Westheimer Enhanced Bus Service Planning & Modeling
METRO’s 82 Westheimer route is the highest-ridership bus route in Texas, averaging 12,000 weekday boardings. The 19‑mile Westheimer corridor connects some of Houston’s most dense neighborhoods and job centers. The 82 operates in mixed traffic with frequent stops along this high‑traffic commercial arterial. During peak hours, buses and riders experience significant delays.
TEI led METRO’s Enhanced Bus Service Study to identify ways to improve travel times, reliability, and connectivity, in order to better serve existing customers and attract new riders. TEI supported METRO with development of service scenarios, from near‑term incremental optimization to long‑term potential for bus rapid transit (BRT), including:
- Optimize stop spacing and add transit signal priority;
- Overlay rapid skip‑stop service along the route;
- Dedicate Business Access/Transit (BAT) lanes; and
- Construct exclusive median lanes for BRT.
The team analyzed seven scenarios in more depth and evaluated how well each met objectives:
- Travel time savings between activity centers;
- Operating cost per rider; and
- Ccapital costs.
TEI evaluated scenarios against federal Capital Investment Grant (CIG) criteria, to inform project development. In 2018, TEI supported METRO with development and submission of a TIP grant application to fund implementation.