An innovative idea for Metro LRT/BRT stations: taxisTom Delay called for Metro to get innovative, so here's my suggestion to really boost ridership on the existing light rail line and future rail and BRT lines: taxis. Too many places are just too far to walk from the stations (like the Rice Village), and many people would be happy to pay a few bucks for a quick trip a mile or two from the station to their final destination, especially if the weather's not so great for walking (hot, cold, raining... did I mention hot?).
Here's how it should work: when I buy my ticket at the station with the touch-screen terminal, I should have the option of telling it what station I'm getting off at and that I'd like a taxi waiting there when I arrive. The terminal could automatically send the dispatch to the taxi companies via some sort of allocation system (ideally to the company with an idle taxi nearest to that station), along with my estimated time of arrival at that station. I'm thinking it might charge me a small fee for the request, maybe 50 cents, to prevent false/prank requests and no-shows.
This simple feature could tip a lot of borderline trips ("do I drive or take the rail?") towards rail if I know I can easily arrange for a taxi to finish the last leg of my trip. And I'd think the taxi companies would love the extra revenue beyond the usual hotel/airport business.