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Monday, December 9, 2019

Opinion

Metro can be a safe tool and should be utilized


Students should use the Metro because it is safer than they think. | File Photo

There’s no doubt the Metro does have a slight scare factor to it.

Some people think about all the possible dangers of the Metro system, such as muggings and human trafficking, yet they never take a second to think about all the benefits it provides.

A trip from Spring to UH at either 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. is a death wish. A 30- to 45-minute ride could easily turn into upwards of an hour and 15 minutes with Houston’s notorious traffic. That’s an extra 30 minutes tacked onto an already long ride.

Taking the bus at those times always makes it a definite 40-minute ride. The Metro is able to accomplish this by taking advantage of the HOV lane that follows along many of the popular freeways in Houston. 

There are so many people out there who don’t use the HOV lane in Houston simply because they don’t know how to access it. It is a little tricky seeing that there are certain access points where you are able to enter and exit. Using the Metro system utilizes this service and teaches you a little bit about how it works.

Many students, however, don’t realize the positives of the Metro system because of the dangers it can present.

“The Metro is not safe because of the high crime rate and trafficking in Houston. Anybody can ride the Metro,” said political science freshman Naila Hossain. 

When it comes to riding the Metro system in Houston, watching your surroundings and keeping to yourself is key. Looking too hard into others and not being wary of those around you can begin to turn you into a prime victim. Predators are constantly going for the “easy” mark.

A great way to help ensure your safety on the Metro is to have some method of protection, whether that means having skills from a self-defense class, mace or even a whistle. 

Some riders like to look at others around them to try and rule out how dangerous they may be, but this only leaves you that much more vulnerable to their rash actions. Also, your phone is a huge distraction from your surroundings and makes you more susceptible to a possible attack.

A major concern for many students is using the Metro to go home at night.

“(I) would definitely not ride it at night alone,” Hossain said.

There are people that become bolder as the sun goes down. In Houston, who knows what you might come across riding the Metro after dark? But once again, taking notice of your surrounding environment is your biggest defense.

The Metro system is still in progress and can always use improvements. With the recent additions to the METRORail system, things are getting better within Houston’s transportation system. The METRORail is extremely efficient, though it comes with the caveat of being limited to areas closely surrounding downtown Houston. There are talks of expanding it further out away from the heart of the city, however.

If you are scared about missing your drop-off location on regular Metro buses, the METRORail announces each stop quite loudly. It’s near impossible to miss your destination.

The fares are hardly very much with the 50 percent student discount offered on campus.

As long as you know what you’re doing and pay careful attention to those around you, you are sure to avoid any danger.  The way I see it, both the Metro and METRORail systems are safe and efficient ways for UH students, or anyone really, to get around Houston.

Opinion writer Zaineb Davis is an English freshman and can be reached at [email protected]

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