Culture is one aspect, but a lot of that is by design. METRO isn’t picking up in River Oaks and the Villages.
A broader network of public transport, that wasn’t focused on bringing poor people in from their neighborhoods, would change the rider demographics.
I’d be interested to see what the light rail ridership looks like with the sour lines that go out to EaDo etc.
Everyone but CEOs and royalty takes public transportation in London, and we’re about as class-conscious a demographic as you will find on this planet.
It’s not a class culture thing. It’s an attachment to cars culture.
I would contend that public transportation use is impacted by when they system began based compared to when the auto use became common. Those that started prior to the 50’s are going to have a different culture than those who started post car.
Is there is class component?- absolutely but part of that was fueled by white flight which was made possible by the auto.
I would contend making it free is going to make it less desirable, not more but we will see.
It’s not attachment by choice. City codes (yes, even in Houston) mandate minimum parking for businesses, which means it’s impossible to open a neighborhood storefront. Everything is designed to be accessible by car only.
The 82/41/32/27 can all get you pretty dang close to where you want to go in River Oaks.
Public transport has to be ubiquitous to be useful. In this country, in particular, it has to go damned near where you want to go, preferably with no change-overs, and it has to leave within 10 minutes or so of when you want to go. Otherwise Americans will just say “fuck it, I’m driving”. In London I never even consult schedules except late at night, because I know that I’ll be able to walk into a station and catch a train headed in the right direction in minutes. But London has had more than a century to build up the infrastructure. The disruption and cost required to build anything comparable here would never be accepted.
I hear you about the disruption, but how many businesses and houses get “disrupted” into dust every time we add lanes to a freeway that will be worse after it’s expanded?
It doesn’t have to be done all at once. The freeways and stroads are already here, but they all have a shelf life and need to be re-made every 25-30 years. It’s entirely possible (and affordable) to change the codes for street construction so that new streets and resurfaced streets are done so in a much more people-friendly way.
That way, it happens over time with incremental, if any, additional cost to the city.
Speaking of I-10 expansion, our house is in the cross hairs. Wife has been attending txdot meetings, but 1 of the 2 proposals would wipe out our house. And why? So people from Katy can commute in slightly easier. Fuck those people, don’t want to worry about traffic, don’t live in Katy. And of course within 5 years of finishing the expansion it will already “need” to be expanded again.
Expanding freeways is just such a monumental waste of time and money.
I am sorry that you are in its crosshairs. I don’t know whether it would be better to be bought out, or get to stay next to all that construction.
Interestingly, the classic example of “careful what you wish for,” prior to Democratic New Jersey banning plastic bags to lower plastic pollution and in the process increasing plastic pollution, was Democratic Austin making the bus system free to take more cars off the road. The busses became so slow many riders abandoned them for cars, as the free busses hit every stop as people would get on to avoid walking only two blocks. Each are examples of what happens when you have people in power who have never had a real job.
Your political posts are tiresome.