Last year's August service changes were on the 24th, which gave me cause to believe the agency for the System Reimagining would choose the latter portion of this coming August as the time for what will be the Mother of All Service Changes, but no. In an email we community Stakeholders received tonight (20 Feb.) from METRO's Vice President for Planning, Kurt Luhrsen, we learned METRO's planned date for when the new routes will begin running is Sunday 16 August 2015.
Here is Kurt's email to us...
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kurt Luhrsen
Date: Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 7:14 PM
Subject: System Reimagining Update
Dear Reimagining Stakeholder:
As many of you might already know, the METRO Board approved the new METRO System Map at the special Board Meeting on February 11th by an 8-0 vote. This was a monumental achievement for Houston, and this new bus system, when implemented, promises to improve the transit experience for vast numbers of people throughout the greater Houston region.
Whether it will be through the dramatic increase in weekend service, the straighter and more easily understood route structure, or the huge expansion of the frequent bus network, our customers will have an easier time getting to jobs, shopping, doctor’s appointments, schools, and so on. Without a doubt, we could not have reached this point in the process without all of our Stakeholders help. Your valuable input during the policy development and service planning exercises were the key starting points for developing this incredible bus system. You all challenged the project team in ways I could not have imagined at the project’s inception, and I think the final plan is better for it.
However, the work now truly begins as METRO staff are working diligently to re-write 270+ new bus schedules, finalize individual route maps, complete training materials, produce comprehensive marketing plans, etc. Between now and the planned implementation day on Sunday, August 16, 2015, METRO will be committing to a full scale marketing campaign to get the word out and tell everyone about this great plan and all the places they can get to using it. For this effort, we hope to be able to engage our Stakeholders once again to help us distribute materials, alert us to events and meetings where we can talk about the new bus system, and generally speak about the benefits the new bus system offers to anyone who will listen.
For those who would like to see more details about the final plan, it is posted on the project’s website at www.transitsystemreimagining.
com. Of particular note is the new system map and the detailed route guides that have been updated and posted. Direct links to these files are listed below:
New System Map:
transitsystemreimagining.com/ web/wp-content/uploads/2015/ 02/Reimagined-Network-Plan- Feb-Revision.pdf
Route Detail Guide (this is a big document so you will need to give it a minute to load):
transitsystemreimagining.com/ web/wp-content/uploads/2015/ 02/Network-Plan-February- Revision-Route-Detail-Pages- 0217-Reduced.pdf
Again, thank you to everyone who helped along the way with this project. It took nearly two years for us to reach this point, but I think the final result was worth it.
For those who would like more information or would like to schedule someone to come and talk to their group about the final map and plan, please contact me and I’d be pleased to arrange that.
Kurt Luhrsen | Vice President, Planning | Metropolitan Transit Authority