The title of this entry is a reference to the entry about Metro Houston's 82 Westheimer bus that I posted back in November. That particular route (PDF) is back on my mind and in the news because of Metro's service adjustments that went into effect yesterday. Here are the headways for Metro's most heavily ridden bus route:
The 82 now runs almost a full 24 hours during weekdays, with the first inbound departing West Oaks Mall at 3:50 am, and the last outbound arriving there at 2:58 the following morning. On weekends, the route gets a break between about 2 and 4 am.
A few other routes, like the 65 Bissonnet (PDF), also get more frequent service. Most of the changes involve adding a run or two at strategic times or adjusting departure times to improve connections between buses.
This is all coming about because, as Metro has reported, its ridership has increased steadily since Metro Reimagined was implemented in August 2015. Here is Metro's ridership report (PDF) comparing boardings for November 2015 with November 2014. In cases like the 65 and 82 routes, buses have been overflowing with humanity (as noted in my November posting).
The Reimagining had its share of initial stumbles. Plenty of riders had their customary routes changed for the worse or eliminated entirely. Others had not been paying attention to all of Metro's brightly-colored posters announcing the big changes, so they were taken unpleasantly by surprise. However, the net result has shown ridership numbers going in precisely the direction Metro had hoped.
To say the least, Metro could still stand to implement some changes in its bus service. If ridership continues to increase, I look forward to some of the sacrificed routes being restored. For example, service along West Alabama Street was canceled with the Reimagining due to the old 78 Alabama/Irvington's low ridership and the perception that it was redundant. If people continue adopting the transit habit, it would behoove Metro not to make folks along West Alabama walk six blocks to Westheimer or Richmond to catch a bus.
I can imagine a route that fills a lot of gaps in service left behind by Reimaging. It starts near Bissonnet and Weslayan, goes north on Weslayan, east on Alabama past HCC and over TX-288, north on Dowling to BBVA Compass Stadium, east on Harrisburg to Magnolia Transit Center, and then of course back the other way.
I would love to be able to ride between home (near OST and Scott) and work (Richmond and Montrose) without having to transfer, but that's not a realistic scenario. The new schedules are supposed to make transferring less painful, especially at peak times, but so far I haven't benefited from that.
What sort of route can you imagine that would make your life easier but Metro doesn't provide?
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.