A train going from downtown Houston to Galveston. The line, estimated to cost at least $400 million, has political support from many Houston area federal, state and local officials. Dug Begley is the transportation writer for the Houston Chronicle. Board members are considering different proposals ahead of a bond election this fall. A rare COVID side effect caused his tongue to swell, forcing a Houston surgeon to step in, Biden suspends federal oil and gas leasing for 60 days, 'It's ugly': Verizon 5G data boxes appear without notice on Houston front lawns, Solomon: Texans' search for head coach reaches absurd level, New Caney woman admits to assaulting 13-year-old, police say, Man fatally shot at apartment complex near Hobby Airport, Restaurant owner recovering from near-fatal brawl with carjacker. Emilio Arizola Jessica Zaragoza, and son Emilio Arizola, board the train after transferring from a bus at the Downtown Transit Center on Dec. 15, 2014. The line has drawn stiff opposition, including from Rep. John Culberson, the Houston congressman who repeatedly barred federal funding for the line. Fresh off a $2.1 billion expansion of the Houston light rail system, Metro's capital budget and ability to borrow money is tapped, after planned and approved projects for … Over 25,000 existing homes have convenient access to stations, providing easy commutes to and from major Houston retail, entertainment, cultural, and employment centers. Last year, officials approved soliciting interest from private firms for development of a train line from the Texas Medical Center to Missouri City. Houston METRO, through the Houston Rapid Transit – Joint Venture (HRT), engaged LAN to advance the Preliminary Engineering design of the South East Corridor, through final design and construction. Houston MetroRail appears in a 55-page appendix listing hundreds of pending projects across the United States not ready for grants. Metro's light rail is seen along Scott Street near the University of Houston on May 13, 2015. An entire suite of projects also could be put in front of voters. Citing Heights Hospital closure, Rep. Jackson Lee calls on... Nosy dogs sniff out top honors — and treats — at NW Houston contest, Increase in COVID-19 deaths slows somewhat in Texas, Amazon driver finds baby dumped by car jackers on side N. Houston road, Pandemic stress a strain on college campuses. We managed these efforts so that the project became a model for future transit projects and a catalyst for community development, job opportunities, and long-term prosperity in the neighborhoods and communities along the LRT lines. DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (Draft EIS) COMMENT PERIOD The public comment period for the Draft EIS is now closed. She noted opponents often talk about the referendum's narrow passage with 52 percent of the vote. "We know we will never have enough resources to build everything," Metro board member Christof Spieler said. We also managed the project’s Small Business/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SBE/DBE) program, which maximized participation and promoted equal opportunity and nondiscrimination while providing opportunities for small businesses to participate in contracting and procurement for the Light Rail Expansion Project. Rail News: Passenger Rail Houston METRO advances light-rail expansion plan The board's action called for a Nov. 5 referendum for voters to consider $3.5 billion in bonding authority for METRO. A Metro train makes it's way past new construction along Harrisburg on Jan. 9. Metro drawing up long-term Houston regional transit plan. The Metro 2025 Plan Team identified seven travel corridors around the region that would need some form of high capacity transit in the future. Light rail connecting the downtown to either of Houston's two major airports. Serving the largest city in Texas and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, Houston METRO’s vision is to improve mobility, provide alternative transportation options, and enhance economic opportunities that will benefit Houston’s residents and businesses alike. In 2003, citizens demonstrated their support for this ambitious vision by approving a referendum for an expanded, modern transit … Houston METRO Light Rail Expansion. Metro Phoenix leaders promised light rail would transform the Valley when it opened Dec. 27, 2008. KCI provided project management, design development services, construction document services, and civil engineering for the expansion of METRO’s light rail facility. Houston Metro, as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is often called, is mulling some development plans for the light rail system. Houston’s METRORail system, which launched in 2004, currently has 22.7 miles of light rail and an average daily ridership of 61,476 in March 2019. The major investment study for urban transport was completed in August 199… David Crossley, another supporter of the University Line and former director of Houston Tomorrow, which has advocated for increased transit investment, said connecting downtown and Uptown especially cannot wait. Miles of BOOST and Signature bus service, plus accessibility and usability improvements for the … A total of 8 Thales devices and … The NFTA will incorporate and address comments received from the public, agencies, and stakeholders during the 60-day comment period, as well as the analysis presented in the Draft EIS, to prepare a Final EIS. There are several proposals for the east-west expansion of metro light rail and tonight there are competing public meetings on the topic. Destinations served by these new lines include Texas … In conjunction with the light rail expansion, Metro will for the first time in history issue debt to cover future projects. METRO is undertaking multiple environmental and preliminary engineering studies in several corridors. Though highly controversial, Metro has a ready-made list of projects that - albeit 14 years ago - won public support. (See Apply on company site. Transit supporters, meanwhile, have said the line is the critical link in Metro's system because it connects the central business district, universities southeast of downtown and the Uptown area along Loop 610's western side. https://www.facebook.com/PoppedClutchCity/, I-10 closing likely to snarl downtown Houston traffic this weekend, Metro police in DC to help transit police keep order on rail, bus routes. Filmed on December 23, 2016: Here is me riding the Houston Red Line METRORail all the way to the end! Metro Rail Expansion Project. Passengers disembark after the inaugural Metro train took its first passengers across the recently completed Harrisburg Overpass Bridge on Jan. 9. Portland, OR West Rail Line. "It's possible," she said of an election in nine months. Ridership has risen 28 percent since Houston’s last major rail expansion in 2015 when it opened a 5.3 mile … Officials conceded that whatever the regional plan concludes and whatever they put in front of voters must build on what referendums in 2003 and 2012 taught transit officials, and reflect what the community wants. The overpass marked the end of seven years of light rail construction. BLOG: Read your webmaster's impressions of the Houston METRORail system (Oct 2014) Our Book: USA - Midwest & South The arrival of Metro light rail comes approximately sixty years after the previous streetcar system was shut down, which left Houston as the largest city in the United States without a rail system since 1990, when Los Angeles' Blue Line opened. Houston has over 120 mies of HOV lane. Miles of new METRORapid bus service that operates like light rail, including an extension to Bush Airport. Funding, however, will always dominate the discussion. "Move the most amount of people for the least amount of money," said Metro board member Lisa Castaneda, deputy director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority. In addition, expanding service to the north and the southeast is part of the city’s sweeping plan to connect Houston’s workforce with major downtown employment centers, the Texas Medical Center, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. Metro has plans for more light rail in Houston, but no current funding for projects. What's clear, transit officials acknowledged last week during their first in-depth discussion of the transit plan's focus, is many solutions to traffic congestion will sit on transit agency shelves for years to come. 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