Metro is taking another step forward on the commuter rail line along US 90A to Fort Bend County that was part of the 2003 Metro Solutions referendum.
Kimberly Slaughter, Senior Vice President of Service Design & Development for Metro, unveiled the project’s design at a press conference [Monday] morning. The train — known clunkily as the US 90A/Southwest Rail Corridor — will span eight miles from the Fannin South Station at the end of the Red Line to Beltway 8 in Missouri City.
But don’t hold your breath. The rail is seven years and millions of dollars away.
Although Slaughter said costs are “completely conceptual” at this point, it’s expected to cost at least $200 million. She said the train will be funded mostly from government grants and existing Federal Transit Administration money, and there’s no plan to increase fares or taxes.
For now, all that Metro wants from you is your input. Four public forums will be held this month at various locations near the proposed train route. Attend, and you’ll be able to tell Metro exactly what you think of the plan and its environmental impact.
All of the details, including the media briefing and the scoping package can be found on Metro’s website. There are four public meetings scheduled between the 15th and 22nd of February, so if you have an interest in this be sure to attend one of them. There is already some federal funding in place for this, and there are several possible alternative alignments that might make more sense if Fort Bend County wanted to extend the line inside its borders. With construction not slated to begin before 2017, there’s plenty of time to optimize this. The most important thing is to get it started, of course. That we’ve come this far is a good sign.