Houston – The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) today released a detailed, independent analysis of the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) identifying areas of needed improvement and areas that are exemplary compared to other transit agencies around the U.S. TPPF is an independent, nonprofit research institute headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The analysis was conducted by Wendell Cox, an international transit expert and former three-term member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, appointed by Mayor Tom Bradley. During Mr. Cox’s tenure on this commission, he introduced legislation which led to the construction of the Los Angeles light and heavy rail system.
“Houston Metro is exemplary in many ways. However, some serious inefficiencies should be addressed. If the Metro Board addresses these inefficiencies, there will be plenty of funds to lower bus fares and lower sales tax support of the agency while still expanding bus service,” said Jeff Judson, President of TPPF. Mr. Judson went on to say, “All the data available indicate that building light rail will achieve no public purpose that cannot be achieved less expensively with buses or HOV lanes.”
The analysis identifies $570 million in cost saving opportunities for Metro over the next decade along with sales tax reduction opportunities of $360 million, both of which can be accomplished while cutting bus fares by 50% and expanding bus service.