Now We’re Getting Somewhere!

“The Metropolitan Transit Authority board approved a $77.3 million agreement Tuesday with an Idaho-based engineering and construction firm to begin work on the city’s next four rapid transit lines.”

Finally! Screw all you Anti-Metro Rail haters! This is exactly what this city needs! Well, we really need an infrastructure that’s more sophisticated but this is a step in that direction! As large as Houston is it’s down right laughable knowing how horrible our mass transit system currently operates. Not only will this be better for people’s commute but it will also be better for our air quality, our wallets and our communities!

May 8, 2007, 11:05PM
Metro OKs start on four corridors

By ROSANNA RUIZ and RAD SALLEE
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

The Metropolitan Transit Authority board approved a $77.3 million agreement Tuesday with an Idaho-based engineering and construction firm to begin work on the city’s next four rapid transit lines.

Under the contract, Washington Group Transit Management Co. will organize, schedule and perform early design and construction work on the North, Southeast, East End and Uptown corridors.

All four lines are expected to start out with Bus Rapid Transit, which uses trainlike buses in guideways, and be converted to light rail when ridership justifies the additional cost.

The project also includes a transfer hub, known as the Intermodal Terminal Facility, on North Main near the University of Houston-Downtown, where bus and light rail lines will meet.

The board also approved awarding the firm $2.5 million for precontract work.

Greg P.Therrien, president of infrastructure for the parent company, Washington Group International, said the design work would likely be completed by March.

The Metro board will take action on a separate design and construction contract in a later phase of the project, which could also include a contract to operate and maintain the completed line.

“I think it’s very significant,” board Chairman David Wolff said after Tuesday’s vote. “It shows we’re moving ahead. … We made a commitment to the voters in 2003 when they passed a referendum that Metro would get Metro Solutions built, and this shows we’re moving forward.”

A combination of federal grants and Metro sales tax funds will cover the cost of the four lines, estimated at more than $1 billion, Metro says.

The lines will cover about 20 miles:

•North: UH-Downtown to Northline Mall.

•Southeast: downtown to Palm Center.

•East End: east side of downtown to Magnolia Transit Center.

•Uptown: Post Oak from Northwest Transit Center to Westpark.

The design contract approved Tuesday does not include the proposed University Line (from the University of Houston to the Galleria), which will be voted on later.

2 Comments so far

  1. Chris Doelle (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 10:19 am

    I am all for more rail… I am however blown away at the retarded choice of locations. If they want commuters to use the stuff, they have to put it out to where they live. One from Katy to Downtown, one from Sugarland to Downtown, and one from the Woodlands to Downtown would be packed with as many cars as they could fit on the thing.


  2. Big Daddy (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 2:40 am

    Chris is correct. The reason many people hate Metro is because of their tendancy to run rail lines to places no one bothers to ride instead of too where people live. (well, that and their track record of fraud and mismanagement, but hey, no one’s perfect hunh?)

    I mean, even people who want to like Metro, end up shaking their head in disgust at the actions of these people. The Metro board needs to be a board ran by elected officials. Much of Metro’s problems are because they us OUR tax dollars and are accountable to no one.

    BD



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