Headlines: The Return of Metro’s 60-Ft. Pivoting Buses; Mayor Parker Talks Houston

Photo of Audi dealership at Greenbriar and 59: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

26 Comment

  • “Ms. Parker’s choice for lunch, is in the Montrose neighborhood where she lives. “This was a huge lesbian bar,” she says, before the neighborhood turned “trendy” and places like Underbelly moved in.”

    Regarding Montrose, nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

  • I just went to a lunch where the mayor spoke (I got to speak right before her). The stats on Houston are actually pretty damn amazing and impressive. She was right on with her description of how people view Houston and how far it is from reality.
    While I disagree with her strongly on a few issues, I think she’s done a good job.

  • Hooray for new bendy buses!!

  • Good thing we’ve rid the city of the scourge of white rednecks.

  • I don’t see the appeal of hosting a Superbowl.. seems like a huge pain in the ass for everyone.

  • So Metro can’t fill the regular buses, so they decided to buy bigger buses…there’s some great government logic!

  • Parker is safe saying we’re not a, “Redneck white city down in Texas”.
    but imagine the national outcry if say, the mayor of Detroit one day proclaims, “We’re not that crime-infested black ghettopolis up north anymore.” or perhaps El Paso’s mayor saying, “We’re not just a wetback waystation these days.”

  • Metro really isn’t in the people hauling business. They’re in the empty seat hauling business.

    Metro could do just fine with smaller buses on most of the routes I observe. This is about bigger bureaucracy, boondoggles and bungling.

  • I love the term “articulated bus.” Makes it sound so classy! Henceforth, I am going to call my pickup a “curtailed lorry.”

  • Metro ran riders off by overcrowding buses??? Gee, if so many people were riding, why not just add extra buses as soon as the problem happened??? something doesn’t add up as usual at Metro.. One other note….the bending buses are limited to only certain routes due to their turning ability….

  • Way to respect all the people of Houston, Mayor!

  • Pete and em, when was the last time you rode on a bus? (Just out of curiosity)

    Routes like 68 really need the extended buses while 34 fills up the standard size without getting too crowded. Obviously Metro knows exactly how many riders they have on routes at what times and they will use the appropriate equipment where needed.

  • If METRO wants to have more bus riders, then they should purchase more regular buses and up the frequency of service. If a bus runs down the street every 10 minutes, people will go out and wait for it. Many routes in Houston only offer service once every 30 to 40 minutes outside of rush hours. Only people with no alternative transportation will wait that long to get where they need to go.
    Also whoever sold them on the Q Card idea was the only person to make money off that thing. They need to move to reloadable paper cards.

  • The Mayor was commenting on the *perception* of Houston elsewhere, and she’s right about that perception. I can see how the statement could be offensive, if you’re really, really, really, really, really sensitive and kind of clueless, though.

  • What’s wrong with the Q card? Most cities are moving to plastic transit cards–more difficult to lose/destroy, you can register it so that if you do lose it, your money is safe.

  • Nobody should ever wait half an hour for a bus. I haven’t ridden METRO in a long time. They do publish pick up times at various stops, do they not? Are they reliable? Back in the brief time I commuted by bus, I figured out the times pretty easily and just went to the stop when it was time to board.

  • @ John (another one)

    I don’t consider myself overly sensitive, but I think the conotation was negative regardless of whether she was commenting on the perception of Houston.

  • The buses downtown fill up all the time. People have to stand in the ailes. Some routes come by every 15 minutes or so and you have to let several pass by before one with some open seats comes along. Yes, there are Metro buses that are overcrowded.

  • @Walt: “Regarding Montrose, nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

    Why is it so crowded if no one goes there? Montrose seems to have an average population density, so I would think it can’t just be the locals.

  • Upping the frequency of bus service would be (much) more beneficial to patrons than bigger buses, but is likely much more expensive for METRO, as labor (the bus driver) is the biggest cost of service and is not amortized or subsidized by capital grants from FTA.

  • @Alec…that was sarcasm, it’s an old Yogi Berra quote.

  • I think Local Planner hit the nail on the head regarding the cost of drivers(#20). So here’s my new vision of the future: Since we’re on the cusp of self-driving cars but not quite ready yet, we start the transition with self driving buses in BRT lanes. The environment is forgiving since nothing else should be in the designated lane and pedestrians and cars already know to give buses some space. All the self driving buses are supervised by a few remote “drone pilots” who deal with problems that come up and can take over manual control at any time. Hooray for future!

    P.S. Thanks ShadyHeighster, I’m showing my cultural ignorance.

  • Hey Alec, your idea is about to happen in Shanghai.
    I wonder if Metro even knows about this.
    But the long-boy buses need drivers, but 1 driver can handle the equivalent of about 2 buses so there’s some savings there.

  • How about some more routes from Metro? Maybe something that circles the beltway, another one that circles 610 run them clockwise and counterclockwise. Also, while they’re at it, extend the 1960 circular to at least Humble

    Maybe run both express and local routes along all the freeways, instead of just straight to downtown runs from the burbs.

  • So the vote just happened and Houston is getting Super Bowl 51(LI)in 2017. Does this mean another flashpot massing of bars on Main or where this time? More gussying up of the freeways with plantings?

  • Local Planner, I agree with you that METRO paying for more drivers is probably not one of those things that is likely to happen in the short term.

    With literally thousands of apartment units being added to the western side of the inner loop over the next 3 years, METRO could help our city’s growing traffic congestion by making it more appealing for those new urban wannabes to get around. Face it, Westheimer, West Grey, Montrose, Shepherd and Alabama are NOT going to get widened. Yet service like the #34 Montrose Crosstown that links Rice University/TMC to Washington Ave. and The Heights runs only every 44 minutes between 9:30am and 4pm, and then stops altogether at 6:30pm. No taking the bus to go out for dinner.

    If transit were a viable option inside the loop, maybe the city could reduce the parking requirements for businesses. At some point, Houston is going to have to come to grips with the fact that it is the 4th largest city in the country. Higher density, and the traffic that goes along with it, is just going to increase.