Monday, June 28, 2004

Houston's Wham Bam Tram


Houston, we have a problem. Like Seattle, Houston is building a light rail system in the hopes of alleviating downtown traffic congestion. So far, they have 7.5 miles in service, which coincidentally is almost the same length as the first phase of Seattle's light rail plan.

It seems they are indeed reducing traffic, one car at a time. Houston's new 99,000 pound juggernaut has been involved in at least 47 accidents with automobiles in its first 7 months of service. Repair costs after just 3 months had hit $600K. I bet that isn't in Mr. Sims' budget.

People have been calling Houston's Metrorail names like "Metrozilla" and "Weapons of Mass Destruction." I don't see much reason to hope that Seattle drivers will be less accident prone. MSN already rates Seattle in the Top Ten Least Drivable Cities in the country. Houston isn't even on the list. Could Seattle's light rail end up being A Streetcar Named Disaster?


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