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Posts Tagged ‘Metro’

Council approves body camera storage funds

Good. City Council voted Wednesday to spend $1 million to buy servers and other equipment to store video collected by city police officers equipped with body cameras. The vote, passed with relatively little fuss following months of sometimes-contentious public debate, marks the next step in the Houston Police Department’s ongoing effort to equip more than […]

UberACCESS debuts in Houston

Good to see. A partnership that has helped disabled people connect with a popular ride service launched in Houston at midnight. Uber officials confirmed UberACCESS, which offers wheelchair-accessible rides for the same price as UberX, began service Wednesday. Like all Uber service, it is available via smartphone app, 24 hours a day. “I’m thrilled to […]

Take transit to the game

If you can, you should. The transformation of downtown from a work place that empties after dark to a true community is finally underway in earnest, with residents, retail shops, and restaurants that remain open long after the lunch rush. The building boom is everywhere, and that includes the area around Minute Maid, which had […]

Criminal complaint filed over Uptown land acquisition

All righty then. A consultant who represents property owners in the Galleria area has filed a criminal complaint with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, alleging the Uptown Development Authority and related entities broke state open meetings and disclosure laws in relation to acquiring property for a dedicated bus lane project. The complaint, filed last […]

Lots of people took the train to the games

Nice. After handling more than a quarter-million rail trips over the four-day NCAA Final Four period, Metro is calling it a slam dunk. “These are numbers are fantastic for us,” spokesman Jerome Gray said. Metro said 255,700 rail boardings occurred from Friday until Monday. That’s roughly 87,000 more for the four days than the system […]

Gilbert Garcia will be a tough act to follow at Metro

Let me bid an early and fond farewell to outgoing Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia. With only weeks to go as chairman of Metro, Gilbert Garcia bounds down the hallway to his transit agency office greeting workers, talking about how much he’ll miss the place. He’s not shy in expressing pride about what he’s leaving […]

Other cities want to be like Houston

For parks and landscaping. The word “infrastructure” typically conjures up images of towering buildings, layered freeway interchanges and heavily monitored drainage ditches; concrete, cars, trucks and impressive feats of engineering that attempt to mold the natural world and resources to fit human needs. Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., has long been hailed, […]

More Metro appointments for Mayor Turner

The Chron editorial board gets its wish. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday named two new Metro board members and reappointed two others – taking a more moderate course than his predecessor, who replaced all five of the city’s appointees. Disability rights advocate Lex Frieden and construction oversight manager Troi Taylor will join the board, presumably […]

Will driverless cars fix Houston’s traffic problems?

Tory Gattis thinks they might. The second step is understanding the ramifications of coming new technologies — specifically self-driving cars. While the general vehicle fleet will take decades to turn over as people slowly replace their cars, we can expect extremely rapid adoption among taxi services as soon as these vehicles are available in the […]

Mayor Turner appoints new Metro board chair

Good choice. Former Metro board member Carrin Patman will return to the transit agency as chairwoman, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Friday. Patman, 59, is a partner at Houston-based law firm Bracewell, where she has represented major corporate clients in fraud and breach of contract claims. She served on the Metropolitan Transit Authority board from April […]

Metro smartphone payment system debuts

Progress marches onward. Metro riders will be able to board a bus or train without a fare card or cash within a few days, just in time for some of the transit agency’s heaviest use during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials on Wednesday said they had completed testing and preparation […]

Turner wants to rethink transportation

I like the way he’s thinking. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in less than a month on the job, has hit the streets at full speed. First he tackled potholes. Last week he tackled a state transportation department that’s spent the past half-century developing a highway network that is increasingly getting farther from Houston’s core and, […]

Harrisburg line overpass delayed again

Ugh. Just, ugh. A rail overpass vital to completion of the East End light rail line that has divided neighbors and eroded public confidence will be delayed another four months, Metro officials confirmed Monday. “It has been the project from hell from the beginning,” Metropolitan Transit Authority board member Cindy Siegel said. “It needs to […]

The Mayor’s education czar

Former HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche has joined the Turner administration. Mayor Sylvester Turner has named former Houston ISD board president Juliet Stipeche to a newly created Director of Education role in his administration, seeking greater collaboration between the city and area schools, community colleges and universities. Many council members and education advocates praised the move, […]

Chron story on the bus map tweaks

A few bits of interest here. Metro leaders hope more frequent service on popular routes will build on the ridership gains the system is experiencing. “I think as you get higher frequency and people know it is going to come, we are going to see higher ridership,” Metro CEO Tom Lambert told board members Wednesday. […]

Metro bus system tweaks coming

From the inbox: You spoke, and METRO listened. Beginning Jan. 24, 2016, METRO will put in place a series of route and schedule modifications based on feedback received from riders and bus operators since launching the New Bus Network Aug. 16, 2015. These service enhancements are expected to reduce overcrowding and improve on-time performance, and […]

The Magic Bus

Cool. Just like that, faster than Uber, the Magic Bus is seven minutes from its first passenger of the day. For the next 12 hours, the bus – in actuality, a brightly painted van bearing the slogan “For all who labor for a better life” – will make 20-minute loops around Gulfton, a working-class neighborhood […]

Metro and HCTRA exploring other payment options

Look for them soon. Many transit riders are clamoring for smartphone payment for Metro buses and trains, which the agency originally announced would be ready by the end of 2015. Those plans have been delayed because of contract negotiations, but about 100 riders will be chosen for a test of a smartphone-based payment system in […]

Interview with Mayor Annise Parker

We are in the last few days of the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. Having served three terms each as Council member and Controller, she is finishing up eighteen years as an elected official in the city of Houston. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to her one last time before she heads […]

More on the Gulf Coast Rail District and the high speed rail line

The Chron reports on the story. Officials with the Gulf Coast Rail District, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Texas Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transit Authority are involved in a comprehensive planning study of rail, generally in the Washington Avenue and Interstate 10 area. The study, building off numerous previous reports and research by the agencies, is […]

Metro posts solid ridership increase

Nice. METRO’s chosen path to increase ridership by delivering improved routes, with improved connections, is producing solid, steady and most impressively significant, numbers – across the board. Ridership on all fixed routes grew to nearly 7 million in November 2015. That is an 11 percent jump from November 2014. Local bus ridership numbers for November […]

Want to help Metro test a mobile ticketing app?

Here’s what you need to know. METRO is launching a new mobile ticketing application for smart phones, and we are looking for volunteers to help us test the app before it is released to the public. By volunteering to be a beta tester, we ask that you agree to the following: 1) Actively participate in […]

Paxton opines on Uptown BRT

AG Ken Paxton was asked for an opinion on whether or not Metro could work with the Uptown Management District on its proposed BRT line. The opinion has been given, though it doesn’t really settle anything. In the ruling, Paxton said the issue centered on the $640 million in bonds voters approved in 2003, part […]

Today is Runoff Day

From the inbox: Runoff Election Day is Saturday, Dec. 12 for citizens registered to vote within the legal boundaries of the City of Houston and Houston ISD Trustee District II and III. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “I encourage every eligible voter to do their homework on the candidates and […]

More on the high speed rail station in Houston

The Chron frets about it not being downtown. After hearing so much about how the proposed Central Texas Railway will help people commute between the central business districts of Houston and Dallas, it turns out that the Houston station will be built near the Northwest Mall at U.S. 290 and Loop 610. Unless your business […]

Metro wants to know what you think of bus system reimagining

This ought to be interesting. Starting Monday, Metro workers will be at bus stops and transit centers surveying riders about the changes, which took effect Aug. 16. The new system altered practically every bus trip in the Houston area, as Metropolitan Transit Authority officials shifted to more frequent service along some lines. Though some riders […]

Red lights on the Green line

Alas. Light rail is up and running along Harrisburg on the city’s east side, but Metro’s construction continues to be a sore spot with area residents because it seems at every turn the work is taking longer than promised. The latest delays come from sluggish work to move utilities and excavate for a planned overpass […]

The FRA releases its alignment analysis for the high speed rail line

There will be no downtown Houston station, that much is for sure. The area around U.S. 290 and Loop 610, anchored by Northwest Mall, is likely to be the end of the line for a proposed Houston-to-Dallas high speed passenger train. The Federal Railroad Administration has eliminated from consideration both of the paths that would […]

Another review of Metro’s bus system reimagining

This time from the Chron: Nearly three months into what many consider the most significant operational change any American transit system has made in three decades, Houston transit officials and supporters are calling the new bus network a rousing success. Critics, however, point to broken connections and to transit-dependent riders whose service has been cut […]

Where things stand with bus ridership

Jarrett Walker, one of the consultants who helped design the new Metro bus network, looks at the most recent stats from Metro and tells us what they mean. It’s now been about two months since Houston METRO implemented their New Network, developed through a process called the System Reimagining. The first ridership numbers are in, […]

Uptown living

It’s a thing that is happening. Home to the city’s glittering epicenter of retail, with a dramatic skyline dominated by the towering Williams Tower and other office buildings, Uptown Houston is best known for the places where people work and play. Increasingly, it’s a place where people want to live as well. A $1.7 billion […]

Election Day: Get yourself to the polls

From County Clerk Stan Stanart: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart strongly encourages citizens who plan to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to be prepared before voting on Election Day. “It is very important for voters to know the answers to Where, When, Who and What before heading to the polls on Election Day,” said Stanart, […]

Lawsuit against Uptown line dismissed

We haven’t heard the last of this, of that you can be certain. A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a dedicated bus lane project in Houston’s Uptown area, but the ruling is not a final resolution of the dispute. State District Judge Brent Gamble on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Cosmopolitan Condominium Owners […]

Metro once again considers advertising

And I once again say go for it. Thursday, Metropolitan Transit Authority board members will consider researching options for putting ads inside buses and trains, as well as text-based ads for those who use the system’s next-bus texting service. Metro board member Diann Lewter said the discussion is preliminary, but she and others want to […]