Skip to content

Posts tagged "METRO"

StreetFilms
View Comments

Houston: Buses, Bayous, Beltways and Abounding Optimism for Better Mobility

Last week found me in Houston. And for a few hours (see above) I got to go explore their expansive bayou greenway system - which by 2020 will be the largest network of trails and parks in the nation. That may shock you about Houston, it's great trivia to pull out in a room with transportation friends.

But the primary reason I was there was to look at the ambitous realignment of Houston METRO's bus system, a complex multi-year project to make buses run more efficiently, faster, with more frequency and routes that make more sense for the city. It's already reaping great rewards and sweeping the nation with ample positive press so we thought it would make a great Streetfilm. Thus, thanks to our funding partners TransitCenter in a few weeks we'll be posting a film to tell the story.

image1

This photo is me with Janis "Bus Lady" Scott who is just one of the great folks I got to spend time with on the streets of Houston riding transit.  I think Janis just might be Jane Jacobs reincarnated.  She was so charming I might post a bonus Streetfilm segment just on her after finishing our primary feature on MetroBus.

I also got to do one of the more amazing things I have ever been allowed: I rode in an empty bus around downtown Houston just to get some driving shots after interviewing Cara (below) an energetic bus driver at Houston Metro who helped out planning some of the new routes. You'll meet her, the "Bus Lady" and many others in our film.

image2

While I was there, I was a guest speaker at Houston Tomorrow's Streetfilms screening at the Rice University Media Center. Always nice to see our films playing up on a handsome big screen with lots of folks. Furthermore, I was very excited since Jay Blazek Crossley their Executive Director, chose a great slate of Streetfilms mostly pulled from this blog post, which I've been cajoling communities to play. You should, after all they are free to screen.

Read more...

StreetFilms
View Comments

Active Living For All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit

Streetfilms teamed up with the Public Policy Institute at AARP to bring you a look at how Arlington, Virginia plans for its senior population using transit-oriented development (TOD).  Arlington has been practicing TOD since the late 1970s, when Washington's Metrorail first began service there, and it's proved very effective in accommodating the population growth of this inner suburb.

TOD helps older adults maintain their independence by providing good pedestrian access to a variety of public transit options, entertainment and recreation, and basic services such as shopping and health care.  As Rodney Harrell, senior strategic policy advisor at AARP's Public Policy Institute points out, "When you plan for older adults, you plan for the entire community."

Learn more about the Public Policy Institute's Livable Communities initiatives.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Medellín: Colombia’s Sustainable Transport Capital

For many who have heard of Medellín, Colombia, the name brings to mind the drug-related violence of the 1980s and 1990s, when it was often described as the most dangerous city in the world.

Over the last decade, Medellín has worked hard to change its image. The local government is investing in education and social programs, and the city recognizes the importance of providing an integrated public transportation system as the backbone of these projects.

Medellín is becoming famous for innovative sustainable transport. Recent efforts to modernize public transit, create better public spaces and improve safety are helping transform the city. These projects include the development of bus rapid transit (called MetroPlús) and the creation of a bike-share program -- new transportation elements that are integrated with existing metro and cable car systems. In addition, the city is building 1.6 million square meters of new public space.

Medellín was awarded the 2012 Sustainable Transport Award. Streetfilms partnered with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy to document some of the changes taking place in Medellín.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Guangzhou, China: Winning The Future With BRT

Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The economic hub of China's southern coast, it has undergone three decades of rapid modernization, and until recently the city’s streets were on a trajectory to get completely overrun by traffic congestion and pollution. But Guangzhou has started to change course. Last year the city made major strides to cut carbon emissions and reclaim space for people, opening new bus rapid transit and public bike sharing systems.

The Guangzhou BRT system opened in February 2010. It now carries 800,000 passengers a day, seamlessly connecting riders to both the metro system and the city's new bike-share network. For these innovations, Guangzhou won the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy's 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. Watch this Streetfilm and see how one of the world's most dynamic cities is "winning the future" on its streets.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Phoenix’s METRO Light Rail Takes Flight

Everyone knows that Phoenix has a huge sprawl problem. But now transit-oriented development is on the upswing in this Sun Belt metropolis. In December, the Phoenix region opened one of the most ambitious transit projects in recent U.S. history: a 20-mile light rail line with 28 stops serving three cities (Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa). Future plans include an extension within three years, with several new corridors being studied.

The Valley Metro vehicles are handsome and comfortable, and thus far ridership has far exceeded initial projections -- with as many as 40,000 riders per day, compared to the expected 25,000. Each station features amenities and art installations. In addition, with many folks using the light rail as an intermodal step in their commutes, bicycles are welcome aboard.

StreetFilms
View Comments

L.A.’s Orange Line: Bus Rapid Transit (plus bike path!)

Who would have thought that one of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in the U.S. would be in its most crowded, congested, sprawling city? Well check this out. It's really fabulous.

In October 2005, the Los Angeles County Metro Authority (or Metro) debuted a new 14-mile BRT system in the San Fernando Valley using a former rail right-of-way. Unlike many "rapid" bus transit systems in the U.S., the Orange Line is true BRT - it features a dedicated roadway that cars may not enter, has a pre-board payment system so buses load quickly and efficiently, and uses handsome, articulated buses to transport passengers fast - sometimes at speeds approaching 55 mph! The roadway is landscaped so ornately you could almost call it a bus greenway.

But that's not all. The corridor also boasts a world class bike and pedestrian path which runs adjacent to the BRT route for nearly its entire length, giving users numerous multi-modal options. Each station has bike amenities, including bike lockers and racks, and all the buses feature racks on the front that accommodate up to three bikes.

Perhaps the biggest problem is its soaring success: ridership numbers have some calling for the BRT to be converted to rail, and Metro is exploring ways to move more passengers, including buying longer buses. Plus: expansion plans are underway. Whatever way you slice it, this is truly a hit with Angelenos. A formerly 81 minute trip now takes 44-52 minutes - over an hour in round-trip savings - making a bona fide impact in the lives of commuters.