As noted before, we are rapidly approaching U-Line Day, when Metro announces where the Universities Line will go. While the vast majority of the attention to this has been paid to the alignment west of Main Street, Christof reminds us that the whole thing matters.
The alignment matters because Elgin serves the Third Ward better, Elgin serves UH better, and Ennis-Elgin serves TSU better.
It matters even more because the Alabama options would likely be a permanent dead end. Elgin goes under the Gulf Freeway to the Eastwood Transit Center and Lockwood; Alabama stops at the UH campus. Thus, a line on Elgin can connect to the East End, to commuter bus service from Clear Lake, and to proposed commuter rail to Pearland and Alvin. It can also be extended eastward to meet the East End Line and to connect to commuter rail service to Galveston. And that means all those places get connected to UH and TSU and the Texas Medical Center and Greenway and Uptown without having to detour through Downtown. Alabama doesn't get you to any of those places.
We're building a transit system to last 50 years or more. Every place on a system benefits if it has efficient connections to other parts of the system. It makes no sense to build a gap into that system, but that's what we would be doing by dead ending the University Line on Alabama.