At-Large Position 4

High Capacity Transit Task Force

May 1, 2017 -- On Friday, April 28, the newly-created High Capacity Transit Task Force ("HCT Task Force") convened its first meeting to begin a deep-dive into the need and opportunity for more high capacity transit for the Houston-Galveston region. Created, in large part, because of the region's growing need for more multi-modal transit options, the HCT Task Force is led by Chambers County Commissioner A.R. "Rusty" Senac, Chair; Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards, Co-Vice Chair; and METRO Board Chair Carrin Patman, Co-Vice Chair.

Background
The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council (TPC) serves as the Houston-Galveston region's metropolitan planning organization (MPO), and provides policy guidance and coordination of the transportation planning activities for the region. The TPC is comprised of local elected officials from across the region. As part of its responsibilities, the TPC adopts a 10-year Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that envisions structural and capacity improvements to many of the region's thoroughfares, freeways, and toll roads.

The current RTP does not contain enough broad, long-term consideration of high capacity transit as an enduring solution to current and future congestion issues in the Houston-Galveston region. The HCT Task Force will provide the Transportation Policy Council with more in-depth analysis of the use of high capacity transit to address regional mobility needs.

Task Force Charge
Building on planning work performed by H-GAC, METRO, the Gulf Coast Rail District, and other transit organizations, the HCT Task Force is charged with addressing the following questions:

  1. How important is high capacity transit to our region's future?
  2. What would be/is the economic impact of high capacity transit to our region?
  3. What travel corridors will benefit most from new high capacity transit services?
  4. How can we fund, develop, and sustain those services?

The HCT Task Force will summarize its findings and recommendations regarding high capacity transit in a late summer report to the TPC for consideration in the development of the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. Additionally, the Task Force will coordinate with regional transit authorities on ongoing long-range planning efforts and funding opportunities.

"The High Capacity Transit Task Force provides the TPC an opportunity to deeply analyze the economic impact of transit on our region, and to provide for better coordination with regional authorities and organizations, as well as with our local elected officials. The ability to address our growing transit needs is vital to our region reaching its potential to thrive," says Council Member Edwards.

For more information on the High Capacity Transit Task Force and its activities, visit the HCT website.