Car Pool? Park and Ride? Local Organization Encourages Transit Alternatives

Houston-Galveston Area Council kicked off its annual Alternative Work Transit campaign today.  In a city that often may seem designed for the automobile, H-GAC is eager to let commuters know there is another way, and they're hoping the month of August will be when Houstonians give this alternative a chance.

No matter where you live in the city, unless you're really lucky, most people have to drive to get to work.  Alan Clark is Transport Director with the Houston-Galveston Area Council.  He's calculated the annual average cost of this trip to be $1,300 dollars for commuters.  But that's not all.

"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.  That's a week you could have either been working, or with your family or just doing whatever you like to do."

That's where their campaign "My Solution Is..." comes in to play.

"We're talking to businesses, to the people who work at these businesses about other ways they can get to work.  Whether that's car pooling, using Metro and its great bus and rail system or perhaps teleworking one day a week."

A large number of businesses have signed up for this effort, as well as 17 management districts within Harris County, Fort Bend County and METRO.  CEO with METRO George Greanias says even though their park and ride facilities and HOV lanes help this campaign, there's still more 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."

H-GAC is looking for a commitment from Houstonians to try a commute alternative at least once during the month of August.  They are also open to more suggestions which can be submitted through their website.

Bio photo of Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend...