Experts Discuss The Houston Region’s Transit Gaps

Transportation planners say there’s a growing demand for public transit all over the Houston region, but funding continues to be a challenge. A forum at the Houston-Galveston Area Council looked at the issue.


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Transportation experts speak at an H-GAC forum on the challenges of providing public transit.
Transportation experts speak at an H-GAC forum on the challenges of providing public transit.

Keith Downey knows first-hand about the transportation problems in Houston's Kashmere Gardens. He's a community activist who works with young people, who in many cases hardly ever leave their neighborhood.

"You know, people have to realize there's a whole demographic that does not have proper transportation," says Downey.

Kashmere Gardens is served by Metro, but Downey says a local neighborhood shuttle would be a huge help.

"Because Houston is sidewalk poor," adds Downey. "And people are walking in the hot sun, in the grass. And this is not just a great walking town in the summertime."

Downey was one of the people at a forum on how to plug those transportation gaps. Experts say a lack of public transit is an issue in communities of all sizes, and it's only going to get worse as the population ages.

But with limited transit funds from the state and federal governments, non-profit organizations could be providing more of those services in the future.

Alan Clark directs H-GAC's transportation planning:

"It's getting outside the box, finding the partners who can bring a little bit of the resources to the table to make these things happen," says Clark.

Smaller communities like Conroe and Baytown have recently added more bus service.

But Clark says there are places that have no transit services, like Chambers County, which is one of only two Texas counties that doesn't have a public transportation agency.

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Gail Delaughter

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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