Houston Metro Redesign Shows Promise

Following an "overnight" system redesign, Houston Metro ridership and frequency is up across the board. Its high frequency bus service now rivals that of peer cities on weekends.

1 minute read

January 2, 2016, 7:00 AM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Houston Metro Bus

Roy Luck / Flickr

Claudia Preciado reports on good news from Houston: an August 2015 bus grid "reimagining" seems to be succeeding. "Typically, service changes are done through a comprehensive operational analysis, followed by an intensive implementation plan of incremental changes over a lengthy amount of time. Metro implemented the entire system redesign in August 2015…overnight. Nearly every bus route was altered with the goal of creating a high-frequency, seven days a week system that increased access to people and jobs."

Houston labors under a reputation for sprawl and sub-par transit. "[Houston's] previous system had 11 lines of high frequency transit lines, defined as service with 15 minute headways or better. Only 25% of the ridership base had access to frequent service under this network."

But that seems to be changing. "On August 16, 2015, the new service redesign enabled riders to travel even further by increasing frequencies, implementing route modifications, and ensuring the transit system served demand. The change meant that 72% of the ridership base now had access to 22 lines with frequent service, seven days a week."

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