Houston high on traffic, low on public transit

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HOUSTON, TX – Here’s a question for you. How much time do you spend in traffic?
Well, if you live here in Houston, you’re wasting more hours pushing pavement than folks in most other U.S. cities. And that’s because our public transit sucks. According to a new report by the Public Interest Research Group, of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., Houston ranks 96th for reducing the amount of cars on the freeway in lieu of public transportation.”I think a lot of Houstonians have a negative outlook on public transportation,” Metro customer Melanie Munoz said when we asked her about the numbers, “and I just think it’s certainly because of the Metro.”There’s no doubt that public transit is a tough sell in a city that produces such a big chunk of the world’s gasoline, but plenty of folks we talked to said Houston’s Metro service was just fine.

“Metro does a good job at what they’re doing – getting us where we need to go,” Jose Perez said as he waited for a train downtown.

“I haven’t been to any other cities, I can only speak for Houston,” Carl Avalos allowed, “but I like the way it gets you around, it’s convenient, it’s timely and it don’t cost a whole lot of money.”

According to the report, Dallas’ public transit system has lowered the number of cars on the freeway 1.2% in the last 10 years and Chicago CTA has reduced traffic more than 2%. Here at home, we’re still bumping and grinding with a measly 0.3% reduction in traffic.

Mayor Parker hopes the addition of three new light-rail lines set to open next year will help out some, at least. Till then, see you on the freeway.

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