The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) joined elected officials and representatives from Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to celebrate the opening of Houston's North Line light-rail extension, on Dec. 21.
The North Line is the first of three new light-rail lines that are expected to significantly improve transit options in one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing areas.
The North Line extends the existing Red Line by 5.3 miles and required the construction of eight new stations. Starting at the University of Houston-Downtown station, the line runs north on North Main to Boundary, crosses east to Fulton, then proceeds north to Northline Commons Mall and the Northline Transit Center.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $900 million toward construction of two new light-rail lines in Houston, including $450 million for the North Line and $450 million for the Southeast Line, which is currently under construction and expected to open in 2014. Funding for both rail lines is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment (New Starts) Grant Program.
“The fourth largest city in the United States needs and deserves a world class transit system that meets the needs of residents today and will accommodate Houston’s growing population,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “With more than one million people expected to move to the Houston region over the next decade, public transportation is key to building a successful, sustainable, and competitive environment to do business while creating thousands of jobs along the way.”