Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Space Race Update: Houston

Houston is really starting to pick up on the space race. After building the Red Line which has the highest ridership density per mile of any new rail line (40,000 riders a day) , Houston dreamt big and went for a bigger expansion plan. This included 5 more light rail lines and plans for commuter rail and other improvements.

Now there are beginning to discuss studying 5 commuter rail lines. They have express buses that run in HOV lanes, however these additions will begin to allow for nodes to build up around the stations creating new job centers and destinations. From the Houston Chronicle:
A commuter rail study for the Houston area, unveiled Tuesday, recommends starting with five lines — but none would provide direct service to Sugar Land, The Woodlands or Kingwood, or to Bush and Hobby airports.

Alan Clark, who heads transportation planning for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, where the plan was presented, said conflict with heavy freight rail operations would prevent commuter rail to those destinations in the near future.

You can find the HGAC plans here.


Houston is beginning to catch up and as we've stated before, is at the head of the class.

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