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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC High Capacity Transit Task Force Meets
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy H-GAC
Friday, March 09, 2018

The High Capacity Transit Task Force, a committee of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, met on Thursday to hear reports from workgroups studying finance tools, service concepts, and economic development to achieve goals related to high capacity transit in the Houston-Galveston region.

Jeremy Ebie with Phoenix Infrastructure Group gave a presentation regarding funding and finance tools that could be available to manage the costs of implementing high capacity transit.

Ebie detailed “traditional” sources, such as general obligation and revenue bonds, sales and proprety tax revenues, and grants; as well as “innovative” sources, such as private activity bonds, FRA Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing, and public-private partnerships. Listen (32:58) Presentation

The task force then heard a presentation regarding governance structures to oversee transit in the region, as well as service concepts. Service concepts discussed were the rapid population and employment growth projected for the area through to 2045 and transit options to provide alternatives to traditional driving.

Bob Eury then discussed the “MAX” Regional Express Bus Service concept.

“As it turns out, transit carries a very large number of downtown workers, especially over long distances,” Eury said. Listen (12:26)

Eury discussed critical characteristics of transit, including legibility, convenience, reliability and comfort. Other key characteristics are scalability, affordability, regional connections, inclusiveness, and adaptability.

He went on to discuss implementation of two-way HOV/HOT lanes, and peak commuter service with premium fares as part of a Park and Ride-like service that provides regional commuter service meeting the key characteristics for transit.

The meeting ended with a discussion of next steps to be taken by the task force. Agenda

For a video of the entire meeting, Click Here

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