The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County voted back in February to move forward with a radical re-design of the region’s local bus system. Every single route will be affected.
But for most daily METRO riders, information about these changes is still quite unknown. If one doesn’t follow local transit or politics news, it’s pretty easy to see how they could miss the extensive Reimagining campaign entirely. Transit officials have spoken much about these changes within the METRO Boardroom, but very few specifics have filtered down to where they are most needed… buses and bus stops. As Houston Chronicle Transportation writer Dug Begley penned, what lies before METRO in the next 100 days is a “Herculean task.”
Last Friday, the agency released some details about how they plan to implement the new bus network, set to debut on August 16th 2015. Well before that date, METRO must change out 10,000 signs and renew materials at several bus stops. Per a new YouTube video, they will employ a technique called Bus Stop Bagging for the new signs…
The bags will allow for METRO to install new signs without leaving riders confused on the current information. At the same time, the additional banner will allow riders to get caught up on the new information, and they will hopefully take special notice before August 16th.
METRO’s plan for implementation seems quick and efficient. If held on schedule, the signs are sure to be changed in time for the new system’s roll-out. But questions remain about how the agency plans to edue public about these changes before they occur, and time is quickly running out to do so. All the sophisticated studies and intricate maps cannot ensure the successful transition of the region’s public transit routes. At the end of the day, the only indicator of relative success or failure for METRO will be the perception of its riders. Implementation has begun, but it is far from over.
Off the Kuff has more.