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View Diary: Good news from Portland on urban transit! (115 comments)

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  •  Light Rail in Houston (0+ / 0-)

    The naysayers in Houston blocked Light Rail for many years with claims that no one would like the proposed Light Rail in  Houston.

    We originally voted to go forward in the late 1980's and finally went live in 2004. The short starter line from downtown Houston to the Art and Science museums, past multiple universities and parks  and through one of the largest medical centers in the country is only 7.5 miles long. But this short Light Rail line now has the 2nd highest ridership per mile in the United States with 4,987 boardings per mile per day.

    Source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    While Houston went with Light Rail instead of street cars, they are now rapidly expanding with three more lines under full construction and to open in 2014.

    RideMetro Houston:
    http://www.ridemetro.org

    The Light Rail cars are manufactured in the United States by Siemens in Sacramento, California.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/...

    Being a  daily rider from the Park and Ride lot in an outlying suburb but still in the city of Houston limits, then skipping to the Light Rail downtown, I and my most of my fellow passengers enjoy not having to venture in the long vehicle commute every day in a single passenger car.

    Houston has it's massive sprawl but our Metro system has tied together the vast city with Light Rail, High Occupancy Lanes (HOV), city buses and Park and Ride lots.

    I would envy the day I could climb aboard a street car like in Portland instead of an hour commute by living downtown or near town like many Houstonians have done, especially many younger folks in Houston.

    Portland sounds like a very invigorating city that has planned well for their smart growth without the sprawl that other American cities have become. I know there is a constant battle in Portland between the developers versus the Smart Growth movement but hopefully Portland will prosper and keep their city a livable city.

    Mass Transit hopefully will be a major ingredient of the rebirth of many American cities.

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