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G W North

Houston grapples with mass transit - and its ego

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Houston grapples with mass transit - and its ego

As residents face a looming vote, city is tugged between its car culture and the realities of rising population and sprawl.

By Kris Axtman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

August 21, 2003

HOUSTON

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Agreed. I think it's an issue a lot of cities face with their startup mass transits. Funding is limited, the line is short. And it doesn't do much for the people in the burbs. I think a lot of cities would love to have fully developed mass transit systems along the lines of Chicago, NYC, or Boston. But it takes time. I think Houston (along with Atlanta and other cities) needs to take a serious look at commuter rail systems to help get people from the burbs into the city.

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Houston does not have MASS TRANSIT. It has an astoundingly great bus system, however. Buses are not heavy mass transit, though.

Houston is definately going to have to do something, I just wonder whether they will or not... With such powerful oil and developer interests working against rail - who knows?

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excuse me heckles, but when it comes to Mass Transit, does your precious Nashville have any room to talk? And just FYI, Houston's bus-only mass transit system takes more people out of their cars than Dallas' rail and bus systems combined. -- and they call dallas' mass transit "successful" b/c of rail, and houston's mass transit "non-exhistent"?! I think not...

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Uhh, Bus is mass transit. It's not as mass as say heavy rail, but it's still very much mass transit.

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Very interesting article on Houston's plight, its what you get for having gone to bed with the petroleum industry for 50 years. Sad. On the bus thing it does save some--kinda like a giagantic car pool ;)

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Well the article is old and Houston did vote for an expansion of the light rail system, and the county is kinda looking into commuter rail. I think that Houston is slowly embracing rail as an option, but with the well-documented accident problems that MetroRail had last year, people are more and more against anything that is at-grade and mixed with traffic.

Their attitude is, "We're Houston--we can come up with something much better than that".

Even though it would cost more, I would think that the powers-that-be here would back maglev-type technology before light-rail-as-we-know-it. Their main point is speed. Houston is very much an example of a market-shaped city, and as exists in the market, gov't leaders feel that if rail is gonna happen, it needs to provide a visible and noticeable benefit to commuters. They really haven't taken hold of n'hood i mprovements with LRT. I would rather them focus on the faster, more advanced technology and improving the bayous, especially since the money seems to always be there for waterway improvement.

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Maglev would be a huge waste of money. Houston needs to build a heavy rail system in its downtown using proven technology that has worked everywhere else for almost a century. And this system needs to be completely on its own right of way, and not mixed in with traffic. They should look to DC as an example, not Dallas.

Commuter rail is also good.

Will we see something like this there? Probably not unfortunately.

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Why does Charlotte need mass transit like Atlanta or Houston? They don't have the population to support it.

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