Tourists prefer rail transitIn my earlier post on the deeper psychology of rail, I argued out-of-town visitors prefer rail transit over rent cars. This Washington Post article confirms it, although it also makes an argument for good signage:
For visitors to Washington who come from freeway-reliant reaches of Middle America, riding the Metro can be an attraction in itself. But a few trips riding the rails in their comfortable shoes show that the experience can be more than a little bewildering, too.
"We come from a little town, so this is pretty neat," said Teri George, 51, of Mount Vernon, Mo., while her two young grandsons raced up and down the platform at the Smithsonian Station. ...
Despite some confusing rides, many visitors said riding public transportation is a worthwhile adventure.
"I love it," said Leslie Fraser, 30, in town from Fresno, Calif., where she said she's usually stuck in her car. With a camera around her neck and her Frommer's guide opened to the Metro map, she easily found a Dupont Circle-bound train.
"I wish they had these all over the place," she said.
Of course, in Houston, it's more likely to be a business traveler than a leisure tourist, but it still improves their opinion of the experience and the city, which they report back to family, friends, and colleagues. Certainly not a "case closed" pro-rail argument, but one that should be considered nonetheless.