09/22/09 4:29pm

METRO JUST MEANS AFTERPARTIES ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION On the way to asking a larger political question, a personal testament to the moderating influence of going car-free: “See, in the past month I’ve had absolutely no problems getting to where I want to go. I can grab groceries, visit friends. The other day I took my primary romantic interest to dinner and a movie. We hopped a few buses to the Marq*E, headed back across town on a 20-Long Point to Ninfa’s/Navigation, then grabbed two buses back to her place. Thing is, it was a 3:30pm movie. You can get anywhere on the bus, but you have to do it *early*, because if you stay out too late the buses stop running. Transit doesn’t alter your mobility, it alters your lifestyle. I can hop a 40-Telephone and grab some extra-large CFS at the Dot Coffee Shop. But I can’t do it at 3am. I can catch a 25-Richmond to the drum and bass night. But to get home will require an expensive cab ride, unless I jet the party when other people are still showing up. Basically, transit has an incredible power to make you square.” [Keep Houston Houston]

02/09/09 11:05am

It’s now a whole lot easier to figure out how to get around Houston using public transit: Metro routes have at last been embedded in Google Maps. Which means if you use Google to plan a local trip, figuring out how to get there by bus or rail is now as simple as choosing “By public transit” from a dropdown menu. Schedule info is right there too.

So far, the public transit option shows up whenever you use Google Maps to get directions in Houston — or you can start from a separate Google Transit gateway here. Not yet activated for Houston: Google’s Transit Layer, which in other cities lets you see all the routes at once.

Even more convenient: If you can get Google Maps on your mobile phone, you now have access to bus and train directions and schedules there too. Here’s a video demonstrating how that works:

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04/19/07 7:40am

Bike Rack on Bus in San Jose

We all know riding bikes on trafficked Houston thoroughfares is dangerous. Finally, though, someone’s doing something about it.

No, not putting in bike lanes—that would be absurd. A notice on the Metro website reads:

METRO will soon equip its local fleet with bike racks to help you navigate congested streets on your way to bike trails, work, school or other destinations.

Join us as we kick off this new chapter in METRO transit history. [emphasis added]

Let’s hope this attempt to take bikes off the streets is effective.

Photo: Flickr user richardmasoner