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Bassett 1

Adrian Bassett
WRIT 1301.02
Proposal First Draft
April 15, 2016
Transitioning
Cars and convenience is the way most Texans live their lives today. Cars are
conveniently just there sitting in your driveway to take you wherever you need to go. For many

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:31 AM


Deleted: conveniency

its the only way to travel around town. Getting a drivers license and a car is looked as a
necessity in a Texans daily life. Well what about the people who arent drivers? What about
those who cannot afford a car or do not have a drivers license? Even though it seems the
majority of the Texan population drives, there is an increase in people who dont actually drive
or who cant drive. An expansion of the Texan public transit could be the answer.
Lets focus more on just the Houston area which is one of the bigger urban cities in

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:32 AM


Comment [1]: the majority does drive.
Better way to phrase this and still make
your point.

Texas. Big urban cities are usually a good place to start developing new ideas and technological
developments. Oil and NASA brings in many foreigners to the Houston area. From 2000 to
2013, immigrants coming to Houston increased from thirty-three percent to fifty-nine percent.
Many of which their countries have a highly successful public transportation system. Since many
more immigrants are coming into the Houston area, maybe Texas should start thinking about
being more accommodating so that more people are persuaded to move here. Public
transportation will not only provide a means of transportation for incoming immigrants, but also
for lower income families. There are many different ways that public transportation can be an
improvement to the Houston area then maybe later expanded to benefit other parts of Texas.
Cost is obviously one of the biggest problems people have with public transportation. The
company that expands the public transportation to different parts of Houston rather than just

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:33 AM


Comment [2]: But you just said
immigration is on the rise anyway. Why do
we need to persuade more people to
come? Thats not really your point though,
right? Arent you more concerned with the
people who are already here?

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:33 AM


Deleted: most

Bassett 2
Downtown will have to spend money on construction, hiring people, and maintenance. What if
the expansion of public transit in Houston was taken on by the government? Yes, there would
probably be an increase in taxes. In the governments perspective, it would take a lot of money to
expand the system. However after the system is built and running, the government would be
receiving a revenue from the public transit passenger costs. There is different forms of
transportation from private companies that people can use to still get around Houston like Metro,
Uber, Lyft, and taxi companies. But why should the private companies profit, when the
government can create and expand its own public transit and profit from their own system?

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:36 AM


Comment [3]: There are a couple of
flaws in your reasoning here. Public
transportation is now operated by the
government. A more radical suggestion
would be to entice a corporation to finance
additional trains. A second flaw is that
there are already plans in the works to
expand.

Job opportunities will also be a big part if the Houston area decides to expand its public
transit system. It might be costly for the government, but for the people it will open up many
jobs. A public transportation system will need security guards, engineers, bus drivers, safety
inspectors, cashiers, managers, architects, maintenance and construction workers. An expansion
will open up many jobs for the public to apply for, both temporary and permanent. Since the
expansion wont only need experienced or educated people to fill in jobs such as cashiers or
maintenance workers. It could also possibly decrease the unemployment rate in Houston which is
about 4.5% as of 2016. It is pretty low, but it could decrease even more with job opportunities
from expanding public transit.
The environment is also a big factor in expanding Houstons public transportation
system. A public transportation would actually help the environment. It would get more people
off the road if people actually use the buses and trains. Lets say a bus holds fifty people and a
train holds two hundred and both have a route from University of Houston Clear Lake to
Downtown every thirty minutes. Well that would mean in an hour that would get one hundred
people from the bus and four hundred people from the train off the road in just one hour. It

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:37 AM


Comment [4]: Confusing

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would mean less cars being on the road. It would mean less gas being used and fumes being
emitted into the air. Transitioning from cars to public transportation would ultimately be a good
thing for the environment.
Everyone also knows that being stuck in traffic is the worst. Well getting more people off

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:38 AM


Comment [5]: Few people would argue
this point

the road and into using public transportation if it expands would mean that there would be less
traffic. Less people trying to get to work and going home by car. Lets use another example
where we are in a more populated part of Houston, Downtown. Since it is more populated and
urban, the routes are more frequent and are every fifteen minutes from Medical Center to
University of Houston. The buses still carry fifty people and the trains two hundred. Well that
would mean that in an hour there would be one thousand people off the road during the duration
of that hour if the bus and train were at full capacity. Even if they were both at half capacity, that
would still be five hundred people off the road during that hour. That should be enough to lessen
traffic jams especially in more populated places. Those numbers are also just from one route so
the number would increase with the amount of routes added in the expansion. Also, getting more
people off the road can help decrease accidents caused by traffic and maybe even other carrelated accidents.
Expanding public transportation would also help develop a more healthy lifestyle for the
people in the Houston area. It would encourage people to walk to bus or train stops. Its easy to
just get out of your house if your car is just right there in your driveway. However, if we move
towards a city where public transportation is commonly used then it would force people to walk
to bus or train stops. Of course its not going to make a huge and dramatic difference towards a
really healthy lifestyle. It is better though than just walking the five steps it might take to get to
your car thats parked in your driveway compared to the half a mile or mile it might take to get to

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:39 AM


Comment [6]: So then why are there still
traffic jams in my neighborhood where
public transportation is common place?

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the bus or train stop depending on the distance from where you live from the nearest bus or train
stop. Even though it might not make a big difference, a little difference is still a step in the right
direction to a more healthy lifestyle.
Now that we know some of the benefits and challenges of public transportation, how do
we adapt to a city that is willing to expand its public transportation system? How do we get
people to use their cars less and move towards using the trains or buses? How do we make it
happen? How do we convince the government that public transportation is an innovative way to
improve our city? How do we go about deciding where to implement these new routes to expand
the public transit system? How do we decide the prices to create revenue? Where do we really
start?
Well we have to start convincing the government to at least consider or start talking about
improving its public transit system. Ideas that are new, innovative, and people might not have
necessarily thought about yet need people to back it up. The idea or problem will become more
noticeable or more urgent when many people take notice that it is indeed a problem or a good
idea. Ideas get noticed when many people take part and want change. We are stronger in
numbers to push the cause to the government. Supporters could form a coalition and meet the
right government agencies or committees at the appropriate time to show them that this is a idea
that they should start thinking about. The government will be more likely to change and
implement the idea the more people that are interested in expanding the public transportation
system.
Next, if the government started thinking about the idea and wanted to implement it, we
need to think about where we really want public transportation. Obviously we probably dont
need it in less populated and rural areas. We need to start building where more people would use

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:42 AM


Comment [7]: Thats just it. This is not
new, and thousands of people have
already backed it up:
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gra
y-matters/article/Houston-s-long-runninglove-hate-thing-with-mass-6355528.php

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it to generate that revenue, because if no one uses it then the government and ultimately your
taxes will go unused and to waste. An obvious place that might be able to implement this change
in transportation is around colleges/universities where the number of international students are
high. For example, University of Houston Clear Lake, the international student population is
pretty high that you can notice it just walking around the university. If we provide public
transportation to grocery stores, the mall, downtown, and other places the college students would
want to go, then there would definitely be people who will use it. It would also be good for high
schools who might not have their driver's license yet. High school students could take the bus or
train to school and home if buses were not already provided or they could go to the mall on
Fridays or the weekend to hang out with their friends. Also, Downtown would be a good place to
expand the public transit to lessen traffic there. These are just some of the places that might be
tested to see if Houston is really ready to expand its public transportation system and where
should they expand after these places.
What type of public of transportation should we start with? Buses might be the cheaper
option when starting off then maybe slowly moving to trains. Buses would not require train
tracks and trains to actually be built. Buses will also be easier to maintain when first starting out.
Its easy to expand the public bus system because there wont be much construction beside a few
bus stations and bus stop poles. After the bus system starts doing well and generates revenue, we
could consider moving towards a train system. Maybe starting the train system in Downtown and
expanding in where land permits and stops where it would be frequently used.
How do we really generate revenue from these forms of public transportation? Well it
starts with setting a price for the buses that we start with. In Japan, where they have a vast and
highly successful public transit system, the buses that are in more rural and less populated parts

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and arent used as much increase in price with each stop. The stop you start at is about $1.25 and
increases with each stop. If you were on the bus for five stops then you would pay $6.25. In more
urban and populated place, the price is set because more people are using it. It is usually set for
about $3.00 for usually around a 30 minute ride or 7-9 stops. The train system also increases
with each stop and is the same price, about $1.25. If we decide to expand the form of public

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:44 AM


Comment [8]: Interesting comparison.

transportation we could maybe adapt this style of payment. Japan also rewards loyalty when
people buy a reloadable train card with a three cent discount each bus or train ride which doesnt
sound like a lot. However, when you ride the train or bus frequently it goes a long way. To
accommodate the elderly and disabled, the system could offer discounts to encourage them to get
out of their house. The revenue generated could also be used to continue maintenance on the
buses and later trains.
Probably one of the biggest concerns of transitioning into public transportation is getting
people to actually use the buses or trains more rather than their cars. Money is probably one of
the biggest persuaders especially if we expand public transit near colleges. College students are
always usually looking for cheaper ways to do things and to save money. Well it might not seem
like public transit will save you money, but it can with the amount you spend with car insurance
and gas. You could actually be saving if you use public transportation. Lets say you are an
accident-free driver who lives in Friendswood and goes to University of Houston Clear Lake.
You pay 150 dollars per month for insurance, you have a car with 35 gallons per mile, you fill
your gas tank up twice a month, and gas is about $2.00 per gallon. You end up spending about
$220.00 on your car a month. Well if you use public transportation and the route from
Friendswood to UHCL is an increasing price route and there is three stops so it is $3.75 and you
ride it twice a day which would equal $7.50. You ride it every weekday for 5 weeks which would

Lorie Jacobs 4/19/2016 11:45 AM


Comment [9]: The audience is unclear.
Who are you writing to?

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total to $187.50 a month. You would save up to $32.50 a month and $390.00 a year if you took
classes all year long. Plus the money you actually spent on you car depending on whether your
car is leased, used, or new. While you are saving that $390.00 a year, you are also taking a step
to save or improve the environment.
No one is expecting you to give up your car if Houston moves into relying on a public
transportation system for people to get around. People aren't going to want to part with their car
once they already paid for it and it would be hard to sell it if everyone started relying more on the
public transit system. Maybe just consider using the public transportation system occasionally or
when you can. If you're running late and don't have time to walk to the bus or train stop, it's
acceptable to take your car. You could use your car as more of a safety net or to travel to places
where public transportation is not really used. You don't have to abandon it entirely. And if
you're still attached to your car and really don't want to part with your car at all, then think about
the people who might really need or would like the idea of public transportation. Stand with
them in government meetings and to aware the government that this would be an improvement to
Houston. Stand with them to improve Houston for everyone. Change doesn't happen all at once
so there will be time to adjust.

Name: Adrian Bassett


Draft submitted on time: YES NO

Participated in Peer Review: YES NO


Final submitted on time: YES NO

Temporary Grade: ____/150,

Audience, Purpose, and Subject


Essay has a snappy title that catches the readers attention and indicates the topic and
argument.
Answers two central inquiry questions: 1) What is the problem? And 2) What should
be done?
Essay satisfies an academic motive that is specific, purposeful, and significant To change a problem related to something that matters to you and others
A promise that you will learn something about the problem and possible solutions
Essay focuses on detailed and relevant subject matter:
Best plan of action for a problem of consequence
Could address large or small problems as long as others have a stake in solving them
Research proposals suggest a plan for studying a problem or other question

Excell

Acc+

Acc

Unsat

P
P
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Structure & Development of Ideas


Essay develops the message for a specific audience and purposefully uses rhetorical
appeals to engage that audience.
Follow a logical academic structure that is purposeful such as:
Causes and effects. Why does this problem need attention? Why will the proposed
solution deal with it?
Justifications. What reasons and evidence support the claim that the solution(s)
is(are) the best one(s)?
Evidence. Evidence from research and experience make a clear case for the problem
and for the solutions.
Other perspectives. Who else has addressed this problem and how?
Visual rhetoric. How might you illustrate problems and/or solutions with pictures,
tables, graphs, and/or headings and bulleted lists?
Essay uses point of view effectively, selecting one of two options:
First person, where authors thoughts are integral to the proposal; OR
Third person, where authors thoughts and reactions are withheld
Essay provides reasoning to support claims and examples to illustrate solutions.

P
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Use of Evidence
Essay relies on evidence to support claims drawing from interview(s); observation(s);
images, recordings, video; experience; and/or artifacts.

At least one outside source is used to support claims or reasoning.

All evidence is integrated properly and cited in a consistent format as needed.

Language and Style


Level of formality depends on the rhetorical situation.
Author comes across as a credible writer and appeals to the values and emotions of the
audience.

P
P

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Sentences are lively, engaging, and relatively error free.
Essay is 5-6 pages, double-spaced, in 12pt. TNR, with 1-inch margins, page numbers in
the header, plus a title, and a heading on the first page only including name, date, and
P
version of assignment. OR 10-20 slides strategically combining images and text and
supplemented with notes as needed to fulfill requirements of academic argument.
Essay includes a Works Cited or Reference page with a list of all sources in MLA or
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APA format.
Additional Comments: Adrian I can kind of see how you got here based on your profile and ethnography, but it is a
stretch. I am disappointed that none of that research made it into this final paper. Your argument could be a lot stronger if
you used interview and observation data to illustrate some of your claims. But beyond that, you may need to re-think your
approach entirely. You are not the first to propose this by a long shot. And ignorance of the long battle Houstonians have
fought to get some small gains in public transportation damages your credibility. Can you come at this from another
angle? Maybe investigating why Texans love their cars so much? I also think it will help greatly if you nail down a specific
audience.