Saturday, May 26, 2012

METRO can help with IAH-HOU controversy

The City of London has two international airports that I use frequently... Heathrow, and Gatwick. My office is very near Gatwick*, but I can get a non-stop from Houston only going to Heathrow. What to do for ground transport?

National Express runs a coach service between the two airports, with frequent departures (every few MINUTES), it's about an hour run. It's not cheap, it's 25 Pounds if you get a ticket at the last minute. Big beautiful clean coaches, seatbelts, nice.

Maybe METRO could approach Southwest and United and get them to fund a frequent IAH-to-HOU (Hobby) service, with the argument being that this will help each of them compete against the other, by making it easier for each of the to skim passengers off of the other's network and onto their own.

* My office is on the Gatwick grounds... I walk 8 minutes from the South terminal and walk into our lobby. It's very odd, but very convenient. The hotel is across the parking lot.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

METRO General Mobility Program

Here are some of my ideas concerning getting out of this METRO General Mobility Trap that we've gotten ourselves into, and that cities are so reticent to give up (actually, with good reason from their perspectives).

1. Still give the GMP 1/4 penny to cities, but require that it be spent only on truly TRANSIT READY COMPLETE STREETS.

2. The GMP grant would decrease linearly over 10 years. By 2024 it would be gone. That would give cities lots of time to gradually adjust to its disappearance.

3. METRO would have to spend what it gets back from cities by gradually rolling back the GMP locally in those very same cities subjected to the GMP claw-back, new routes, new facilities. The butter would have to be spread thinly and evenly over the toast, not piled into one area distant from those being taxed.

4. 74% of the METRO taxation area unserved would have to be decreased to 0% unserved by 2024 (well... a stretch goal to be sure).

Keywords: katy, bellaire, memorial villages, hedwig, bunker hill, houston, rebuild houston, METRO, George Greanias, Gilbert Garcia, copperfield, cy-fair, cypress, transit