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Study: High-Tech Tools Across Houston Are Letting More Residents Live Car-Free

A new study shows Houstonians have more options for getting around if they don’t own a vehicle.


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In a first-of-its-kind study, public policy organizations TexPIRG and Frontier Group ranked 70 U.S. cities on how many high-tech tools they have to help people get around without owning a personal vehicle.

The study looked at things like online bike share and car share services, ride sharing apps on smartphones, and real-time transit information.

130403_cityhall_bikeshare700px_1.jpgA bike sharing stand in downtown Houston.

TexPIRG’s Sara Smith says Houston came in 15th, with eight of the tools.

“Houston has a taxi hailing app, bike share, which is a big one, open static data like Google Transit that allows people to map routes really effectively,” says Smith, TexPIRG’s program director.

She expects more of those transportation tools will soon become available.

“As Houston continues to be a really attractive place for young people to move, I think we’re going to see even more folks relying on these options as opposed to single occupancy travel,” Smith says.

Austin ranks first on that list, with all 11 of the high-tech tools that were mentioned in the study.

As it stands right now, figures show about 80 percent of Houston commuters drive to work by themselves.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

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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