Transportation

Metro Makes Some Changes To Its Bus System Reimagining Plan

Transit agency considers public comments as it drafts final plan.

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Metro is making a few changes to its plan to redesign Houston’s bus system. Metro’s board is giving it another look before it takes a final vote next month.

One goal of Metro’s bus reimaging plan is to boost sagging ridership. Metro Board Member Cindy Siegel says a strong educational campaign is critical to making it work.

“I think part of our problem with even our existing system and the loss of ridership has been not marketing it well enough, and not making it as user-friendly as possible.”

Ease of use is one thing the transit agency is considering as it changes where some buses go. It has over 70 bus routes that crisscross Houston and some of those routes haven’t changed in decades.

Lots of buses pass through downtown but officials say that’s not always necessary. Many people now work in other parts of the region, like the Energy Corridor.

For the past few months, Metro has been gathering public comment on a draft plan for revamping the system. The agency says it got over 1,100 public comments and for the most part they were positive.

But there were some areas of concern. Metro Board Member Christof Spieler says West University residents didn’t like the idea of a bus on Weslayan Street.

They thought it would add to congestion, so Spieler says Metro is now putting that line on Richmond and Buffalo Speedway.

“Now instead of having a north-south on Weslayan we have more of a diagonal route, that goes to Northwest Transit Center, to Greenway Plaza, to the Rice Village, to the Texas Medical Center. And I think that’s actually a very good route that connects a lot of important destinations.”

A final vote on the plan is set for next month. Metro hopes to put the new routes into operation next summer.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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