METRO’s 54 Scott frequent bus route connects low-income, transit dependent neighborhoods to education, jobs, shopping, and METRORail service. TEI led the Scott Corridor Optimization project to integrate three METRO initiatives:
- BOOST (Bus Operations Optimized Service Treatments) corridors proposed in the METRONext long range plan to improve travel time and reliability,
- Universal Accessibility to enhance the customer experience for transit riders of all abilities, and
- First and Last Mile effort to improve back-of-curb access for people who walk and bike to transit as well as adjacent services and destinations.
Implementation is combining resources from Harris County Precinct 1 and the City of Houston, as well as METRO, and the planning effort is engaging these stakeholders throughout (ongoing).
TEI conducted analysis of baseline conditions, including ridership patterns, load profiles, travel speed, and on-time performance. In addition, the team mapped and analyzed raw origin-destination survey data to locate key attractors, generators, and first- and last-mile connections along this 15‑mile bus route. The purpose of this analysis was to identify service challenges which impact travel time, route performance, and throughput.
Recommendations apply a number of tools from the BOOST toolbox:
- capital – optimization of bus stop spacing and placement, raised boarding platforms/curbs, sidewalk and bikeway improvements.
- operational – all-door boarding, signal priority, service patterns, and frequency.
TEI prepared a planning-level benefit-cost analysis which will include discussion of how anticipated operating cost savings from improved travel times may be reinvested into more service or to offset capital costs.