Which Houston Metro Board Members Actually Use Transit?

A review of board members' Q Cards reveals the extent to which the people who implement Houston's transit policy actually use the system: some quite a bit, some not so much.

1 minute read

November 20, 2019, 2:00 PM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Houston MTA

Lise Photography / Shutterstock

Following Houston voters' approval of a $3.5 billion transit bond measure, "riders have said it is critical leaders know what sort of improvements need to be built. The best way to do that, some say, is for [Metro] board members to experience it," Dug Begley writes. 

But a Houston Chronicle review of Metropolitan Transit Authority board members' agency-issued Q cards reveals that some of the folks in charge aren't regular transit riders. The review "shows three Metro board members did not ride a single bus or train between Jan. 1, 2018, and Aug. 31, 2019. Other members were mixed, with some taking a handful of trips while others with different commuting locations and habits hop aboard frequently."

Sanjay Ramabhadran, one of the board members who logged the most trips, said that using the system is "an important determinant—but not the only one—board members should use" in making decisions, Begley reports. "We all bring different strengths to the board," Ramabhadran said. "Some of them might be riding the system, some of that might be financial or engineering."

Begley's write-up gives some background on each of Houston Metro's board members and outlines how often they use the system, as well as which parts of the system they tend to frequent.

Monday, November 11, 2019 in The Houston Chronicle

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