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Old December 9th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #41
SydneyCity
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Do many people use the METROrail? It looks like a good system, and from the pictures, fairly well patronised too. Perhaps one day, the Houston system could rival Melbourne's for size
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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyCity View Post
Do many people use the METROrail? It looks like a good system, and from the pictures, fairly well patronised too. Perhaps one day, the Houston system could rival Melbourne's for size
Considering the current size of the system, (7.5 mi/12.4 km) it now carries about 34,600 people daily and has a ridership per mile of 4,613 people, so it is fairly well patronized considering that the line serves two employment centers (Downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center).


This is what the light rail system will look like once MetroSolutions is complete. As of now only the Red Line Extension and the Green Line is in construction.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #43
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Only 35 000 daily? And it's going trough Downtown? City of 3 million it is not much.

Tram system in Helsinki carries 200 000 on daily and Helsinki's population is something like 15 % to Houston's.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by apinamies View Post

Only 35 000 daily? And it's going trough Downtown? City of 3 million it is not much.

Tram system in Helsinki carries 200 000 on daily and Helsinki's population is something like 15 % to Houston's.
For a city and metro area the size of Houston, the numbers are pathetic.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #45
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For a city and metro area the size of Houston, the numbers are pathetic.
The line is only 7 miles long. It has the second highest ridership/mile in the US for lightrail systems.

That being said, anyone know the numbers on the projected ridership for the builtout system?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apinamies View Post

Only 35 000 daily? And it's going trough Downtown? City of 3 million it is not much.

Tram system in Helsinki carries 200 000 on daily and Helsinki's population is something like 15 % to Houston's.
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For a city and metro area the size of Houston, the numbers are pathetic.
Less pathetic than Miami's thats for sure.

Some of these criticisms are ridiculous. The first leg of the light rail system was built in 2001. Do you seriously expect Houston to have 100mi of light rail lines today?

Building this infastructure takes time.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #47
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Less pathetic than Miami's thats for sure.

Some of these criticisms are ridiculous. The first leg of the light rail system was built in 2001. Do you seriously expect Houston to have 100mi of light rail lines today?

Building this infastructure takes time.
Given the size of the city and the fact that it goes through 2 major employment areas, to only have about 35,000 a day is pretty poor.

And no, I don't expect Houston to have 100 mi of rail transit right away. Houston will have to spend billions to get their system up to par with cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, etc.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:39 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massp88 View Post
Given the size of the city and the fact that it goes through 2 major employment areas, to only have about 35,000 a day is pretty poor.

And no, I don't expect Houston to have 100 mi of rail transit right away. Houston will have to spend billions to get their system up to par with cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, etc.
The common denominator here is that Houston is far more sprawly than all of the above.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:56 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massp88 View Post
Given the size of the city and the fact that it goes through 2 major employment areas, to only have about 35,000 a day is pretty poor.

And no, I don't expect Houston to have 100 mi of rail transit right away. Houston will have to spend billions to get their system up to par with cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, etc.
For a light rail line that is only currently 7.5 miles long, I would say having a daily ridership of 35,000 a day is pretty good especially when you compare it with longer light rail systems in the US. Even light rail systems in Los Angeles, Dallas, or Portland do not have over 4,000 boardings per square mile.

Plus once the Uptown and University Lines are built the total system will serve three business districts not to mention numerous mixed use/residential districts therefore creating a much larger ridership base in the near future.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #50
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Metro is just initiating a new Enviromental Impact Study for the planned commuter rail to Sugar Land and Missouri City.

Quote:
US 90A/Southwest Rail Corridor
METRO Initiates EIS for the US 90A/Southwest Corridor
http://ridemetro.org/ProjectsProgram...lCorridor.aspx

On January 10, 2011, METRO initiated the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the US 90A/Southwest Rail Corridor. The US 90A/Southwest Rail corridor extends approximately eight miles from the Fannin South Station at the southern end of the existing METRORail Red Line to the vicinity of West Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8) in Missouri City, Texas.

The first step is to determine the scope of the EIS so issues are identified early and properly studied. The end result of the scoping process is to ensure that the draft EIS is thorough and balanced. The scoping process is the best opportunity for agencies and the public to raise potential environmental or social impacts that should be considered, as well as any additional alternatives that should be studied.

METRO will host public scoping meetings, beginning in February 2011 to encourage public participation and comment. A copy of the Scoping Package is available for download by clicking the link. To provide your comments online, please click here.

Study Area
The study area is located within the Houston urban area and is defined as being within a half-mile radius of the US 90A/Southwest rail corridor, which extends from the METRORail Fannin South Station to the vicinity of Beltway 8. The majority of the study area (left) is within Harris County, with a small portion within Fort Bend County. The entire corridor is within the METRO service area. It is about eight miles long, linking the City of Houston and the City of Missouri City.

Future rail transit service along the US 90A/Southwest rail corridor would function as an extension of the METRORail Red Line, connecting significant employment areas such as Downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center with the cities of Missouri City and Stafford. Rail expansion in this corridor would link Fort Bend County and southwest Harris County with major activity centers currently served by the existing METRORail Red Line. These include several colleges, medical research campuses, cultural, sports and entertainment complexes as well as future METRO rail extensions for the North, Southeast and East End corridors.

The study area (outlined with a black dotted line) is shown below within the context of the Houston area:

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Old January 31st, 2011, 01:33 AM   #51
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Bear in mind there is only one line so the numbers may not be high compared with other developed light rail cities. If people have no reason to go from north to south or vice versa then they won't touch the line. Houston did do good at first by making it pass Reliant Park which attracts more people than if they hadn't.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 05:51 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldbough View Post
Bear in mind there is only one line so the numbers may not be high compared with other developed light rail cities. If people have no reason to go from north to south or vice versa then they won't touch the line. Houston did do good at first by making it pass Reliant Park which attracts more people than if they hadn't.
Other cities such as San Diego, Baltimore and others also have light rail serving their stadiums but have lower ridership numbers per mile than Houston's. The real reason on why Houston's light rail sees the number of people utilizing the service has to do with the fact that it serves two business districts, along with the fact that for many people employed at the Medical Center find parking too prohibitive so they utilize the park and ride lot at Fanin South and take the light rail up.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:33 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Other cities such as San Diego, Baltimore and others also have light rail serving their stadiums but have lower ridership numbers per mile than Houston's. The real reason on why Houston's light rail sees the number of people utilizing the service has to do with the fact that it serves two business districts, along with the fact that for many people employed at the Medical Center find parking too prohibitive so they utilize the park and ride lot at Fanin South and take the light rail up.
So essentially, the single line forms a chokepoint within the city that allows for a lot more patronage than it otherwise would?

It's pretty amazing that Houston's Metrorail is second only to Boston's Green Line in daily boardings/mile. And that's just for a line many times smaller than Boston's.

Last edited by manrush; February 1st, 2011 at 07:41 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 09:35 AM   #54
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So essentially, the single line forms a chokepoint within the city that allows for a lot more patronage than it otherwise would?

It's pretty amazing that Houston's Metrorail is second only to Boston's Green Line in daily boardings/mile. And that's just for a line many times smaller than Boston's.
For now yes.

I also wanted to mention that this ridership figure could essentialy double once the new lines/extensions that are currently being built/planned are built which will connect several residential neighborhoods, University of Houston, and the Galleria area which is another major employment district. Once all of these lines are built I can say for sure that Houston's light rail network will become one of if not the most patronized light rail system in the US (as long as there isn't any further roadblocks/red tape in the way).
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:02 AM   #55
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Hopefully the FTA steps in with the needed cash in hand.

Quote:
Metro chief: Axing plans 'is not logical'
Greanias says halting rail work could mean loss of $2 billion
By CHRIS MORAN
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7406867.html
Jan. 31, 2011, 10:44PM

Answering criticisms that he is taking a big risk doing work on new light rail lines without federal cash in hand, the head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority said Monday that canceling plans to build lines expected to receive federal subsidies could cost the agency more than $2 billion.

The agency has started work on five new rail lines. Metro expects the Federal Transit Administration to contribute about $1.6 billion to the cost of the North, Southeast and University lines.

If rail plans were canceled, the $600 million to $700 million Metro already has spent would gain the Houston area little more than some newly paved streets and underground utilities, President-CEO George Greanias said.

"If I were to say to the board and the board accepted the idea we're stopped today, we'd be walking away from $900 million (in federal money), we'd be walking away from everything we invested already, we'd be walking away from any chance to get (federal) money for University," Greanias said. "That, to me, is not a logical response. The logical response is to say, 'We'll move forward prudently, managing the risk.' "

Conservative federal lawmakers have proposed cutting mass transit funding nationally as part of a broad plan to cut $2.5 trillion in spending over the next decade.

Critic: Suspend work
Metro critic Paul Magaziner asked Metro at a board meeting Monday to stop rail work until it has the Federal Transit Administration's guarantee that the federal money is coming. That guarantee is not likely to come until the middle of the year, Greanias said.

Magaziner said that to proceed without the guarantee is illegal. The resolution that put the bond measure on the November 2003 ballot that gained voter approval for rail expansion has a clause the prohibits Metro from building any new rail line segment "without first obtaining approval of the segment for federal capital assistance."

Metro officials say they have such approval. First, the FTA has already delivered the first $50 million. Second, in late December the FTA issued pre-clearance letters Metro needed before launching into an additional $12 million in work on which it is relying on federal reimbursement.

Scaling back plans
In a worst-case scenario in which Congress cuts national transit spending, Metro officials say they still can scale back to more modest plans.

Much like public officials who suggest that demolishing the Astrodome instead of rehabilitating it still would involve big costs for taxpayers, Metro officials said it would cost $150 million just to clean up the work in progress and close up shop. Meanwhile, there are costs to delay as well, they said.

"The businesses and the residents along these lines are saying to us, 'Get this done as quickly as you can. We want to be back to having a street that has no orange barrels, no construction equipment, no pavement torn up,' " said Metro board member Christof Spieler. "Every bit of delay we do to sort out contingencies is another month that that business has more difficult access."
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Old February 1st, 2011, 04:22 PM   #56
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It shouldn't be surprising. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:25 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
For now yes.

I also wanted to mention that this ridership figure could essentialy double once the new lines/extensions that are currently being built/planned are built which will connect several residential neighborhoods, University of Houston, and the Galleria area which is another major employment district. Once all of these lines are built I can say for sure that Houston's light rail network will become one of if not the most patronized light rail system in the US (as long as there isn't any further roadblocks/red tape in the way).
Yeah, I can Houston in the top 5 in terms in ridership, but number #1? 30/10 and ST2 have something to say about that.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:34 AM   #58
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I wonder if Kinkisharyo's AmeriTram concept would ever be considered as a potential rolling stock option for Metrorail.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:38 AM   #59
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I wonder if Kinkisharyo's AmeriTram concept would ever be considered as a potential rolling stock option for Metrorail.
I think Houston should stick with the model they have rather than buying different LRV's with incompatible parts. (to keep maintenance costs down)
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 07:20 AM   #60
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I wonder if the newer lines will have their own ROW, or could they end up being tramway-like as with the current line?
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