Is public transit worth it in Houston?

The city of Houston loves to promote the Metro system. It wants you using mass transit, and we keep putting money into it as well. But those efforts may not be paying off.

Former Mayoral candidate Bill King told KTRH that ridership is at best flat over the last twenty years when it comes to Metro. Part of the problem, he says, is that Houston is so spread out.

“It’s very difficult in that environment to build rail lines that make sense economically,” King explained. Even bus lines are challenging, but at least buses are a lot less expensive than rail.”

So if ridership is flat and the majority of you aren't using Metro, why do city officials keep promoting it? City Council member Mike Knox says it's because of complaints they get from you.

“Politicians are trying to respond to pressure from the public to do something about traffic,” Knox said. “Short of flying cars there is only so much on the ground to build roads.”

And there's this. The city is reportedly thinking about spending another $70M on new rail cars, even though ridership on the light rail system was down 7% from March of last year to March of this year.

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