Houston Organization Challenges Citizens to Not Use Car During August

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(Houston, TX)  Getting to work in Houston without a car? Or at least a car that has more than one passenger? The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is asking Houstonians to do just that throughout the month of August with their project My Solution Is. They’re also looking for input from the public on new alternatives to one-adult-per-car commuting.

CEO of METRO, George Greanias says commuters can choose from a number of their transit options: “We provide park and ride service at twenty-nine lots around the city, we do about a hundred miles of HOV lanes that people are using and that our park and ride facilities are using.”

But that may be a challenge. A recent survey by The Brookings  Institution ranked the city 72 out of 100 metropolitan cities for access by any form of transit other than automobile.

Greanias acknowledges there’s still a lot of work to do, “We’re not satisfied though with what’s in place. We’re looking to build more. We’re looking at extending certain bus routes and we’re building these light rail lines all of which are designed to give people again an option besides their automobile.”

Transport Director with the H-GAC Alan Clark calculates that Houston commuters who rely on their cars spend about $1300 dollars annually getting to and from work. Clark feels that it’s really the time spent in traffic where commuters lose out. “There’s all kinds of impacts even if it’s just the fact that you’re losing the equivalent of a full week in lost time stuck in traffic (per year).  That’s a week you could have either been working or with your family or just doing whatever you like to do,” says Clark.
A number of local businesses will talk to their employees about trying an alternate method of transit at least one day in the month of August. Seventeen management districts within Harris County and Fort Bend County are also playing a big part.

For the full story, listen to the radio version at KUHF.