Disconnected

The Chronicle has an article this morning on Harris County’s new transit service in Pasadena:

The neighborhood loops connect Crosby to Baytown, La Porte to Pasadena and South Houston, and Clear Lake to La Porte.

The routes aren’t designed to deliver riders to downtown jobs — or to even connect to Metro trains and buses that could.

When asked how much he had consulted Metro in devising the routes and schedules, Fickes said, “Very little.”

And a Metro spokeswoman asked about the new routes said she wasn’t sure she had even seen them before Tuesday.

Both agencies should be ashamed of themselves.

Our goal for regional transit should be one system:

One card to ride them all. One farecard — METRO’s Q card is the obvious choice — should be valid on all transit systems in the region. Ideally, this should involve free or discounted transfers between systems, but even if it doesn’t being able to use one card is much easier than fishing for change.

One map to show them all. Look at METRO’s system map and you wan’t have a clue that Harris County Transit, Woodlands Express, or TREK exist. That’s silly. The map should show include service in the Harris County area.

One planner to understand them all. There should be regional trip planner website that includes schedules for all transit services in the region, so that it’s easy to plan a trip that connects two different operators.

Many connections to bind them. Whenever routes meet it should be easy to transfer: schedules should be coordinated, stops should be co-located, signage should be obvious.

This does not mean we need one operator. It’s OK to have multiple transit agencies; in fact, smaller agencies can be more accountable and easier to govern. But we need multiple agencies to coordinate.

Coordinate with your fellow citizens in the forums.

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