What would Austin urban rail look like? Examples from Houston.

Lyndon Henry created a photo essay at Austin Rail Now:

While the so-called “People’s Republic of Austin” has agonized, dillied, dallied, and dawdled for years over whether or not to give priority to transit, or to preserve sacred traffic lanes for cars, Houston — long assumed to be a poster child of motor vehicle dependency — already took the plunge over a decade ago, carving dedicated transit reservations out of some of its busiest central-city arterials for its MetroRail light rail transit (LRT) line.

Ten years ago, Houston began operating a light rail line that connects universities, hospitals and downtown businesses. Much like the proposed Austin urban rail, Houston’s line went through established parts of the city on roads with heavy vehicle traffic. This photo essay by Lyndon Henry shows how Houston built a dedicated lane for urban rail while keeping lanes open for cars. The same style trains and stations seen here are what could come to Austin.

It’s highly successful, carrying 37,500 rider-trips per average weekday (second quarter 2013) at about 8% lower cost per passenger-mile than Houston’s bus system average.

 I almost breezed right past that little tidbit hidden in the article. Will Austin urban rail be cheaper per passenger to run than our bus service? That’s something else to learn from Houston.

 

Read more about this on austinrailnow.wordpress.com