Around Houston: Metro Rail

January 27, 2012

Being out of town in Baltimore has given me a reason to write about a topic in Houston that I never really considered writing about previously. I've ridden Metro Rail a few times and never really thought much about it. In fact I saw nothing really impressive about it. A few interesting things I did know about it though is that it has a super high amount of ridership per mile. If it's not the highest in the country is the second. I'm thinking... this is off the top of my head now.

Anyway, that sounds spectacular, WOW! Really, that's truly amazing. However, I learned that Houston has the shorted rail line out of any major city in the country. Theres somewhere in the neighborhood of 40+ thousand riders per day, but only 7 miles to ride it upon. So 40k divided by 7 is pretty big when you have cities that have 50, or a 100 miles. And the reason we have so many riders anyway is the fact that it connects the two busiest sections of the city, Downtown and the Medical Center.

But, the real meat of this article isn't to dog on Houston and it's Metro Rail. It's actually to praise it. Though the numbers are meager in miles the thing about Houston and its rail system compared to Baltimore... Houston makes it look good. The construction that went into the sidelines of the whole thing is terrific in fact. Landscaping is amazing. The artistic nature of the entire thing is just simply awesome. Beyond that... the actual rail cars look new and shiny, almost futuristic.

I don't mean to diminish Baltimore in anyway either. One thing Baltimore can defend itself with the condition of its rail line in comparison to Houston is its age. It makes sense that its not as cool looking as Houston's as it is already 20 years old. And that alone is something to be proud about Baltimore. It took Houston to get into the 21st century before it could implement 19th century technology.



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