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Posts Tagged ‘light rail’

Metro moving forward with advertising

This has been in the works for a long time. Depending on what Metropolitan Transit Authority officials decide regarding a new revenue plan, your light rail trip could end at the Taco Bell Station, or some similarly named stop. Officials in early 2013 are expected to receive more information on a revenue plan exploring potential […]

Greanias officially resigns, interim Metro CEO named

George Greanias may have stepped down as CEO of Metro, but he’ll still be around for awhile, as Metro searches for his successor. Metropolitan Transit Authority board members on Thursday accepted Greanias’ resignation, named an interim replacement and approved a six-month, $117,500 contract with Greanias – equivalent to half his annual salary – to consult […]

Greanias to step down from Metro

Bummer. George Greanias, appointed to lead the Metropolitan Transit Authority in September 2010 after political squabbling and inefficiencies led to widespread criticism of the bus and train system, is resigning, a Metro spokeswoman confirmed Friday. Greanias has stated his intent to resign from his position as president and chief executive officer, but a formal letter […]

Don’t write off the University line

Metro certainly hasn’t, judging by what they’re saying. “Dallas has almost 100 miles of light rail,” Metro board chairman Gilbert Garcia told a business luncheon Tuesday. “Certainly we can get to The Galleria.” What hasn’t been figured out, yet, is how to pay for the project. Federal money was heavily leveraged to get the North […]

Help Metro figure out the bike and transit thing

Your public service opportunity of the day: METRO and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) are seeking input from bicyclists on the use of public transit. Want to join? You must meet the following criteria: Already integrate biking and public transit Bike but not currently using public transportation Use public transit but not with a bike […]

Precinct analysis: Metro

The first rule of precinct analysis, at least as I do it, is that you really can’t learn much by doing it on lopsided elections. The Metro referendum, which passed with 78% of the vote, is Exhibit A of this phenomenon. Here’s how the vote went in the State Rep districts for the Metro issue: […]

Buses and trains, not buses or trains

I have a lot of emotion about this, but I’m still working through how to express it. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials say the agency is on firmer financial footing than it has been in years. They plan to add shelters at 100 bus stops in the next year, replace aging buses with larger and smaller […]

Closing arguments for the Metro referendum

One way or another, this argument will be settled on Tuesday. What happens after that is still anyone’s guess. The referendum on Tuesday’s ballot asks whether to continue spending some public transit sales tax money on streets and bridges. Opponents have campaigned against it by recasting the question: Should transit money be spent on roads […]

KHOU story on the Metro poll question

I noted yesterday that there would be a separate story on the Metro referendum result from that KHOU/KUHF poll of Harris County.That story is here. A new poll indicates the Metro referendum on Houston area ballots will probably pass, but as early voting began a large number of voters hadn’t made up their minds. About […]

Metro’s new trains

Last week, Metro announced that it had received delivery of a new train, the first of a batch of new light rail vehicles (LRVs) scheduled to arrive in town. Gilbert Garcia, METRO board chairman, said the light-rail Siemens S70 represents a savings of almost a year’s time in getting optimal service to our riders. METRO […]

More back and forth on the Metro referendum

Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia explains the referendum for those who say they don’t understand it. The referendum is as easy as 1-2-3. If approved, it will: 1. Continue the road-building program. 2. Expand Metro’s bus system. 3. Pay down Metro’s short-term debt. Sure, the mathematics of how the money flows to accomplish these items […]

What comes after the Metro referendum

I hope you found my series of interviews on the Metro referendum to be useful. I think there’s plenty in those four interviews to bolster your support of or opposition to the referendum. The referendum question is simple – do we or do we not want to continue the General Mobility Program? but the issue […]

Interview with County Commissioner Steve Radack

To wrap up my series of interviews relating to the Metro referendum, I spoke to the person with whom Metro Chair Gilbert Garcia brokered the deal on the GMP reauthorization: County Commissioner Steve Radack. Commissioner Radack is a strong advocate of the General Mobility Program and a critic of light rail. I suspect that if […]

Interview with Sue Lovell

Former Council member Sue Lovell was not directly involved in the current Metro referendum, but as the past Chair of the Transportation Committee on Council under Mayor Bill White, she was instrumental in the creation and adoption of the city’s operating agreement with Metro, which is what authorized Metro to begin construction on the 2012 […]

Interview with Gilbert Garcia and Christof Spieler

Continuing the discussion of the Metro referendum, today’s interview is with Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia, and Board Member Christof Spieler. Garcia originally proposed a referendum that would continue the GMP but freeze revenues for the member entities at 2014 levels, with Metro getting all of the revenue increases above that. After an alternate measure […]

Interview with David Crossley

This week I’m going to take an in depth look at the one contentious referendum on the ballot, the Metro referendum. The purpose and the language of the referendum is whether or not to reauthorize the General Mobility Program, in which Metro turns over 25% of its sales tax revenue to Harris County, the city […]

Will voters understand the Metro referendum?

That’s the question that people on both sides of the issue are asking themselves. “You have some people who will read it and maybe they don’t like Metro and so they’re going to vote against it, without realizing that by voting against it they’re really going to be damaging the county and the city and […]

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 […]

Whither the University Line?

Is the University Line in doubt? Some people think so. Over the last decade, METRO spent $71 million of your dollars to build a rail line. But the agency recently took that project off the table for at least another decade and no work has been done. So where did all that money go? Ten […]

Endorsement watch: For Metro

The Chron comes out in favor of another referendum. If you look closely at the weekday mix of traffic, you’ll finds lots of 18-wheelers inching along during rush hour. That makes congestion more than an annoyance for individual commuters. Along with the clean air impact it brings, it creates a serious competitiveness issue for this […]

Roundabouts in the sky

I have three things to say about this. Imagine driving into downtown Houston on interstates 10 or 45, or U.S. 59, and having to merge with all other incoming traffic onto an elevated, one-way traffic circle around the cluster of skyscrapers. If downtown isn’t your final destination, you would stay on the circle until you […]

Ashby everywhere

Nancy Sarnoff notes a trend. Homeowners in the Memorial area held a meeting last month in the lobby of a nearby medical office building to discuss what to do about a large apartment complex being planned in their neighborhood. They said the project – and other new developments in the area – would lead to […]

Houston Tomorrow versus Metro

David Crossley: On November 6, you will be asked to vote on whether to stop expansion of light rail transit service in Houston. If you think that’s a terrible idea, you must vote No. If you do, you will be going up against some very powerful people and institutions. But that’s what voters do, isn’t […]

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 […]

More on carless commuting in Houston

Greg adds on to my recent post about getting to work in Houston if you didn’t have a car. In the comments of this Kuff post, Robert Nagle actually beats me to the punch in answering the central question. Yes, you can live quite comfortably in Houston without a car. As long as you base […]

Metro board passes amended GMP referendum

More consensus this time. The board voted 8-1 for a measure that, if approved by voters, would continue the so-called General Mobility Program in its current form, allocating a quarter of Metro’s 1-cent sales tax to Harris County, Houston and 14 small cities in Metro’s service area. The local governments use these funds for road […]

FTA writes another check for light rail construction

Keep ‘em coming. The expansion of Houston Metro got another boost from the federal government with the allocation of $188 million in additional construction funding for the North and Southeast light rail lines. Congressman Gene Green, the Houston Democrat who is dean of the metropolitan area’s House delegation, said the money is part of Houston […]

Could you get to work if you didn’t have a car?

Lots of people in the Houston area could not easily get to work if their car were not available to them. According to a new report from the Brookings Institution, only 57.8 percent of the jobs in the entire Houston metro area are in neighborhoods with access to public transit service. When ranked against the […]

Up or down, more or less

Metro has chosen its referendum. A sharply divided Metro board approved a plan Friday that would give the city of Houston tens of millions of dollars more for road projects under a ballot referendum to be put before voters in November. The 5-4 vote followed a sometimes strained, four-hour meeting and sparked accusations that city […]

Metro and UH make nice

Good. Construction of a light-rail line that would cross University of Houston property can continue now that UH and Metro officials settled differences that threatened to delay the project. UH announced in a statement Tuesday that university officials have agreed to allow the Metropolitan Transit Authority to start the next phase of construction of the […]

Keep Moving Houston Forward PAC poll on Metro and GMP

Yesterday I wrote about a poll commissioned by Houstonians for Responsible Growth on Metro and the General Mobility Program. That poll suggested that any changes to the GMP would be difficult for Metro to get, especially in the face of a negative campaign against it. Later in the day, I received the following in my […]

HRG poll data on Metro and the GMP

I mentioned on Friday that there had been a poll commissioned to measure voter attitudes towards Metro and the General Mobility Program. That poll was commissioned by Houstonians for Responsible Growth, and Joshua Sanders was kind enough to send me the polling data later in the day, which you can see here. On the key […]

Here come the GMP proposals

At Metro’s board meeting yesterday, trustees presented their proposed ballot referenda for the General Mobility Program. “I’m anxious to see the outcome just like everybody else,” said Chairman Gilbert Garcia, before anyone offered their specifics. As it turned out, city-appointee Garcia was one of only two trustees calling for a vote on capping the GMP […]

County wants to keep its share of the GMP

No surprise. Harris County Commissioners Court made it official Tuesday, passing a resolution calling on Metro to keep a quarter of its 1 percent sales tax flowing to road projects. The 5-0 vote leaves only Mayor Annise Parker backing Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia’s proposal to cap the so-called “general mobility” payments so the transit agency […]