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Old 06-13-2007, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,610,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Not so sure a/b that. You forget that Dallas is doubling the size of its light rails and adding lines 3 and 4 right now. Also not included are the TRE numbers, which meets up with the light rail at the central station in downtown. Also line 5, which will run the northern suburbs will make it possible to hit the tollway district and telecom cooridor without having to connect in downtown making it even more convenient for riders...it's being decided b/t heavy vs. light rail. Finally, the Ft. Worth side is getting in on the light rail action, and will have their lines up with possible connections onto the DFW side in the next 5 years as well. OVerall, absolute numbers , DFW should maintain the lead. Now relative numbers maybe different, but DFW is expected to grow at or slightly more than the Houston MSA. We shall see...but I dont think that you can predict which MSA will have more ridership numbers based on current trends...I can easily say DFW will maintain the lead given its expansion plans. If DFW didnt expand its rails, and Houston just expanded theirs, then yes, I can agree with you...but it's way too hard to predict at this point.
I think you are forgetting that Houston has ONE LINE which has a 40,000 ridership number. Expand and you will see more. The two current lines about to get underway will connect two university (one being Univ. of Houston; Texas' third largest in student population at 36,000 students). Then you have Greenway Plaza (a major business center in Houston). It then goes on to the Uptown Houston areas (larger than both DT Dallas and Las Colinas in office space). This line will also pass through some highly dense apartment complexes.

Then you have the Southeast Line (probably renamed Green Line), which will connect the southeast side of town. It will have stops at the Univ. of Houston also. Then the North Line (probably renamed the Blue Line), which will connect the lower-income north side of Houston all the way up to Northline Mall.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:34 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,723,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
I think you are forgetting that Houston has ONE LINE which has a 40,000 ridership number. Expand and you will see more. The two current lines about to get underway will connect two university (one being Univ. of Houston; Texas' third largest in student population at 36,000 students). Then you have Greenway Plaza (a major business center in Houston). It then goes on to the Uptown Houston areas (larger than both DT Dallas and Las Colinas in office space). This line will also pass through some highly dense apartment complexes.

Then you have the Southeast Line (probably renamed Green Line), which will connect the southeast side of town. It will have stops at the Univ. of Houston also. Then the North Line (probably renamed the Blue Line), which will connect the lower-income north side of Houston all the way up to Northline Mall.
Yes, but the argument was the absolute number. The person who was arguing for Houston overtaking Dallas in ridership number was probably not considering the fact tha tDallas in its own right is doubling the size of its DART rail and connecting its business districts together as well..namely Las Colinas and downtown Dallas. We're adding two major lines that will include Baylor Medical Center and Parkland, our two largest hospitals in our area boasting roughly1000 beds each and are among the largest employers in the region. Also, the cooridor is expanding into a more densely populated southern cooridor that would be more likely to use public transportation.
Our lines will be 90 miles in a/b 5 miles. And Line 5 will be doing the northern suburbs and connecting northern suburbs' business centers and also into Las Colinas as well. And With Ft. Worth's plans, you're going to see a seamless network over the next few decades.
My point is I dont think anyone can seriously predict who's ridership numbers are going to be higher in absolute amounts. Now relative amounts you can say that Houston's one line has a lot of ridership, but absolutely, it maybe be harder for Houston to catch Dallas with all the expansion taking place, obviously b/c we're ahead in our light rail tracts. And you also have to factor in the growth as well. DFW overall has grown slightly faster than Houston. Since both cities are car culture happy, any few more people could make a difference.

Now since Houston is adding some lines (finallY)...they may get more ridership per line. However, if you look at density, though Houston is only slightly more dense than Dallas, it's not an earth shattering difference. Houston is no LA. Houston is no Chicago. Houston is like the rest of the sunbelt. Very suburban overall.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:10 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,772,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Now since Houston is adding some lines (finallY)...they may get more ridership per line. However, if you look at density, though Houston is only slightly more dense than Dallas, it's not an earth shattering difference. Houston is no LA. Houston is no Chicago. Houston is like the rest of the sunbelt. Very suburban overall.
I disagree. Even though it may take a while, I believe that Houston will catch up to if not surpass Dallas in public transportation. There isn't a city in this country that needs pub trans more than Houston.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,653 posts, read 27,092,504 times
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Here's the thing about comparing Houston's light rail to Dallas' light rail. Houston built the line in an area that is already dense enough. They built it from towards downtown going right straight through the TMC. Everybody knows that medical workers ride rail alot. It also passes through dense areas en route to downtown or to Reliant Park.

Dallas on the other hand built it's line through sparse areas and plotted the stations in the middle of nowhere. In doing so, it is helping the city build very dense TOD's and densifying the city. You have Mockingbird Station as well as Victory Park with alot more on the way with the new expansion with Cityville and Fair Park area.

So it's really apples to oranges. Dallas ridership will increase dramatically once the new line goes through the Southwestern Medical Facility as well as to DFW. Once it is connected to the airport in 2013, the ridership numbers will skyrocket. It also will touch Love Field. IMO, when the DFW station opens, it will be the single greatest day in DART'S history. Travelors as well as Pilots love to stay overnight in cities and this rail would do wonders for the area.

Let's not forget about the Cotton Belt and the other Commuter rail expansions that may happen towards Waxahachie.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:52 PM
 
1,486 posts, read 4,030,071 times
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I think one of the biggest impediments for a place like Houston to really develop is the lack of real understanding on how to really develop a mass transit system. Subways (obviously) are generally best for dense areas to leave surface streets free for automobiles and walking. Houston made the mistake of not burying the light rail in downtown. Unfortunately they are going to make the same mistake when they run the line to Uptown. Uptown is a perfect place for a subway station but people are simply too cheap in Houston and unwilling to really invest in public transit.

Another mistake is that people think light rail is commuter rail. It is not. Light rail is transportation for semi-dense urban areas. Look at the Green Line in Boston. It's transportation for people in semi-dense areas; not a commuter line for people in the sprawling burbs. Another option is to run trolleys like the Muni in San Francisco to provide transportation within the city. People in the burbs take BART into the city and then get around on trolleys. The point is that light rail or other similar options should be focused within the most dense areas of Houston (primarily within 610). Then build commuter lines that extend out to places like Katy and the Woodlands. From what I have heard its some right-wing reactionaries out in the burbs that are trying to kill a real public transportation within Houston.

In the end though, this is going to take an investment. Even if the city is interested in making the investment, the state is little help. So, despite the potential, I doubt I will see a real public transit system in a city like Houston anytime soon.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:59 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,723,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Here's the thing about comparing Houston's light rail to Dallas' light rail. Houston built the line in an area that is already dense enough. They built it from towards downtown going right straight through the TMC. Everybody knows that medical workers ride rail alot. It also passes through dense areas en route to downtown or to Reliant Park.

Dallas on the other hand built it's line through sparse areas and plotted the stations in the middle of nowhere. In doing so, it is helping the city build very dense TOD's and densifying the city. You have Mockingbird Station as well as Victory Park with alot more on the way with the new expansion with Cityville and Fair Park area.

So it's really apples to oranges. Dallas ridership will increase dramatically once the new line goes through the Southwestern Medical Facility as well as to DFW. Once it is connected to the airport in 2013, the ridership numbers will skyrocket. It also will touch Love Field. IMO, when the DFW station opens, it will be the single greatest day in DART'S history. Travelors as well as Pilots love to stay overnight in cities and this rail would do wonders for the area.

Let's not forget about the Cotton Belt and the other Commuter rail expansions that may happen towards Waxahachie.
I completely agree. DFW is ahead and looking to the future. Adding the Cottonbelt (Line 5) and also an expansion to Waxa.

The Las Colinas urban center is revitalizing, and its no fluke. The DART is coming. ONe thing that we must consider is that DFW has both heavy and light rail. I believe that people are not including the heavy rail numbers into that. If you include our train systems, I believe the lead would be much bigger than 68,000 to 40,000.
Our public rail system in DFW IMO is superior to that of Houston's. It goes to many more places. And it's accomodating for future growth and stimulating growth in areas.

NOw the TRE at Parkland every morning is packed. I believe that since the general discussion is people using rail transit, that the heavy rail numbers should be in there b/c it connects downtown Ft. Worth ( a major business center) to DFW airport via bus to Irving to Downtown dallas, from which they can make an connection to DART.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,610,847 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Yes, but the argument was the absolute number. The person who was arguing for Houston overtaking Dallas in ridership number was probably not considering the fact tha tDallas in its own right is doubling the size of its DART rail and connecting its business districts together as well..namely Las Colinas and downtown Dallas. We're adding two major lines that will include Baylor Medical Center and Parkland, our two largest hospitals in our area boasting roughly1000 beds each and are among the largest employers in the region. Also, the cooridor is expanding into a more densely populated southern cooridor that would be more likely to use public transportation.
Our lines will be 90 miles in a/b 5 miles. And Line 5 will be doing the northern suburbs and connecting northern suburbs' business centers and also into Las Colinas as well. And With Ft. Worth's plans, you're going to see a seamless network over the next few decades.
My point is I dont think anyone can seriously predict who's ridership numbers are going to be higher in absolute amounts. Now relative amounts you can say that Houston's one line has a lot of ridership, but absolutely, it maybe be harder for Houston to catch Dallas with all the expansion taking place, obviously b/c we're ahead in our light rail tracts. And you also have to factor in the growth as well. DFW overall has grown slightly faster than Houston. Since both cities are car culture happy, any few more people could make a difference.
Victory Park is in no way a TOD. Regardless, Houston porbably will surpass Dallas' numbers as it expands more into its urban areas in the inner city.

Quote:
Now since Houston is adding some lines (finallY)...they may get more ridership per line. However, if you look at density, though Houston is only slightly more dense than Dallas, it's not an earth shattering difference. Houston is no LA. Houston is no Chicago. Houston is like the rest of the sunbelt. Very suburban overall.
Houston has more jobs intown than Dallas does. That would only increase the numbers.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,610,847 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
I think one of the biggest impediments for a place like Houston to really develop is the lack of real understanding on how to really develop a mass transit system. Subways (obviously) are generally best for dense areas to leave surface streets free for automobiles and walking. Houston made the mistake of not burying the light rail in downtown. Unfortunately they are going to make the same mistake when they run the line to Uptown. Uptown is a perfect place for a subway station but people are simply too cheap in Houston and unwilling to really invest in public transit.
I really don't think you know what you are talking about. Houston doesn't have as much funding as Dallas does. People like Culberson are holding Houston back. The Houston area really wants more rail. The people here ARE willing to invest in public transit.

Quote:
Another mistake is that people think light rail is commuter rail. It is not. Light rail is transportation for semi-dense urban areas. Look at the Green Line in Boston. It's transportation for people in semi-dense areas; not a commuter line for people in the sprawling burbs. Another option is to run trolleys like the Muni in San Francisco to provide transportation within the city. People in the burbs take BART into the city and then get around on trolleys. The point is that light rail or other similar options should be focused within the most dense areas of Houston (primarily within 610). Then build commuter lines that extend out to places like Katy and the Woodlands. From what I have heard its some right-wing reactionaries out in the burbs that are trying to kill a real public transportation within Houston.
That IS how it is going. Metro is building light rail within Houston, and where the light rail ends, they are building commuter rail lines (to the last light rail station). This is only true for the line out to Sugar Land. The ones from Galveston, Cypress, and the Woodlands will be going straight to the new intermodel station they are about to construct in Downtown. That thing will be state of the art. You can view it on MetroSolutions.Org.

Quote:
In the end though, this is going to take an investment. Even if the city is interested in making the investment, the state is little help. So, despite the potential, I doubt I will see a real public transit system in a city like Houston anytime soon.
Oh, but you will. By 2012, Houston will have a much improved rail transportation system. The Uptown (Purple) Line, the University Line, the Southeast (Green) Line, the North (Blue) Line all by 2012. The commuter rail lines will be around the same time as well.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,653 posts, read 27,092,504 times
Reputation: 9584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
Victory Park is in no way a TOD. Regardless, Houston porbably will surpass Dallas' numbers as it expands more into its urban areas in the inner city.

.
Again, we do not know this. The reason why Dallas has 68,000 with 43 miles of rail now is because they put the rail stations in areas that were not developed. hey did that on purpose and now they are seeing the benefits of doing so. Houston simply built there lines another way by putting them in areas that are already dense and in areas that would more likely receive alot of passengers anyway. I can understand you saying that VP is not a TOD. But it can be used as a model to build a TOD. It's right on the rail line and when it's builtout, it will be very very dense. And as soon as VP really gets going, visitors from from Ft. Worth, the burbs, and Dallas residents will be using rail alot more to get there. Not to mention the rebirth of Deep Ellum, Fair Park, SE Dallas, and other entertainment neighborhoods being revitalized because of light rail.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,610,847 times
Reputation: 206
But you do know that TOD's are being built among Houston's rail lines? Also, once the expand outside of Houston's core, they will go to the area's that aren't as densely developed. I like what Houston is doing though. Put LRT's in the core, but have commuter rail lines outside of the core. This is when Houston layout comes in handy. The longest light rail line will be the North Line from Downtown to IAH (Houston big airport). Everything else turns to commuter just outside of I-610.
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