Originally posted to citylab.com on August 18, 2016 by Laura Bliss.
Houston’s overnight bus network transformation in August 2015 was a transportation planner’s dream. The old hub-and-spoke system that had for decades funneled commuters downtown was straightened into a grid that cross-cuts the sprawling city, with fewer redundancies, more frequent service, and all-day, all-week service on heavily used lines. As the original before-and-after maps show above, almost every route was changed, with increasing ridership rather than service area as the guiding priority.
But not everyone was thrilled. The new network hinges more heavily on transfers, which can move people more quickly but tend not to be as appealing as a one-line commute. Although most commuters saw their routes essentially unchanged, a few neighborhoods suffered from service cuts. In response, Metro made some tweaks and rethought a route or two after hearing community input.
Now, one year out, Houston’s big bus overhaul is on its way to success by the measure it hoped to achieve. Leah Binkovitz at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research reports that Metro saw ridership on its local bus and light-rail systems showed a gain of 4.5 million boardings between September 2015 and July 2016—an increase of 6.8 percent.
For the full article, visit http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/08/houston-bus-system-ridership/496313/?utm_source=nl__link1_081816.