Light Rail Research
The information contained here was developed by the Gulf Coast Institute to help inform the civic discussion about the alignment of the proposed University rail line on the west side of Main Street, as well as the development of rapid transit throughout the city.
UNIVERSITY LINE MAPS
These maps show projected job and population growth in the one-mile corridor around possible alignments of the University rail line west of Main Street. Each map is divided into quarter mile cells that are color coded according to the number of jobs or residences in that cell. The yellow line is a buffer area that includes everything one mile from the rail alignment. The total number of new jobs or new residents in a zone are shown above each map. These projections were created by the Houston-Galveston Area Council assuming current trends and policies, so our choices on transporation infrastructure and land use can alter these predictions.
Job and Population Growth by Proposed Alignment pdf, ~160kb each
Westpark
Richmond
Richmond/Westpark
Richmond/Westpark/San Felipe
Richmond/Westheimer
2005 and 2035 Population by Proposed Alignment pdf, ~160kb each
Westpark
Richmond
Richmond/Westpark
Richmond/Westpark/San Felipe
Richmond/Westheimer
2005 and 2035 Jobs by Proposed Alignment pdf, ~160kb each
Westpark
Richmond
Richmond/Westpark
Richmond/Westpark/San Felipe
Richmond/Westheimer
Other University Line Maps
Current Land Use 1.4mb pdf
This map shows the residential, commercial, office, industrial, public, and park uses of the area around the proposed University Light Rail line.

Jobs and Population at Proposed Stations 912kb jpg
As opposed to looking at the jobs and population by corridors, this map and chart show them within a quarter mile walk from proposed stations.
PAST STUDIES
Houston Transportation Bulletins
Houston voted to pursue a long rang mass transit plan on November 4, 2003, giving METRO the authority to issue bonds to pay for development of light rail lines, bus rapid transit, and HOV expansion. The Gulf Coast Institute issued a series of bulletins providing information to the public and widening the public discussion at this crucial time in the development of Houston's transportation system.
REPORTS
The Impact of Light Rail on Local Businesses (in Six Cities) 314kb pdf
A survey of recent light rail lines in six cities similar to Houston reveals that construction can cause some disruption to businesses, just as road construction does, and also yields a set of best practices that appear to help mitigate the impact.

Light Rail Construction: Mitigation of Business Impacts 488kb pdf
In four of these six cities, the initial light rail line was to some extent a disaster, but in each of these, the city or transit agency undertook mitigation efforts on the subsequent lines and this made the difference. Dallas and Minneapolis, which did not report negative experiences during construction of the first line, undertook mitigation from the beginning.

The Impact of Light Rail Construction on Existing Businesses During Construction Summary 92kb pdf
A summary of the during constrution side of the above full report "The Impact of Light Rail on Local Businesses (in Six Cities)."

The Impact of Light Rail Construction on Existing Businesses After Construction Summary 88kb pdf
A summary of the after construction side of the above full report "The Impact of Light Rail on Local Businesses (in Six Cities)."

Mitigation Summary 180kb pdf
A summary of the above "Light Rail Construction: Mitigation of Business Impacts."

Characteristics of Light Rail in Six Cities 152kb pdf
A fact sheet on the six cities (Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Minneapolis) in these studies.

Light Rail and University Campuses 124kb pdf
A collection of examples of the synergy between universities and light rail transit

Transit and Property Values 190kb pdf
A brief literature review of the effects of transit development on property values.

Interviews with Richmond business and property owners 560kb pdf
At the beginning of this work, we attempted to contact some of the business owners along Richmond who were listed as opposed to rail along Richmond to understand their concerns.

Related Links html
A collection of links to further information on light rail in general and in these six cities
PRESENTATIONS
Light Rail Construction, Impacts, and Mitigation html
The slide show presented by Jay Blazek Crossley August 23, 2006 at the Livable Houston Initiative