC. In January, the first full month of operation, […]

Is it all over for the Harrisburg Line underpass?

Despite earlier agreement between Metro, residents, and the city to build an underpass for the far end of the Harrisburg line, it’s not looking too good for that option right now. Residents of Houston’s East End supported a 2003 transit referendum that included a light rail line through their neighborhood, but they balked six years […]

Culberson says he’s killed the University Line

And maybe he has, though it wasn’t going anywhere at this time anyway. Residents and business owners along Richmond Avenue are breathing a sigh of relief — at least for now — as U.S. Rep. John Culberson has had his way, quashing federal funding for light-rail along Richmond, west of Shepherd, and on Post Oak […]

“Go, Texans” OK’ed

Well, that‘s a relief. County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez’s quest to ban “Go Texans” and other messages from Metro’s digital bus marquees has ended unsuccessfully with a pass from the Federal Transportation Administration and a scathing letter from the Metro board chairman. Last fall, Sanchez asked the federal agency and the Harris County Attorney’s office to […]

Metro names Lambert its next CEO

For the second time in a row, the Metro board will make its interim CEO its permanent CEO. The Metropolitan Transit Authority board on Thursday voted unanimously to open negotiations with Tom Lambert for the permanent president and CEO position. Lambert, who has led the agency on an interim basis since December 2012, served as […]

Riding that crowded train

Metro ponders its options for dealing with potential delays in the delivery of new railcars. Metro officials said Wednesday that the best solution to an expected shortage of railcars might be to limit trains on the main light rail line to one car rather than two, freeing up cars from the current fleet to serve […]

I got those “can’t get my rail cars built on time” blues

Actually, I don’t, but Metro does. The company building 39 new Metro railcars has yet to deliver an acceptable vehicle almost six months after the original due date, potentially delaying full service for rail lines scheduled to open later this year. The first car hasn’t passed a required water leak test and exceeds the maximum […]

On riding the North Line

Can we wait until we’ve had at least one non-holiday work week before we start talking about North Line ridership numbers? Thanks. The changes brought by the rail line, an extension of the Main Street Line now known as the Red Line, might develop more gradually than some residents and businesses hope. Early signs are […]

What can we do to get the Universities Line going?

This story is about the opening of the North Line, but it’s also about where Metro goes from here. The opening of the lines won’t spell the end of the construction. To complete the final mile of the East Line, Metro must build an underpass at Harrisburg and 66th Street at the Houston Belt & […]

North Line opening today

From the inbox: ALL ABOARD FOR SATURDAY RAIL ROLL-OUT METRO is inviting the public to get on board for the Saturday, Dec. 21 grand opening of the new 5.3-mile North/Red Line! Riding the train will be free all day as part of the grand opening celebration taking place at Moody Park. Festivities at the park include acts like A.B.Quintanilla III y Los Kumbia […]

North Line opens this Saturday

Exciting times. Two major transportation projects scheduled to open in Houston this week – perhaps on the same day – represent distinct and sometimes warring visions of regional mobility and growth. On Saturday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will open its Red Line light rail extension from downtown to just north of Loop 610. And state […]

The lost canopy

Very disappointing. Metro officials on Thursday scaled back plans for an iconic downtown Houston transit hub where three rail lines will cross after board members grew frustrated with what they called inexcusable delays and cost overruns. “This has been mismanaged from the get-go, and there cannot be situations where things are not budgeted fully,” Metropolitan […]

More riders, fewer routes

Metro keeps moving towards its re-imagined bus service, which is aimed at increasing ridership. Currently, Metro operates on a philosophy that half its resources should go toward high-performing routes and half to making sure everyone has convenient access to a bus stop. By re-directing most of those resources, the same number of buses can provide […]

No, Texans!

If you regularly see Metro buses around town, you might have noticed that during the football season they will sometimes display “GO TEXANS!” on their marquees, rotating with their route information. They display similar messages for other local teams during their seasons as well. Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez wants them to stop doing that. […]

Chron profiles the Mayor

The Sunday Chron has an expansive profile of Mayor Parker. In a system where term limits cap elected officials at six years, City Hall veterans joke that new council members spend their first year finding the bathrooms and their sixth getting ignored by bureaucrats happy to wait them out. Parker, however, spent six years on […]

Improving bike-to-transit

I wish them luck. A group of Rice University students is working with various community groups and Metropolitan Transit Authority officials to better integrate cycling and public transit, as the city’s bike-sharing system prepares for another expansion. Make no mistake: Biking and transit will continue to be specks in the rear-view mirror of the automobile […]

More on Metro’s bus strategy

The anticipated “re-imagining” of Metro’s bus service is underway. The “new” Metro is still prioritizing things in an old way, splitting its priorities evenly between ridership growth and coverage to areas where officials know the bus provides the only viable option for many residents. Metro strives to serve anyone who needs a bus, which takes […]

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 […]

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 […]

H-GAC approves Uptown transportation funding

Good. Houston-area transportation officials approved a plan Friday to use $61.8 million in federal funds to help build bus-only lanes along Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area. [...] The project, sponsored by the Uptown Management District, widens Post Oak to add two center lanes for buses that will shuttle riders from two Metropolitan Transit […]

Chron wonders where B-Cycle is going

Last week in an unsigned editorial, the Chron asked a provocative question about B-Cycle. Are bicycle rental programs supposed to be legitimate transportation or merely toys for urban bohemians? New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante revealed Friday that her city’s attempts to make bike share more affordable, such as distributing free helmets and subsidizing Citi […]

Uptown transit plan gets key funding approval

Good news. Plans for bus-only lanes along Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area moved forward Thursday when a key committee recommended spending $62 million in federal funds. Members of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s transportation improvement program subcommittee approved the spending, a month after delaying a decision so staff could study the issue more, especially […]

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 […]