Editorial: Why Houston’s University Line BRT Is a ‘Crucial’ Project

The Houston Chronicle editorial board comes out in support of a proposed 25-mile bus rapid transit line, arguing it would provide essential service to transit-dependent residents.

2 minute read

August 3, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Houston covered bus station with one parked bus

Stephanie A Sellers / Houston Metro bus station

The Houston Chronicle editorial board writes in support of the proposed University Line, which, at 25 miles, would be one of the nation’s longest bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. “A future where Houstonians won’t have to be tethered to a car for their daily commute isn’t just some urbanist fantasy; it’s a necessity for the city to stay competitive with its big-city rivals,” the board writes.

The University Line “connects several of Houston’s biggest downtowns. It connects Metro’s existing investments, making the system work better as a whole. And, finally, it will improve the lives of Houstonians who either leave their cars at home or must rely on transit.”

The project has its critics, who say the line won’t get enough ridership to justify the cost of construction, will disrupt traffic, bring gentrification, and negatively impact local businesses. While the board acknowledges that “Some of these concerns are reasonable,” they insist that the connectivity that the University Line would provide would open up public transit opportunities for many more Houstonians. 

Additionally, “Higher and higher ridership isn’t the only goal. The people who consistently use Metro — lower-income commuters who can’t necessarily afford a car or have the ability to drive one — remain reliant on it.” And at $1.5 billion, the cost of the University Line pales in comparison to the $12.5 billion planned for highway expansion.

Monday, August 1, 2022 in Houston Chronicle

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