The Houston Metro: Study in idiocy

Found myself thinking of the idiocy of the Houston Metro (public transportation), thought I’d rant a bit. The service is moderately well used, and after considering the circumstances I’ve decided that’s just… surprising.

Today’s observation is that there doesn’t appear to be anything resembling a real-life, paper, system map.  There’s a web-based PDF map that you can use to try to find your line; apparently you can even download it so you don’t have to be web-enabled.  This works OK for me, because I can pull it up on a 30-inch cinema screen and zoom to see a decent portion of the city with enough resolution to actually be able to read the line numbers.  But your average bus rider in Houston certainly doesn’t have a top-of-the-line screen and probably doesn’t have regular internet access! Not to mention it’s a 10 MB file, which is fine for high-speed access but again, is this standard equipment in the wards? 

It’s another way the digital divide penalizes the poor – those most likely to need reliable public transportation have to figure out the system in a hit-or-miss way, while those who have the resources to need the system well probably also have a car and a parking pass.

Grumph.

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