As you may know, there are many problems associated with public transportation; however, the biggest problem for Houston isn’t the $2.6 billion or more that it will cost for new light rail lines. It isn’t the fact that it’s taking up land and space, and the biggest problem isn’t that people don’t necessarily like where the light rail lines are heading. These are problems that any major city will face when planning a public transportation project of this size. The biggest problem unique to Houston is that it is almost impossible for public transportation to efficiently get people where they need to go.
Houston wasn’t built for public transportation. Most people can’t go from their house to work and then to the grocery store (or shopping) and then back home via public transportation. Adding more light rail lines will help, but Houston is too big for this. Also, unlike other major cities, downtown Houston isn’t the main place where people work. There are so many areas of town that people go everyday for jobs, so it is exponentially more difficult to find the best places to concentrate public transportation.
Sure we have busses and taxis, but good luck finding either in most areas of town, especially the suburban areas. So what do we do? No, the answer isn’t to get rid of the light rail. Good or bad, right or wrong, it looks like it will be here to stay. Here is one proposal to fix this problem:
While there are a few changes I would make, such as having a more central location for retrieving a car and reduced prices if you return the car close to the light rail stops, this is definitely something to consider.