According a Brookings Institution report released last month, only about 45 percent of the Houston population lives within walking distance of transit.
"In the Houston metro area it's not just the Metropolitan Transit Authority but also Island Transit, Fort-Bend county public transit, the Brazos transportation district," says Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Puentes thinks the ranking of 72 will come as no surprise to most Houstonians as the city is so spread out. But he did say Houston transit offers relatively good service.
“Service frequency was 7.3 minutes, that’s the median wait during rush hour. That’s actually lower, which is a good thing for the metro area average which was about ten minutes.”
Brookings spent two years on this comprehensive study. Much of the data they needed had never been looked at before, so Puentes says a lot of this was uncharted territory.
Metro is shrugging off the ranking. “We’re really not even focused on the ranking as much as the idea and the hope that this does get people talking about transit and what’s needed for the future," says Metro spokesman Jerome Gray.
Gray says Metro believes in a dialogue so much they’re running workshops thru June 30th to hear what locals have to say about transport in their communities. He describes it as a long range plan that will take at least 18 months before they can even come back to the community with suggestions.