Woonerfs for the Energy Corridor’s Grisby Square; Light Rail Ridership Gains


Photo of the West Loop: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


11 Comment

  • It’s not a terribly difficult concept to understand. The more light rail lines that are built, the more people will ride it. Can you imagine the changes on the highways if commuter rail was introduced or (gasp!) a line to IAH?

  • Au Contraire! It is a much more difficult and complex concept. Light Rail has very little to no impact on commuter traffic, for one it doesn’t go from where people live to where people work, it doesn’t go out to the suburbs where the true commuter traffic comes from, and it mostly takes riders from the Buses that already don’t ride cars anyway. Once you add the cost of land acquisition, construction, and operation, it is a huge financial disaster with no appreciable impact on traffic reduction.
    P.S. I don’t want to hear any of “I ride the rail to the museum” or other non-peak hour ridership stuff because the street capacity is fully sufficient outside of commute times and in fact rail only creates localized traffic headaches wherever it runs.

  • the woonerfs and coming! the woonerfs are coming! SORRY, but the energy corridor is NOT a little
    like Gruene, Texas . . . . . how did Martinson come up with that analogy???

  • Damn it! We’s gonna have a dadgum riverwalk in this town before its all said and done. Hell, San Antone’s real river is all dried up do overpumping of the aquifer, their “little river” is fake anyway.

  • I said if commuter rail was “introduced”. If we took all the wasteful and hardly used HOV lanes and converted them to commuter rail lines that would link up to light rail in the city, there would be a real impact. And I don’t think the city should just have 3 or 4 light rail lines, the inner loop should be covered in light rail. If you don’t think commuter rail and light rail works, ask the suburban commuters in New York, Boston, Washington DC and San Francisco if they value it. This city is growing like mad and the last thing we should be doing is ignoring the need for a massive improvement to our public transportation system.

  • This 12% year-over-year increase in ridership reflects several trends. Rerouted buses, yeah that’s one. Inner Loop population and employment densification. Increasingly bad traffic congestion, which is a function of density and economic growth. Neighborhoods being subject to an improvement in the quality of service, thereby inducing new trips using transit…yeah, I strongly suspect that that’s pretty far down on the list of impacts. And that’s unfortunate because its the one that matters the most.

    Transit ridership by mode is largely a function of where METRO has allocated its resources, and that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they had spent the rail money on local buses or P&R, then you would expect to see disproportionate ridership gains. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a counterfactual analysis would determine that METRO spent its resources optimally or suboptimally; it’s just a matter of course.

    One thing that’s for sure is that as these new light rail routes open up, you shouldn’t expect METRO to keep its title as having the highest ridership per mile. That much-celebrated figure never meant very much either, though.

  • Jaybird — What they want to call “Grisby Square” is what remains of the old town of Addicks that was founded in the late 1800s. Now it’s a few blocks of old buildings converted into restaurants and bars. It’s not historic Central Texas, but it is what we got…..

  • I see METRO put out some new propaganda.

  • So millions of people spend Billions of dollars so that 25,000 people a day can take a choo-choo to work.

    Let’s not forget that most of these riders were already served by buses that run up and down Main Street. Now the buses go the train, then the train goes down Main. The choo-choo only made the trip longer.

    The rest of the riders just use the train to avoid paying for parking downtown or in the Med Center.

    Let’s get in thing straight: Light rail does not alleviate traffic congestion, nor will it ever alleviate traffic congestion.

  • @commonsense: The light rail is not for reducing traffic congestion, nor is it meant to turn a financial profit. It’s a service designed to improve quality of life for transit-riders by providing a timelier, more pleasant, less traffic-burdened transportation experience than buses. And for that purpose, it has succeeded, as you can see by the high ridership numbers per track mile.

  • I look at light rail as I do parks. Parks don’t turn a profit but cost the city and thus taxpayers money. It is there to improve our lives. Perhaps eventually light rail will go all over the loop. I think that would be great, I am not counting on it while I am here, but we have to start somewhere and it is great to start a core set of lines and then build out (too bad we can’t get that galleria connection). At some point someone had to say, “Hey, this city needs a park.” Over time the city added more and more parks. Sure some places might not have enough but it has taken a long time to get to this point.