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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Galveston County Transit District Board of Directors
by Jim Guidry
Thursday, June 09, 2011

Transportation consultant Barry Goodman updated the Galveston County Transit District Board of Directors on Wednesday about the status of the Galveston-Houston Mobility Corridor and a new approach toward defining a locally preferred alternative for the corridor. 
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“That analysis has developed two major alternatives for the corridor,” Goodman said.  “One of those is commuter rail that came in at a cost of seven or eight million dollars.  The other is bus rapid transit that comes in at approximately the same cost.”

He said the bus rapid transit alternative would create two-way elevated bus lanes on Interstate 45, the Gulf Freeway.

“We have deemed, at this point in time, neither of those alternatives is acceptable in terms of where we are today economically and where we are from a mobility standpoint.”

Thus, Goodman said he has proposed to the Federal Transit Administration a new locally preferred alternative for the corridor that can be achieved through an “evolutionary process over time to bus services and to State Highway 3 for both transit and automobiles”.

The scenario would include enhancements to support bus service along Highway 3 and would include some grade separations and new park and ride lots.

“Those park and ride facilities could evolve someday into commuter rail stations,” Goodman said.

Goodman reported that legislation to “hold harmless” existing transit funding for small urban and rural areas, whose urbanized area status might change due to the 2010 census redrawing of urbanized area boundaries, were not approved in the regular session of the Texas Legislature, but might be included as an attachment to another bill during the special session. Listen: MP3  RealPlayer

The GCTD board voted unanimously to accept a resolution approved by the Texas City City Commission regarding the hold harmless legislation and approved its own resolution regarding the issue.

Rick Elizondo of the Gulf Coast Center reported on Connect Transit’s programs in Dickinson, La Marque, Texas City, San Leon/Bacliff and League City/Friendswood; and David Rodgers of The Goodman Corporation reported on transit stop improvements for fixed route services.
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