From the Metro blog:
On Monday, Nov. 28, METRO will be joined by federal officials, along with members of Houston’s congressional delegation, to sign the long-awaited Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) for the North and Southwest light-rail lines.
President & CEO George Greanias announced the signing date [Wednesday] at the Greater Houston Partnership’s luncheon.
This is the first time rail projects in Houston have received FFGAs. These are matching federal funds that help us leverage local dollars to complete the construction of the North Line (extension of the Main St. Red Line) and the Southeast Line (Purple Line).
It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? And they said it couldn’t be done. Well, some people said it wouldn’t be done, anyway. Here’s one of those people, who’s been saying it for a long time:
Local attorney and light-rail critic Bill King said it’s foolish to bank on that money, given the tenuous status of the federal budget, especially New Starts funding.
“With what’s going on in Washington, can you see that they’re going to come down here and say, ‘Here’s $1 billion to go build light rail in Houston?’ ” King said. “That seems so fanciful to me, and I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.”
And you would have lost that bet if you’d made it, Bill. You were wrong, and on November 28, we’ll get to see the FTA and a bunch of other people prove it. In the meantime, you can see video of Greanias’ speech here, and the accompanying presentation, which includes some cool time-lapse photography and video of the rail line expansions, here.