January 01, 2004
Light rail debuts

The new year marks the opening of the light rail line in Houston, an event that will be celebrated more by some than by others. I'll be up front about this: The rail line stops a block from my office, and so I expect to use it at least occasionally when I need to get to downtown or the Medical Center during the day, because driving to and parking in those areas sucks. I look forward to the day when I can take rail - light, commuter, or other - all the way from my house to my job.

UPDATE: Aziz has a couple of suggestions.

Here's what these trains need to become useful for commuters:

1. They must run from very early in the morning to very late at night. I think they have this covered, the Chron had a mention that they'd run from 4:30am to 1:00am. Train frequencies should never be longer than 5 minutes at peak times, 20 minutes at off-peak.

2. There must be direct/non-stop bus service to the downtown transit center from every Park N' Ride in town, at frequencies of every 30 minutes during peak times, one hour for off-peak. The bus needs to run at least as early as 5:00 AM and as late as 8:00 PM.

I believe trains are supposed to run every 6 minutes at peak times, and something like 12 or 15 minutes at off-peak, so that should cover point one. Point Two sounds like a good idea to me, since it would effectively extend the Park N' Ride option to people who work outside of downtown.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 01, 2004 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack

I've got some thoughts on the new rail line - pecifically, what I'd like to see to make it useful to commuters like me (and you , I assume)...

Posted by: Aziz on January 1, 2004 1:14 PM