Saturday, March 22, 2014

Elder transportation a big missing piece in Cy-Fair (part 1)

Someone who has lived and worked in Cy-Fair might reasonably expect to look forward to a bright and happy retirement. Maybe they worked in the lucrative energy industry for their career, bought an affordable home and paid off the mortgage long ago; their property taxes would be capped from further increases after age 65; an excellent Cy-Fair ISD school system, continued affordable housing, and an abundance of jobs which would tend to bring the children and grandchildren back to the Houston area.

Yet the big missing piece in Cy-Fair retirement is... what do I do when I cannot drive myself around any longer?

Everyone ages at different rates, but eventually we all can't drive any longer. There is really no such thing as someone who can safely drive their whole entire life, despite exceptional stories we may hear about so-and-so's Grandpa who is still driving at 90. That's great for him, but even he is going to have to quit someday, and what does he do for the rest of his life if he lives in Cy-Fair? He might be of sound mind, able to walk, but if he can't see well enough or react fast enough to drive a car, he might as well be in jail as far as our motorized culture is concerned.

We pay the METRO sales tax in our area, but METRO long ago decided, and it continues to affirm, that it does not want to or cannot afford to provide local transit to our neighborhood. Also, many people in our area oppose transit because of their belief that transit breeds crime. I personally don't agree with this view*, but given that they often let METRO know how they feel, this makes METRO even less inclined to bring local transit out here. We also have no paratransit (METRO LIFT on-demand services to the disabled), because Federal law requires that METRO only provide paratransit within the regular transit service area. In Cy-Fair, we are outside of the regular transit service area.

So what do we do? How do we prepare to live through that portion of our lives when we or our parents can no longer drive a car for ourselves / themselves?

More installments to come. If you have ideas, write to me at

* Criminals long ago (since Bonnie & Clyde) discovered the tactical advantages of using cars to commit crimes. They steal cars if they have to. I ride METRO when I can in the city, and I don't see people carrying stolen HDTVs on the bus or light rail.