2019 City of Houston Endorsements
The Sierra Club has endorsed the following candidates and ballot measures in the 2019 City of Houston election.
Houston City Council
METRO Proposition A - FOR
The Houston Sierra Club has endorsed METRO Proposition A, which will authorize bond funding for projects in the new METRONext transit plan. This measure includes no new tax increase. Proposition A will be on the ballot on November 5; early voting begins on Monday, October 21 and ends on Friday, November 1.
Details for Proposition A and ballot language
Link for METRONext Plan; follow the Proposed Improvement links for service details:
Principal features of the METRONext Plan are:
1. Five new Bus Rapid Transit projects, including service to Bush Intercontinental Airport.
2. Three Light Rail extensions: combined extensions of the Green & Purple lines to Hobby Airport; extension of the Green & Purple lines to the City of Houston Municipal Courthouse; extension of the Red Line to North Shepherd Park & Ride.
3. Improved Regional Express bus service in major freeway corridors with expanded schedules.
4. Signature and Boost bus service: enhanced service on 17 major bus corridors.
5. System Improvements: New Park & Rides, Community Connectors, etc.
(use the METRONext Plan link above for further details)
The Houston Sierra Club has long advocated that Houston build a comprehensive and effective transit network that offers citizens real transportation alternatives to the automobile. For a city its size, Houston has lagged behind other major cities in building this transit infrastructure. Improved regional transit will be a vital component of Houston's proposed Climate Action Plan. The sooner that Houston can build out a well connected, integrated transit network, the sooner Houston can start realizing the benefits. These benefits would include easing traffic congestion, reduced carbon emissions, development of more pedestrian friendly districts, an increased tax base in transit served areas, and improved air quality.
Houston Sierra will be encouraging METRO to plan for a transition to zero emission electric buses, especially for the planned Bus Rapid Transit projects.
In order to address climate change, reduce carbon emissions, and also reduce urban air pollution, a growing number of U.S. cities have introduced electric buses, and some have already committed to go 100% electric. Los Angeles METRO voted to transition its entire bus fleet to zero emission electric vehicles by 2030. And the New York City MTA aims for an all electric bus fleet by 2040. A number of Texas cities have also started to purchase electric buses.
There would be significant environmental benefits if Houston METRO were to start replacing its diesel bus fleet with zero emission electric vehicles. There would be reduced particulate matter and other harmful diesel emissions, and noise reductions - all a benefit to neighborhoods, drivers, and passengers. Electric buses are initially more expensive, but more than recover that extra cost by reducing long term maintenance and fuel costs.
For questions about this Proposition vote or the METRONext Plan, contact Frank Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org.