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Houston Light Rail Line Opens

Texas Houston Light Rail 2004

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#1 DWF

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 10:47 PM

http://story.news.ya...ston_light_rail

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The nation's fourth-largest city has at least one New Year's resolution: Take the train. Amid a festival-like atmosphere and thousands of people who waited hours in line for a ride, Houston's $324 million light rail system made its inaugural trips on Thursday.

The 7.5-mile starter line with 16 stations will offer service at $1 per ride from downtown south to Reliant Stadium, where the NFL's Houston Texans play.

After years of debate and false starts, the rail system under construction since 2001 debuted in ceremonies filled with music and confetti. Outgoing Mayor Lee Brown, one of the system's staunchest supporters, took the controls of the first rail car.

Some people waved as the train passed. Others, with puzzled looks, were getting used to the idea of trains on city streets.

Joe and Leti Cavazos and their two daughters got in line two hours before public rides began.

"It was fantastic," Joe Cavazos said as he got off one of the sleek, silver cars at a downtown station. "The city is not going to move forward without mass transit. The traffic is horrendous. We need trains badly."

The line's debut follows a successful November ballot proposition that authorizes up to $640 million in bonds to start building the rail line's next 22 miles.

Opponents say light rail will do little to untangle Houston's snarled roads because it doesn't reach people who live outside Houston's inner core.

Officials expect light rail to carry 33,000 riders one-way per day, or 16,500 people making round trips — less than 1 percent of Houston's population.

It sure cost them a bundle, but the ticket price isn't too bad, and it does sound like a pretty cool ride. :cool:
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#2 Shalamar

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 11:16 PM

This has been the worse cluster ****'s in Houston's history bar none.  I live here and for the last 5 years drove to work downtown every day. This light rail does nothing to relieve congestion anywhere, especially for those comeing in from the outer areas of the cities. Our HOV lanes are very poorly planned, and ineffecient, our highways are clogged.

The city had a huge opportunity to get just the land they needed to put in any one of several light rail/mono rail/ people mover systems that would have served far better than this piece of decorative usesless crap.

Before the first rail was ever laid, the railroads tore up several unused but still maintained lines coming in from the two largest residential areas, two of the fastest growing areas as well. The track could have been used, or if a monorail/elevated mover was decied on the right of way is unobstructed for that - the land could have been had by the city for a song, it was offered to them.

And the reason the 7.5 miles of track cost so much? Numerous fights to halt it, and so many high priced studies that made money for no one but the 'experts' producing reams of dreck.

I for one will never ride this.
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#3 DWF

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 11:26 PM

^^^Speaking as somebody who's dealt with feeway detours for abou ten years now, I can understand your pain. And most cities including here in Columbus had rail systems 30 and 40 years ago, but they were all removed to make room for more cars on the road, so it's a circular problem. :yin-yang:
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#4 Shalamar

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 11:35 PM

Lets not talk about highway construction. Carrumba it never seems to end!  

All of the three major freeways that go through Houston are always under construction somewhere and what they build never seems to help traffic flow once they are through with it... :glare:
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#5 DWF

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 11:41 PM

Shalamar, on Jan 1 2004, 11:35 PM, said:

Lets not talk about highway construction. Carrumba it never seems to end! 

All of the three major freeways that go through Houston are always under construction somewhere and what they build never seems to help traffic flow once they are through with it... :glare:
Well, I've been on the Houston highways, and I can tell you that, you're VERY lucky to have so many lanes, upwards of six, here especially in my neck of the woods, the outer belt has two lanes. :wacko:
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#6 MrsRhade

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 11:57 PM

It's always interesting to hear about a city just starting a rail service.

Here in NYC, it's been a way of life for decades. We have about five different commuter rail and subway services that enter the city everyday. These trains bring folks to and from NYC from the outer boroughs, NYC suburbs, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Without them, traffic would just be impossible.

{{{{{Shalamar}}}}} I'm sorry for all of the frustrations.  :(

Highway construction is a real pain. Trust me, we have our share in The Big Apple.

#7 Shalamar

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 01:41 AM

{{{{{ Mrs. Rhade }}}}}

Thanks, its just been so impossible to get TPTB to listen to reason. The city higher ups have been so focused on getting as much as possible out of the Dome and such once the county dumped it on them they focused exclusively on that. Yes the Medical Center is a mad house, it's the largest Medical Center in the world and is on a ridiculously small plot of land and needs all the traffic relief it can get but...they had such an opportunity to really fix things along 59 s and I-10 west and just ignored it...
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#8 G1223

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 01:50 AM

Wow a train system. If it's  like the hi-way.

It will have 4 tracks both ways with 20 trains on each side all of the switching lanes and going 100 mph.

#9 D'Monix

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 03:09 AM

G1223, on Jan 2 2004, 06:50 AM, said:

Wow a train system. If it's  like the hi-way.

It will have 4 tracks both ways with 20 trains on each side all of the switching lanes and going 100 mph.
:wacko:

#10 Shalamar

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 03:19 AM

Erm, G think about what you just said...

It is 7.5 miles with 16 stops, more than 2 stops per mile, so no I sincerely doubt that is is going to be going 100 miles per hour.
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#11 G1223

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 03:24 AM

Sorry just rememebring my experince of a place that gives Chicago a run on place of traffic from hell.  Then again I am hoping to avoid most of Boston's Traffic this Sept. (I have heard that it's the true hellmouth of traffic mayhem.)
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#12 Kosh

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 05:10 PM

G1223, on Jan 2 2004, 03:24 AM, said:

Sorry just rememebring my experince of a place that gives Chicago a run on place of traffic from hell.  Then again I am hoping to avoid most of Boston's Traffic this Sept. (I have heard that it's the true hellmouth of traffic mayhem.)
Boston may have the best plan in the country to solve their traffic problems, but it will be a while before it's done.



Shal, I feel your pain. I used to trravel I85 between Charlotte and Gastonia every day. It too was always under construction. We went through several years of turnpike building here in WV, but it is done, and often under repair
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#13 Shoshana

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 06:23 PM

Light rail keeps getting voted down here in Austin. Instead, they are on a toll road building binge - and some reports say that the state has the authority to make all state roads toll roads! EEEK! We have one interstate here I-35 and it runs from the border with Mexico to the border with Canada. The most congested part of it is thrrough Austin!

I hope they build more rail lines in Houston! Dallas seems to have really done well with their rail system - where they've run the train, alot of new construction has popped up in and around the stations. People ride the Dallas trains to get places, but also just cause they're fun...



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