Something in the Works for the EaDo Coffee Building; The Impending Flood of Metro Bus Route Complaints


Photo: o texano via Swamplot Flickr Pool


9 Comment

  • Happy to see Cheek-Neal avoid the wrecking ball. I wonder how the person who spray painted “remuv the past” on the façade must feel.

  • RE: Metro Prepares to Handle 25% More Complaints

    While it is nice that they are “preparing” for more complaints*, constantly monkeying around with routes is not the way to increase the pathetic ridership.

    Since I want to be helpful, here are some ways to boost ridership (no charge to Metro!):
    1. Make those buses roll on time per their schedule. Put cash incentives and demerits on drivers to have them hustle.
    2. Increase frequency of buses along arterial streets. No one wants to wait outside for very long for a bus.
    3. Elevate the future rail lines: speed is of the essence on a rail line. Otherwise, you could just throw a bus on that route.
    4. Make current rail lines (pitiful as they are) move faster. If I can walk faster than them, there is no need for it.

    * If they want a cost-effective way to “prepare”, I can suggest that they unplug the phone. Takes 30 minutes and little cost. Now they can get back to actually working.

  • I think Major Market would get comment of the day. I,m sure by now though, the grass and bushes are starting to get completely overgrown at Swamplot HQ.

  • @Major You correctly identify problems Metro faces today as well as in the future. However, I’m going to quibble with one of your proposed solutions: “Put cash incentives and demerits on drivers to have them hustle.” Falling behind schedule is often due to external influences not planned for in the schedule (ie. wrecks, construction). As such, placing the burden on drivers is generally unfair, and providing potential incentive or otherwise demerits is patently unsafe.

  • “Increase frequency of buses along arterial streets” is exactly what METRO is trying to accomplish through the new bus betwork.

    I hope the Cheek-Neal buyers took a look at TxDOT’s plans to reroute I-45 east of downtown, and their right-of-way needs, before making their purchase.

  • I humbly submit some better ideas for Metro:

    1. Put GPS, accurate time indicators and route optimization in place to avoid bunching and let people know within seconds when a bus will *actually* appear. This is not new or difficult, and many cities and colleges have done with great success (i.e. Georgia Tech).
    2. If you’re going to elevate rail lines, spend the money on the bus system instead. Covered stops, nicer buses, even more frequent service would all together cost less than a single mile of sexy elevated rail.
    3. Optimize traffic signals and patterns on the existing rail lines. Drive down Fannin or Main during peak transit hours and tell me there isn’t a lot of room to improve both rail and car throughput.

  • @J: I appreciate the appreciation – and for the suggestions on changes to my proposals.
    @ detroux: I can see how the cash incentives and demerits may be beyond the drivers’ control and could impel them to drive less safely. So, I’m willing to let that plan go.
    @ Thomas: Well, I’m glad the newfangled plan will increase the frequency of buses along arterial lines. I would have hoped that it wasn’t every 15 minutes. Every 7 minutes would be a good way to pick up the pace.
    @ feh: I used to be a fan of adding light rail to our town but I’ve seen how inept and inefficient Metro has been in doing what little it has laid out. So, their incompetence has changed my mind on the utility of light rail in our fair city. I can agree that we could use the “rail elevation” money to really pimp out our bus network: more buses, throw more cash at the city for street repair, better bus shelters.
    And your idea is excellent to add a real-time app that can tell users when the next bus is arriving. I used Portland’s (OR) app for their bus/rail network during a visit and it worked great! How come such cutting edge technology escapes the METRO Brain Trust?

  • No one reads anymore.
    1. A lot of major routes will be much more frequent. My route, Westheimer (arterial), will be every 8 minutes during peak time.
    2. Metro already has an app that tells you to the minute when a bus is arriving. Though not perfect, it is very close and a big improvement. It’s at least a year old.
    3. Swamplot is full of people who don’t ride Metro stating things that should change for them to ride metro.

  • The TXDOT work on downtown sounds like a disaster.