Pearland Finds Its Park and Ride Spot

PEARLAND FINDS ITS PARK AND RIDE SPOT Metro will build a Park & Ride lot on 12 vacant acres at the gateway to the Southfork subdivision, at the southwest corner of Highway 288 and Airline-Ft. Bend Rd. (otherwise known as County Road 59): The board also authorized staff members to execute a design-build contract with the unidentified property owner that ‘will allow them to build the complex in accordance with Metro’s specifications and do it quicker,’ [Pearland assistant city manager Jon] Branson said. The facility will be a base for commuter shuttle buses between the Pearland area and Houston, including the Texas Medical Center. It is expected to provide much-needed traffic relief for residents who live in or near Shadow Creek Ranch and Pearland Town Center, [Metro vice president Kimberly] Slaughter said. The Texas 288 corridor averages about 96,000 vehicle trips a year, Branson said. When the shuttle facility opens this fall, it will have parking to accommodate 750 vehicles. Another 750 parking spaces will be added later, Branson said.” [Ultimate Pearland]

19 Comment

  • I hope METRO isn’t actually building/paying for any of this. They don’t have jurisdiction unless Pearland/Brazoria County is paying for METRO to design them.

  • Question about these park and ride stops out in the burbs; are they just a parking lot with some covered over hangs for shelter? I googled it and from the pictures I could find, that is what they look like.

    Anyway, my point is to question why Metro doesn’t lease out a few stalls to Starbucks or some other small companies (news stand?, etc.). It would offer commuters services for their ride into work (coffee, breakfast, a morning paper) and Metro could make some extra money by leasing space. Thoughts?

  • ARP,

    That would indicated that METRO actually cares about the people they move. Something they haven’t done since they were founded.

    Your idea makes complete sense which is another reason METRO would never implement it.

    If it doesn’t benefit a developer or a political insider that is friends with METRO, then it won’t get done.

  • I think the park-n-ride in The Woodlands has a little newstand, but you are right, a Starbucks at one of these would be like printing money.

    I know TxDOT has built some park-n-ride-share lots in Brazoria, typically small 20 to 40 spots. They have planned toll/HOV lanes down the middle of SH 288 down to Highway 6, but if these buses are to use the same lanes as the rest of the traffic I don’t see the huge benefit, other than each bus represents 20 to 30 cars that wouldn’t be there. They won’t get you to work any quicker than driving. Also, wonder if they will go all the way into downtown and medical center or just to the light rail southern stops.

  • Yeah excellent idea on newstands & coffee shops! On another plus side, Metro will not have to deal with snobby, granola, and/or yuppie inner loopers’ ideals of what a coffee shop should be. Suburbanites love their chains. Starbucks would be ideal for the Lemmings … :0

  • I hope they (metro) are considering a direct line from this park and ride into the med center, and another direct line into downtown. Anything less than that just doesn’t make much sense.

  • It just seems like common sense although maybe Metro doesn’t want people drinking coffee on the bus? No idea.

    Related to that thought, I have often wondered why Texas has never leased out space in state owned rest stops for food, services, etc. It’s pretty common back east and a good way to make some extra money (considering this state continues to refuse to raise the tax on gasoline).

  • Tim,

    METRO won’t be running any buses. The buses will be operated by another entity.

    If METRO did run the buses, all the residents in METRO’s service area should revolt since METRO will be serving people that don’t pay any tax into METRO’s funds.

  • While it is a valid idea to place newsstands or coffee houses on the Park & Ride land, I am sure the economics of only having users at 7am and 5pm wont pay the bills for most retailers.

    Instead METRO could contract w/ some of these coffee types to provide food services and newspapers/periodicals? But METRO has bigger problems right now… or so it would seem.

  • 750 parking space, with another 750 more spaces later…that is a pretty significant population of people who, unless they bring their own paper/coffee are a fairly captive set of potential customers. This is the burbs after all (and burbs in Houston). People are likely not going to be able to park their car and walk to some other store within a reasonable period of time while waiting for their bus.

    Anyway, certainly they could lease out the space based on the assumption that these places would only be open for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night. The lease price would reflect that fact.

    Almost every place in the tunnels downtown closes at around 3 or so and that certainly doesn’t keep businesses from operating.

  • ARP,

    It’s called drive thru and/or make it at home. On top of that, many people have news papers delivered at home that they can take with them.

    If the Park-n-Ride was part of a commercial development (not the other way around), I think it would be a good idea. This way the commercial tenants can count on people that may stop by during the day versus being isolated at Park-n-Ride location.

  • kjb,

    Well, not everyone is going to prepare stuff at home or pick it up on the way. People run late, are in a rush, the Starbucks by their house has too long of a line, get bored/hungry while waiting for the bus, etc. Also, if the newsstand offered papers/magazines/etc. that not everyone can get delivered to their house (NYT for example), more people would buy them. Also, there are many people who don’t get the paper delivered (read it online) but want something to read and hold onto while commuting. I did that very thing when I used to commute by subway everyday.

    It’s an impulse buy in some respects; like buying a paper to read on the plane. It is not going to be a huge source of revenue for Metro but it’s something (and it provides a better service to passengers).

    But you bring up an even better point; integrating these with other developments. Is the ultimate plan to use these sites as a transit center with various integrated transportation services and other development? I have no reason to go out to these burb communities so I was just wondering.

  • Well,

    If you are running late, you wouldn’t use mass transit to make yourself more late. If you are going to take the light rail or buses, you have to plan it out because it takes longer than by using a car. Since you’ll be planning it out, you can make time.

  • I had the same thought about vendors at the park and rides. Then I remembered that I pass multiple coffee shops on my walk into work once I get downtown. I can get coffee there and not have to worry about being in the middle of a transaction when my bus shows up.

  • jgriff,

    Many people would need a coffee BEFORE they get on a bus to work.


    Uhh….you can’t be late to catch your commuter bus???

    Again, it is an impulse buy. Maybe some people get to the place early and get thirsty and want a bottle of water.

    But, maybe like so many things, what works in basically every other city in the country won’t work here (or more likely won’t be implemented here because of lack of foresight).

  • My guess is the latter. Houston is filled with people that think if it didn’t already exist here when they first heard about it, it would be unworkable.

  • And kjb, making coffee and breakfast are not typically tasks that cause people to alter their primary mode of transport. I don’t tell my carpool to go on without me if I haven’t made my coffee.

  • One exit closer in at Broadway (FM 518) there is a huge HEB (NW corner) parking lot, and on the other side of the highway two huge shopping centers, that always have plenty of parking available, and better access from Pearland proper(The van pools already run from the shopping center on the southeast corner). The shopping centers already have all the services available that ya’ll are talking about. Why in the hell wouldn’t they try to contract for spaces at any of those locations. Then we wouldn’t have to build another parking lot. Someone should look into who owns the property they are using and what kind of “donations” he/she has been making.

    Are park and rides even viable without access to HOV lanes?

  • Here are the details on the public meetings:
    July 20, Manvel Church of the Harvest, 6:30-8:30 PM
    July 22, Pearland Hilton Garden Inn, , 6:30-8:30 PM

    Here is a recent interview I had with KUHF about the propsed Park & Ride….
    Please contact me if you are interested in the petition I am starting.