Houston Needs More Public Transit Funding, Report Finds

While ridership dropped during the pandemic, many 'essential workers' continued to rely on Houston Metro's services, signaling the crucial role of public transit for the city's economy.

1 minute read

October 14, 2021, 9:20 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Houston Light Rail

Roy Luck / Flickr

Dug Begley describes the findings of a report from Air Alliance, transportation advocacy group LINK Houston and the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University that calls for greater funding of public transportation in the Houston region.

"Overall, Metro ridership dropped to about one-eighth normal levels early in the pandemic, leading the agency to drastically scale back bus and train service." But "many said the service offered was a crucial lifeline." According to researcher Nikki Hawkins-Knight, "[w]e cannot continue to build cities and hope to positively impact the health of our economy and communities without frequently assessing the impacts, deficiencies and user needs." Hawking-Knight goes on to say "[t]he transit ecosystem must integrate safety, sanitation, connectivity and overall reliability for it to be a true asset."

"The findings, authors said, point to more transit investment as a way to keep key employees showing up for work, offer a viable and safe option for travel and reduce pollution all at once." Ashley Johnson, director of community affairs at LINK Houston and a study co-author, says "Metro must continue to restore service and equitably implement its Moving Forward Plan as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the vital role public transit plays in the economic vitality of our region."

Thursday, October 7, 2021 in The Houston Chronicle

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Workers putting down asphalt on road.

U.S. Supreme Court: California's Impact Fees May Violate Takings Clause

A California property owner took El Dorado County to state court after paying a traffic impact fee he felt was exorbitant. He lost in trial court, appellate court, and the California Supreme Court denied review. Then the U.S. Supreme Court acted.

April 18, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Sunset view of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline.

Minneapolis as a Model for Housing Affordability

Through a combination of policies, the city has managed to limit the severity of the nationwide housing crisis.

12 minutes ago - Brown Political Review

Row of yellow Pacers Bikeshare bikes at station in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indy Bikeshare System Turns 10, Expands to E-Bikes

Pacers Bikeshare riders logged over 700,000 rides since the system launched in 2014.

1 hour ago - Indy Today

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-watt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

2 hours ago - Columbus Dispatch

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.