Uptown Bus Lane Makes First Concrete Stride Down the Middle of Post Oak Blvd. North of San Felipe

The first stretch of concrete is down along a northern portion of the dedicated bus route that’s set to run up the middle of Post Oak Blvd. between Westpark Dr. and the West Loop. The photo at top looks north to show the freshly-paved southbound lane lying in the middle of the existing roadway, where it’s now making a stop at San Felipe St.

Its next drop-off point: Ambassador Wy., as indicated in the map below:


At the northern end of the roughly 1-and-three-quarter-mile route along Post Oak, the new bus lanes will hook up with TxDOT’s elevated connection to the Northwest Transit Center (though the home stretch of that segment is METRO’s responsibility). TxDOT’s also taking care of the southern flyover across 59 that’ll link the new lanes to a proposed Bellaire Transit Center (incurring some fast food casualties in the process).

Photo: Uptown Houston. Map: METRO


23 Comment

  • Sad. They should be putting in Light Rail as it is upscale … apparently the Galleria and Post Oak/Uptown are low class people.

  • Exactly WR, a bus with its own lane is still a bus. Who’s going to ride this thing?

  • This is at least good to build ridership and get federal dollars to build a viable rail. If the city can show that X amount of people use the bus line, then it helps the argument that the metro lines in downtown need to be connected with the ones in uptown.

    The reason why we are not getting rail is because of $ obviously.

    Therefore, if you get the chance to ride the bus, ride it. It will make a huge difference when we try to get federal dollars for rail.

  • The thousands of office staff that work in Uptown but can commute to the NW Transit Center through P&R. Basically – all the same types of people who take the P&R to downtown.

  • whats with the bus hate? you too good for the bus?

  • beautiful. if you build it they will come.

  • @Jared said:” The reason why we are not getting rail is because of $ obviously.”

    WRONG! Merto was blocked from 90% Federal matching money to build light rail by REPUBLICAN Tom Delay, the disgraced exterminator/GOP House majority leader who blocked funds for years demanding that a rail line be FIRST built out to Sugar Land (his home town), and later by current REPUBLICAN John Culbertson who blocked funding for the University Line because it when thru about a 8 block section of his gerrymandered district with the complaint that Light Rail made “too much noise” (never mind that the biggest complaint by motorists is that the Light Rail trains CANNOT BE HEARD as they make illegal turns in front of them.

  • Delusion abounds on your comments. You need an eye exam, otherwise you would notice
    all of the empty and near empty (2 -3) buses we currently have. There were only 200 bus riders on the
    current Metro lines going down Post Oak, riders are not like rabbits in multiplication, 15,000 riders a day is never going to happen.
    I have lots of friends working on Post Oak, they will not be riding a bus, especially one that makes so many stops and goes nowhere, aka the “Transit Center/Parking Lot.”

    This is a congestion creating jobs project, another missed opportunity for improved transportation for Houston..

  • Unfortunately, in this town, many people hold the belief that bus service sucks in Houston.
    This belief is 100% accurate. Bus service in this town sucks. Drivers skip stops, buses are early, or late at the stop. The amount of time it takes you to travel via bus is pathetic and no one wants to use the bus service.
    I am afraid this will cause ridership issues on the BRT, which is very different from the shared ROW bus system we have now. Make them look like something other than buses and you may have a chance at gaining riders.

  • My theory: Park and Ride works well downtown because it’s a beating to drive downtown and parking is expensive and often inconvenient. Uptown is a bit different. Right now, it’s a beating to drive here from Spring Branch and Memorial, but that’s only because of the Metro construction (see how that works?). Plus, parking is abundant, convenient (that is, at the same building where one offices) and cheap if not free.
    I would like nothing more than for Metro to be wildly successful. I hate to see tax dollars squandered. But, Uptown is an unlikely venue for Metro success, in my opinion.

  • I have no problem with this b/c the right of way is being built for future MetroRail anyway. Once the connections are made from other MetroRail lines, people are going to demand Rail over rapid bus. All they will have to do is put the lines down where new bus lanes are now, overpasses are done already too, great.

  • I worked in the Galleria for several years and used the bus that goes down Post Oak from the transit center daily. The traffic makes a bus route from the transit center to the Galleria almost useless, it takes so long that for most people driving would be better. If the addition of bus lanes will make the route faster it should become a more viable route and attract more riders. Most riders on metro buses are upscale workers in downtown. The buses are packed to the gills everyday. The people that think buses aren’t upscale enough are people who just like trains because that are “neat”. That being said the current bus down post oak is not full of upscale passengers like the ones downtown. If the route can be made faster that may change. Personally I don’t care if it’s a bus or a train as long as it gets me to work. I’m not afraid of riding with “working class” people. In 5 years of riding metro to work every day I can only remember once when I was delayed… the bus broke down before my stop.

  • Why shouldn’t Uptown office workers (and others) be able to take advantage of the same system that lets the buses bypass traffic on the freeways from the suburbs? From several directions of suburbs, driving to Uptown is just as painful as driving Downtown. The whole point of this project is to let the Park and Ride system work for Uptown. Unlike Downtown, which has dedicated bus lanes on the north-south streets leading to special HOV/HOT entrance ramps, currently any buses in Uptown have to sit in surface and freeway traffic to get to the HOV/HOT system, which removes a lot of the potential travel time benefit.

  • Driving in that area is a bear, so maybe some more will ride the bus. May depend on the promotion it gets. Will it a green bus like the circulator downtown? If it is dedicated to this new line alone, then maybe some will see it as predictable and begin riding.
    Agree with one commentor’s assessment of Delay and Culberson. The last thing any Republican wants to see is a successful government (or tax-payer if you like) funded project that helps everyone.

  • Road grade rail is the stupidest idea, especially the way we have it implemented here. Traffic lights are not synced with the trains and so now you have a very expensive toy that has to sit in traffic like a bus but can’t be rerouted as ridership needs changes. BRT is a much cheaper\smarter solution.

    If Metro was serious it should have put elevated rail from park and rides and Airports to downtown first (use the HOV lanes). Build local stops along the way later (as an area gets dense enough). Have extra express trains that run in the mornings and evenings for P&R users and local trains throughout the day.

  • @Victor Sifuentes,
    Parking may be free (or cheap) and plentiful in the Uptown/Galleria area, but you can’t convince me that driving around there isn’t hellish even without construction. Consider this a cheap* test of whether people will ride public transit on dedicated lanes. If Uptown commuters from Katy and Cypress won’t ride the BRT, then they don’t deserve a rail line either.

    *Cheaper than rail.

  • Houston still believes it is the 1980s and buses are the only solution. It is time to join the big boys and step into the future. It is not that scary. Well, except for the past year and a half.

  • @WR: Power to ya! Vote for Lizzie, Beto, and Valdez!

  • Light rail is an economic development tool, not a transit system, and Uptown is already fairly well developed, economically. What did we spend on the additional lines? $100MM per mile? How many people ride those lines? How many people would ride the redlines if TMC brought the parking shuttles back?

    The BRT is a much more cost effective solution to tide us over until everyone has self-driving cars.

  • of all the 35 major metropolitan’s in the country, there were only three who experienced ridership growth last year: houston, seattle and phoenix. yes, houston.

    where’s the outrage when TxDOT spends billions of dollars on a fly over or over pass? or tears up businesses to add a few more lanes that eventually do nothing to ease congestion?

    Let the facts speak for themselves-


    and I thought texans were tough!

  • So that 0.7% growth in ridership in Houston doesn’t include the bus route redesign? With a population growth rate close to 1.4% it’s still hardly a positive note.
    I dunno, I always hope to see traffic in Houston get far far far worse. Maybe then we can focus on density instead of building new toll roads.

  • The priority for Uptown is a better connection to METRO’s Park & Ride service. Tenants in office buildings pay per-space for their workers’ parking privileges. This is mostly invisible to the public. Better transit for white collar workers residing in the suburbs means that companies can either save money or offer their employees incentives to forego use of the parking garage or densify their floorplans — and also that some of these cost savings are either passed on directly to building owners or justify more demand and more construction. This has been downtown’s stupendously successful experience, which has had very very little to do with steel wheels underlying the mode of transit.
    The private justification sort of makes the public justification, but really and truly when you look at the cost of the P&R and all of the follow-on benefits (like HOV/HOT lanes, which now exist and can be leveraged by additional transit improvements), it’s a very strong case for expanding P&R connectivity and for doing so by any politically feasible means possible.

  • It appears some (not all) of the posters above actually think a regular bus will run down these dedicated lanes. For those folks: do a search on “BRT Houston” images and you will see they look exactly like lightrail (the entry is also at load height, so step in level/ no steps). I guarantee most people will actually think it a train.
    Except for fuel (and tire replacement) vs electricity, I don’t even follow why light-rail is more desirable than a much cheaper-to-install but otherwise nearly exactly the same BRT system. The transportation wonks need come up with another name, because “bus” is no more accurate than calling a minivan a “car”. Call it train-on-rubber (TOR) or RubberTrain or something catchy.