Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Houston buses

In case you aren't monitoring the comments for posts that were written 6 months ago, I thought I would clue you in on a recent development. Yesterday I got a new comment on this post

I have inspired someone else!!! Fellow is going to attempt to ride all 61 local buses in Houston. Follow the link for more information.

It's almost enough to make me want to go down to Houston to ride with him :-). And just think of how many counties I could pick up travelling down there!!

I had considered doing something similar in Cincinnati but shelved the idea. The problem is that just about every bus in Cincinnati goes from downtown to somewhere. There are only a few (51, 41, and probably a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head) that are more of "cross-town" buses. So that's not really a problem for completing the route - actually it would make it pretty easy. All you'd need to do (for the most part) is just get on and off various buses downtown, which just didn't seem as "cool" as some of the other things I had come up with. A larger city with more buses (Chicago and New York to name 2) I think would be a worthwhile challenge. Still maybe this will inspire me to come up with a good route for Cincinnati.


Carey said...

I'm the guy :)

To respond to your Cincinati comment, Houston is much much more spread out. We have 61 local buses in Houston, but 30 (!!!) of them are crosstown and don't even touch downtown. Our bus system services 1200 sq. mi. To put this in prospective, the entire state of Rhode Island is 1044 sq mi.

By the way, you're welcome to come join me on the endeavor when I set a date :) Right now I'm looking late October, since this would be pretty miserable in the southeast Texas summer rain and heat.

I've already got the OK from my wife to do it, as long as I have someone with me (safety in numbers and all that).

dan said...

I don't think I could get wifely buy-in to drive / fly down to Houston to ride buses with some guy off the Internet that I've never met :-D

Good to see that Houston has a lot of cross-town buses - that makes it more interesting of a problem IMO.

I'm doing some preliminary investigations into the Cincinnati one just because hey it's there...

Carey said...

My planning process was this, which may help you with yours.

1) Separate out the downtown from the crosstown buses

2) Separate out the downtown buses that don't run late (you'll have to be sure to pick these up mid-day).

3) Separate out the "problem" crosstown buses. i.e. Buses with very limited schedules or very limited routes.

When you plan, start with the #3 buses. You'll probably want a starting point right on one of these buses, especially if it's way out of the way. Then what I did was try to make a sort of "figure-8" around the city. Start with your hard bus, then go halfway around the city crosstown, making sure to pick up every single bus along the way that doesn't go downtown. If you have to pick up a downtown bus to do that, then at least that's one less bus for later. Then when you're halfway down, head downtown. Pick up all the downtown buses that end early. Then continue on through to the other side of town and pick up crosstowns the opposite way on the other side of town. Then go back downtown and pick up all the late downtown buses :)

That's my plan anyway!

dan said...

Yeah - the way that I have been organizing things is first I found all the routes that do not go downtown (there are only 3 - 31, 41 and 51). Then I took a look at all of the express routes that have limited schedules (usually only AM and PM rush-hours). That's as far as I've gotten, but I think that it's reasonable to start around 5 a.m. and be done by 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

I think that most of my trips will just be getting on one bus, riding it for a stop and then getting on the next bus the next block over, just gradually circling downtown.

Carolyn said...

what?? you want to ride buses in houston with your internet boyfriend??!! i won't stand for it!

-the wife. :-)