Now this train doesn't stop at every single stop along the way. Several stops are bypassed and can be requested when informing the Trainman that you want to stop there. If you happen to be at one of the stations which the Metra Electric District bypass, there's a light you can turn on to signal the train that you want to board.
The PBS News Hour recently did a story on the DART light rail system in which they mentioned the fact that more people ride the light rail in Houston compared to Dallas, yet Dallas has more miles of track. The reason that the story gave was that Houston's Metro light rail system is built where people already go compared to Dallas DART system which is built along old railroad tracks. The Metra Electric District is also build along a railroad R.O.W., it was built back in the 19th century built along an active class one railroad, Canadian National.
So here's a question, if the goal is to get people to ditch their cars in choice of transit, why can't DART, DCTA, the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), CapMetro, and now The Lone Star Rail District, (LStar) the name for the Austin/San Antonio Commuter Rail, do what they do on the Metra Electric District? The way we plan for transit here in Texas seems to go against the reason on why we all drive cars. The way we operate all the rail transit service including the way we're going to operate the LStar, is by having the train stop at every station. This is akin to driving your car along the freeway and stopping at all the gas stations along the way from origin to your destination.
We punish everyone who fails to buy a ticket either on their smart phone or at a station. Instead of punishing the people who are unable to buy tickets early on, why don't we give them a chance to buy them on the train with a small surcharge fee so they're more likely to use the system again especially if they're running late.
If we're going to operate the LStar the same way the TRE, and every other transit system in Texas operates it's trains, I can say with certainty that only one percent of commuters between Austin and San Antonio will ever use it. If we fail to plan for express trains between Austin and San Antonio, driving will still be the preferred choice. If we make it hard for first timers to use the train, we simply make it harder for other people to choose it. We have a chance to not repeat the mistakes that every other system in Texas has done. We can either learn from their mistakes or keep on doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result; the very definition of Insanity.
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46-1: The DCTA Commuter Train at Downtown Denton Station.
46-2: The Metra Electric District Train at Homewood Station.
46-3: A Lady hurrying off the Train while The Trainman stands watch at Homewood Station
46-4: DART Light Rail Blue Line Arriving at Garland Station
46-5: TRE Arriving at Fort Worth ITC Station.