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  • Am I reading this right? Ellen’s sponsoring free light rail rides for Museum Day on Sept 15 while metro is shutting the light rail down for construction from from 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 to midnight, Sunday, Sept. 16?

    Just trying to make sense of the apparent issue between “Ellen DeGeneres Offering Free Rides on Metro Rail” and “Downtown Light Rail Will Be Closed This Weekend.”

    Hopefully I’m missing something.

  • Way to go– light rail disruption during Museum District Day. So, the rail is free, but you have to take a shuttle bus. Great planning. This will really increase support for Metro. Bravo.

  • That’s one of the fundamental problems with public transport… you’re always at THEIR mercy.

  • Copywriter, if you read the Houston Press story, the light rail is only shut down from the downtown transit center to the north end of the line at UHD. That’s only 2 stations, IIRC. The rest of the line will be open.

  • The rail is closed between the downtown transit center and UH downtown only.

  • I, too, was confused about the Ellen thing. Saturday is also the Fiestas Patrias parade, and that is in downtown proper. Although there’s never a good time to do this sort of thing, and the line expansion *will* mean better access to the soccer stadium…

  • Technically speaking, it is 5 stations: UH Downtown, Preston, Main Street Square, Bell and Downtown Transit that will be closed. Here is more information and a map of the shuttle bus stops:


    I also read that instead of shuttle buses taking museum visitors around the area during the Museum District Day, there will be free pedi-cabs. Sounds like a good idea, unless you have, like my family, taken said shuttle buses in the past. Those buses tended to fill up in a hurry. We always parked downtown in the cheapest lot we could and took the rail and shuttle buses to go to museums not within close walking distance. I suppose hiring the pedi-cabs was cheaper than hiring buses, but it sounds a tad bit inefficient to me.

  • Light rail will run as usual as far as Downtown Transit Center, so Bell, Main Street Square, Preston, and UH Downtown will be served by the shuttle buses. Light Rail being shut down is annoying (I’ll be one of the riders affected tomorrow), but if you were going to ride rail the shuttle buses will get you where you need to go.

    Building a new set of tracks on Capitol And Rusk crossing Main Street, plus two connection tracks to move trains from one line to another, isn’t simple. This is the first of a series of 9 weekend shutdowns that will extend into next year. They have been planned to avoid Texans games. More details on the work being done: http://ridemetro.org/AboutUs/Board/working_meetings/2012/Presentations/082312/Main-Street-Interline082312.pdf

  • @shadyheightster Thanks for clearing that up. Should have read up a bit more on the details. Glad most stops are still gonna be running for Museum Day.

  • This is the first that I’ve heard of a set of connection tracks. How does METRO intend to use these connections once the line is operational? For instance, will someone be able to board a train at UH-Downtown that will take them directly onto the Southeast Line without requiring a transfer?

  • The connection tracks are for out-of-service trains moving to and from maintenance and overnight storage. There’s really no benefit in having direct service from, say, north line to southeast line — service on both is frequent enough that the wait for a transfer will be really short, and it’s faster to take the next train that shows up and transfer than it would be to wait longer for an occasional direct train.

  • That makes sense, and I do appreciate a METRO board member communicating promptly with their constituents. It’s very reassuring that I could take your comments to the bank, so to speak.

    But then, it brings to mind another question. What is the purpose of having multiple storage/service/repair yards in such a small system if the system is totally interconnected? Is one not enough? Will they serve separate and distinct purposes?

  • @TheNiche, 12, I’d imagine it costs a bit of labor to deadhead an LRV from South Park up to Downtown and then back down to Bellfort/Fannin.

  • Perhaps, but operating costs for LRVs are reputed to be so low that it seems doubtful. Unless that reputation is overstated, of course.

  • hehe… “Free train day!”*
    *note trains are closed that day