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Posts Tagged ‘Harrisburg line’

When are we getting those trains again?

The Metro board has some doubts about railcar manufacturer CAF’s ability to keep its promises. Houston transit officials, worried that the light rail system might run short of trains for months after two new lines open, are not satisfied with a new schedule for delivery of delayed rail cars. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials expressed deep […]

We’ll get our new trains in January

We have a deadline. The company building Metro’s new trains will deliver the final car to Houston five months late, according to a revised schedule submitted to the transit agency. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is reviewing the schedule, spokesman Jerome Gray said, and hasn’t agreed to the new timeline. The revision was one of the  […]

Leaning towards the over

Metro is working on a solution to the Harrisburg Line over/underpass problem. “We want the community involved and for this to be as open and honest as possible,” [Metro Board Chair Gilbert] Garcia said. Before Metro makes a decision, Garcia said, he wanted residents to have a better sense of the problem. Leaking gasoline tanks […]

Is it all over for the Harrisburg Line underpass?

Despite earlier agreement between Metro, residents, and the city to build an underpass for the far end of the Harrisburg line, it’s not looking too good for that option right now. Residents of Houston’s East End supported a 2003 transit referendum that included a light rail line through their neighborhood, but they balked six years […]

Riding that crowded train

Metro ponders its options for dealing with potential delays in the delivery of new railcars. Metro officials said Wednesday that the best solution to an expected shortage of railcars might be to limit trains on the main light rail line to one car rather than two, freeing up cars from the current fleet to serve […]

I got those “can’t get my rail cars built on time” blues

Actually, I don’t, but Metro does. The company building 39 new Metro railcars has yet to deliver an acceptable vehicle almost six months after the original due date, potentially delaying full service for rail lines scheduled to open later this year. The first car hasn’t passed a required water leak test and exceeds the maximum […]

On riding the North Line

Can we wait until we’ve had at least one non-holiday work week before we start talking about North Line ridership numbers? Thanks. The changes brought by the rail line, an extension of the Main Street Line now known as the Red Line, might develop more gradually than some residents and businesses hope. Early signs are […]

The lost canopy

Very disappointing. Metro officials on Thursday scaled back plans for an iconic downtown Houston transit hub where three rail lines will cross after board members grew frustrated with what they called inexcusable delays and cost overruns. “This has been mismanaged from the get-go, and there cannot be situations where things are not budgeted fully,” Metropolitan […]

Please try to avoid getting hit by the new light rail trains

Seriously, watch where you’re driving when you drive along or past the new rail lines. The train is bigger than you and your car, and if you pick a fight with it you will lose. Metro is working to make sure drivers and pedestrians get that message. Starting next year, Houston will have 15 new […]

Fare enforcement for Metro

Dodging the fare on the light rail lines could become more difficult to do. Provided a key piece of state legislation comes through, Metro officials said the plan is to have new monitors in place when the new North, East and Southeast lines start ferrying passengers along the city’s rail system. “It is growing a […]

A streetcar for the East End?

It could happen. As the once solidly industrial East End transforms with a 4-month-old soccer stadium, a light rail line under construction and the imminent sale of a 136-acre plot that could signal coming lofts and boutiques, boosters are studying the possibility of reviving the streetcar in Houston after an absence of more than 70 […]

What would you do with 136 acres near downtown?

Something urban, mixed-use, and transit-oriented, one hopes. A rare opportunity lies in 136 acres just east of downtown Houston. The Buffalo Bayou-front parcel, a longtime industrial and office complex, went on the market earlier this summer – a move bayou enthusiasts, East End residents and real estate developers had been anticipating for years. Some of […]

Houston Central Station

This is pretty cool. [Last Tuesday], the Houston Downtown Management District hosted a competition featuring designs from five award-winning architectural firms. The challenge: to design an iconic new Central Station – Main on Main Street between Capitol and Rusk. The station would also be the transfer point for three light-rail lines. The five invited firms […]

Metro signs Full Funding Grant Agreement

Full speed ahead. The head of the Federal Transit Administration on Monday signed $900 million in grant agreements to help pay for two Houston light-rail lines under construction by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The grants, the first federal funds ever provided for rail in Houston, were formally approved in a ceremony attended by the FTA […]

Signing date for Full Funding Grant Agreement announced

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 […]

Construction pains

I feel for the people and businesses that are being affected by Metro’s light rail construction. I wish that these large construction projects could be done without that kind of disruption, but it happens, and it sucks. What amazed me in reading this story was what some of those folks had to say about it: […]

On spending and jobs

What exactly was the point of this story? About 600 workers already are on the job building the North, Southeast and East End lines, according Metro. “This is an opportunity for Metro to create thousands of jobs in Houston for local contractors, construction workers, and engineers,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a recent blog post […]

City asks Metro for Harrisburg underpass

From the Inbox: Houston Mayor and METRO Seek Common Ground on East End Line Resolution of Harrisburg/Hughes Streets Over/Under Question Becomes a Milestone The city of Houston has concluded there is “strong sentiment” within the East End community for an underpass at Harrisburg/Hughes St. and has requested METRO’s Board of Directors vote in support of a […]

East End community meeting to consider Harrisburg grade separation

From the Inbox: East End community meeting to consider Harrisburg grade separation Wednesday, June 15 Union Pacific’s East Belt rail subdivision is one of the busiest in the city, carrying more than 30 freight trains a day through Houston’s East End. For years, the crossing at Harrisburg has created delays and headaches for motorists and […]

Dynamo Stadium deal finally struck

Took ‘em long enough. The city of Houston and Harris County have struck a potential deal on a new stadium for the Houston Dynamo and Texas Southern University’s football team, agreeing to jointly pay for $20 million in infrastructure upgrades if the soccer team follows through with a commitment to foot the bill for the […]

Interview with Council Member James Rodriguez

Next we have Council Member James Rodriguez, who is serving his first term in District I. He’s been busy on a number of fronts, including the construction of the Harrisburg light rail line and the pending Dynamo Stadium deal, as well as becoming a father for the first time in August. Rodriguez is unopposed this […]

Eastwood art deco facade saved

The art deco facade on the Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Co. on Harrisburg in Eastwood, which had been marked for demolition as part of the construction of the Harrisburg line, has been saved. From the inbox: Vice Mayor Pro Tem Sue Lovell, District H Council Member Ed Gonzalez, and At-Large Position 3 Council Member Melissa […]

Metro and its art deco demolition debacle

I saw this Swamplot report yesterday and I thought “Why, Metro, why? Why are you pissing off your supporters so?” This timely building at 4819 Harrisburg in Eastwood, built in 1935 for the Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Co., showed up in yesterday’s Daily Demolition Report. The architect was Sol R. Slaughter, who also designed a […]

Metro gets FTA final design approval for North and Southeast lines

Another step forward. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave METRO permission today to enter into Final Design on Houston’s North and Southeast light-rail lines. The FTA’s approval is the final prerequisite toward entering Full Funding Grant Agreements on both lines, which signals the federal government’s commitment to fund its part of the projects. The approval […]

Metro light rail groundbreaking

Asa we know, today was groundbreaking day for Metro on the North and Southeast lines. Here’s the coverage I could find: an oddly negative story from KTRK, stories from Fox and KHOU, and a story from Texas Cable News that has something near and dear to my heart, namely numbers. Metro estimates that by 2030 […]

The squiggle

So now we know that the new soccer stadium is likely to happen, even though Commissioners Court continues to take its sweet time about it. We know that the new light rail lines, including the Southeast and Harrisburg lines, are on their way soon as well. And we know that these two things together will […]

Metro approves contract with Parsons

Good. The Metropolitan Transit Authority board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.46 billion contract for four new light rail lines, which would add 20 miles to its lone seven-mile line along Main Street. Under the contract, which came after almost a year of negotiations, Parsons Transportation Group is responsible for designing, building, operating […]

Metro to vote on rail contract

The good news: Metro is set to vote on the contract to build the next light rail lines. The bad news is that they’re doing is amid headlines like Metro refuses to discuss rail contract details before vote. The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s board is expected to vote on a multi-billion-dollar light rail contract tomorrow, but […]

Metro vote on light rail contract delayed

Rats. Metro’s board Chairman David Wolff has called off [today]’s vote on a contract with the agency’s rail builder in favor of a special board meeting next month. The Metropolitan Transit Authority has been in negotiations with Parsons Transportation Group since last April to build four new rail lines: North, East End, Southeast and Uptown. […]

Some action on the rail construction front

Finally. After two years of negotiations with two firms, the Metropolitan Transit Authority may be close to reaching a deal with a contractor to build and operate its next four light rail lines. “We’re in final negotiations,” said George Smalley, a Metro spokesman. “In a negotiation, though, you never know until it’s really over.” The […]

Over/under

Some East End residents are still unhappy about the way the Harrisburg light rail line is shaping up. East End residents overwhelmingly supported the rail line in a 2003 referendum, thinking it would boost the redevelopment already taking place. Back then, however, Metro’s plans did not include a mammoth, six-block-long overpass to cross existing Union […]