That New Track Metro Is On

Seen at this morning’s Purple Line kickoff on McKinney St. near Ennis in East Downtown, a sight not seen around Houston since before 9/11: What it looks like when Metro contractors lay track for a new light-rail line . . . or pour the concrete pad for it, anyway.

Photo: Metro

13 Comment

  • In other news, 5 motorists made illegal left turns and crashed into the newly poured cement.

  • Build it and they will come.

    (As in approach, reach a particular point, Mr. Greanias)

  • “I’ve heard light rail referred to as the Midas touch,” says Gregory Thompson, a national transportation expert and professor of urban and regional planning. “Six years after the Main Street line opened, the booming real estate redevelopments that were promised by Metro supporters during the rail debate haven’t materialized. Other things haven’t worked out as planned either.

    Ridership numbers for the rail have steadily declined since the rail line first opened to huge crowds. During the first year, about 10 million people got on board, but over the past four years, according to Metro documents, rail has averaged between 2 and 3 million people each year.” – Houston Press

  • It’s ironic that Metro has drastically scaled back bus service that the working poor rely on in order to build a new streetcar line that will serve few:

    “Tom Bazan, an opponent of light rail, told the Press he had filed numerous civil rights complaints about the dwindling level of bus service to low-income areas in favor of pouring “precious resources” into light rail… Bus ridership numbers also dropped dramatically, according to Metro documents, from about 80 million in 2005 to just a little more than 17 million during the last year.”

  • Is that the Tom Bazan who’s running as an Independent against Sheila Jackson Lee? He’s got as much of a chance as one of those idiot SUV drivers who keep playing chicken with the trains.

    I wouldn’t mind a brighter Democratic challenger. But a fat white Republican Lite won’t get my vote.

    Tom Delay’s baleful influence hangs on–let’s keep building those trains, even though we started much too late.

    (I commute to work via bus & light rail. No, buses aren’t as good as trains.)

  • Why does the pic make me think of stray current?

  • Decreased bus service is a “civil rights issue”?
    The idea of civil rights protection is worth fighting for. However civil rights are meant to protect individuals from unwarranted infringement by government… Not a right for the government to supply bus service.
    Property owners in Houston are the ones that should file a civil rights complaint based on how the city thinks they can control what we do with our homes and other buildings. I experience what I consider to be a civil rights infringement every day by the city. It’s disgusting.

  • Come on people, you have to start somewhere. You can’t expect Metro to build an entire system so quickly. And if you build commuter rails from the suburbs to the city, how will the people from the suburbs get around the city. You have to put the inner city rail in first before bringing in the suburban crowd.

  • Lou Minatti,
    Light rail will not “serve few,” in fact it has proven to serve MORE people than the previous bus lines in the corridor. METRO is IMPROVING transit service that the “working poor” rely on to get to work. I’ve used METRO to get to work, I guess I’m “working poor.” I’ve ridden both buses and trains in Houston, and trains are far better, they can actually keep a schedule. METRO buses have made me late to work, they are too unpredictable, they are in the same traffic as cars. I have relied on METRO buses to get me to work and they have failed me, something a rail line has never done.

    What METRO documents are you talking about? Have you actually seen these METRO documents, or do you just believe whatever you hear that is anti-METRO? If you want to look at official documents, try looking at the ACTUAL APTA’s (American Public Transit Association)average weekday ridership numbers for METRORail. If you actually care to look at the ridership documents, you’ll see that METRORail ridership started around 35,000 daily ridership and has remained around that level all 6 years in service.

  • Hoverboard are the answer to our transportation woes. However, I’ve heard they are too dangerous and manufacturers won’t release the technology.

  • “Metro lays track for southeast line as questions remain”, by CAROL CHRISTIAN, Houston Chronicle.

    “The East End line, is LOCALLY funded” (i.e. “THE EAST END LINE IS NOT FEDERALLY FUNDED.”)
    Metro has questions where the agency will get the money to finish this line and two others under construction.
    But Metro can still spend millions and millions of our dollars, +PLUS extra $43 million for the Harrisburg Underpass.
    Since Metro knew offhand that the Federal would not pay for the East Line, why build it in the first place. Something is wrong with METRO!

    West Houston (Uptown, Galleria, Richmond etc.) is heavily populated and annual revenue from retail sales taxes generated in millions of dollars.
    Uptown Houston represents approximately 12 percent of Houston’s total office space, making it second in size to Downtown Houston, the 17th largest business center in the U.S. and compares in size to the downtowns of Seattle and Denver.

    Metro is building EAST END LINE which is NOT FEDERALLY FUNDED. All the poor neighborhood wants is getting everything for free.

  • Wake up, I read your post (twice) and I still have no idea what you were trying to say. Something about the East End being poor or something.

  • This is pathetic. Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation and still doesn’t have proper public transportation. Houston is always behind everyone else in the nation. The last ones to join the modern world. It’s embarrassing.

    What the need to do is build the Sugar Land Express. Have you seen the amount of people on the 265 West Belfort Express busses? They are always full with people standing in the walkway of the bus because they have no choice.