Slumped in his seat, earphones firmly in place, Elijah Taylor closes his eyes as his bus bounces rapidly down Washington Avenue toward downtown.
Some bounces are more severe than others because the driver is speeding along, making great time at the expense of a smooth ride. As a result, Taylor is running a little early to make his downtown connection on his way home from his flange manufacturing job in northwest Houston.
Quicker trips are becoming more common for Taylor and thousands of other riders, although considerable uncertainty lingers regarding the seismic shift in bus service that the Metropolitan Transit Agency started on Aug. 23.
Nearly three months into what many consider the most significant operational change any American transit system has made in three decades, Houston transit officials and supporters are calling the new bus network a rousing success. Critics, however, point to broken connections and to transit-dependent riders whose service has been cut as Metro tries to appeal to riders who have the option of driving.
Source: 3 months in, new Metro bus system pleases many, irks others – Houston Chronicle