By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County will be involved in a Downtown Houston Transit Options Study for a ride that will go from Fort Bend County to Downtown Houston. It will cost $68,000 and last week, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved an interlocal agreement with the Texas Transportation Institute to do it.
Essentially, the study is intended to focus on developing a one-seat, seamless fare ride for commuters from Fort Bend County to the Houston downtown area. The study will include finding ways and means, barriers, obstacles and resources to provide for the seamless transit service, according to the scope of services outlined in the authorized study’s interlocal cooperation contract.
The Texas Transportation Institute of the Texas A&M University System will be conducting a case study using information and feedback to document transit systems that operate complex regional services involving multiple providers. Transit systems will include those in Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton County, Seattle/Puget Sound, San Diego, Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa, Atlanta, Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia/Maryland, and possibly Chicago.
The study will address the extension of existing routes, the development of stand-alone routes, service design, coordination and implementation. Also proposed for inclusion is federal funding, interlocal agreements and marketing/branding/promotion and public information.
In particular, three alternative options for peak hour service between Fort Bend County and Downtown Houston will be studied for comparison purposes. They include the extension of METRO (Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) Route 262, the development of a new METRO route, and the development of a new Fort Bend County route. According to a timeline, the comparison service options will be taking place through the end of August.
Contributions making the study possible were made by the City of Sugar Land, $2,268; METRO, $2,266; Central Houston Civic Improvement, $6,800; and Chevron, $2,267.