The following is a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to METRONext.What is METRONext?
METRONext is the development of a Regional Transit Plan that will identify major capital investments and other improvements needed for METRO to meet the mobility challenges of the next 20 years. It will serve as both a vision for transit through 2040, as well as an implementable roadmap to achieve that vision.
By 2040, population in the 8-county Houston region will be close to 10 million — an increase of 3.5 million from 2017. The region will attract almost 2 million more jobs - for a total of 4.2 million — over the same period. Much of this growth will occur in unincorporated areas of Harris County, even while the urban core of the region continues to densify. In fact, Houston is expected to become the third largest city in the nation in the coming years.
As the largest transit provider in the Greater Houston region, METRO has a responsibility to address the challenges presented by this extraordinary growth, and to take advantage of the opportunities that it offers. METRONext will provide a roadmap for extending and improving transit options for the region’s residents, better connecting them to jobs, education and health care.
The METRO Board has identified four primary goals for projects to be included in the plan: That they 1) improve mobility; 2) enhance connectivity; 3) support vibrant communities; and 4) ensure a return on investment.
METRONext builds upon 2003’s METRO Solutions plan, adding to its vision for transit in the Houston region with the necessity of addressing new challenges and needs. It will be developed through a series of technical analyses designed to identify and evaluate capital project and system-wide improvements that best meet the Board’s goals. METRONext will be further developed through an extensive public involvement process, giving the citizens of the region an opportunity to help shape the plan. The draft plan will be presented for public review and comment. The final plan, to be adopted by the METRO Board of Directors, will represent the culmination of the technical and public processes.
METRONext will be a Regional Transit Plan that focuses on improvements within METRO’s service area, while recognizing the need to better coordinate services and plans with partners throughout the region.
METRO's goal is to efficiently build upon its network by pursuing various projects that create faster, more convenient and more reliable service for more people. All modes of transportation will be considered — from local bus and light rail to bus rapid transit and express service, to name a few — to create an even better comprehensive and multi-modal network.
- Re-imagine existing Park & Ride system from commuter-focused to a regional, all-day express system that connects commuters to their destinations.
- Enhance and expand light rail and bus rapid transit corridors to better support the urban community of Houston and its most traveled areas.
- Improve existing high-frequency bus routes to include amenities, such as Transit Signal Priority and Diamond Lanes (bus priority) that will optimize frequency, as well as bus passenger shelters that provide a better customer experience.
- Utilize real-time passenger technology and first/last mile services that will elevate the customer experience and improve the functionality of the transit facilities in the system.
- Apply system-wide solutions to focus on state of good repair and identify key transit hubs where longer service hours can be implemented.
- Focus beyond the existing METRO service area to identify transit solutions with partner agencies
There are several ways to participate in the METRONext planning process.
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