A New Study Looks At Who’s Using Public Transit In The Houston Area

It’s the most expansive survey ever conducted on a regional basis.

That survey was a partnership between Metro and the Houston-Galveston Area Council. It included not only Metro but seven other agencies that offer fixed-route bus service in the region.


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Appearing before a Metro committee, Linda Cherrington with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute said they surveyed over 22,000 riders. The vast majority were people who used Metro's buses and trains.

Breaking down the numbers, Cherrington said 58 percent of riders use transit to get to work, 20 percent use it for shopping or personal business, and about 10 percent of riders use a bus or train to get to school.

"This means that 88 percent of all the trips were directly contributing to the region's economy," added Cherrington.

As for modes of transit that are most popular with riders, Cherrington said they looked into that as well.

"Of the regional ridership, local bus represents 63 percent of ridership," continued Cherrington. "METRORail represents about 23 percent of average daily ridership and park and ride, all systems, represent about 14 percent."

Metro said the numbers are useful to learn who's riding the system but they also need the data for federally-mandated reports.

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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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