Late May Openings for Southeast and East End Rail Lines

LATE MAY OPENINGS FOR SOUTHEAST AND EAST END RAIL LINES Metro Central Station, Main St., Downtown HoustonAn official opening date has finally been set for Houston’s 2 new light-rail lines — and it’ll be later than the expected early-April debut. The East End and Southeast Lines will both open May 23rd, the Metro board announced this morning. [Houston Metro on Twitter; previously on Swamplot] Photo of new Central Station downtown: Metro

20 Comment

  • Well now this is just a joke…..

  • Woo hoo, rail to the downtown stadiums!

  • Definitely a joke. Metro better give the rest of the money back because all of this could’ve been handled better.

  • I still remember when it was opening 2012. I’m so sick of this.

  • I hope the trains start rolling in time for the 2017 Superbowl!!!

  • I give up on Metro. It is one of the worst run transportation authorities ever IMO. I consider myself pro-rail but three, yes three frekin’ years overdue and they’re still pushing the damn date even further out!!?? Even worse the Green Line only just recently began construction on that horrid overpass. Smaller cities with smaller budgets are moving and constructing faster on light rail than Houston is. Pretty shameful and embarrassing if you ask me. Metro needs a total internal overhaul, maybe even a new name and look to try and get past the major crapola it’s become. Houston deserves a better run transportation authority than this.

  • Why does Metro even announced an opening date? How many times have they pushed back the opening date for the new lines? They said they were pushing back the date after the Rodeo to place more trains on the Astrodome Red Line. Curious to see their reasoning now.

  • Okay, Houston needs yet another ‘New’ Metro to replace the current ‘New Metro’ (the claim of ‘New’ as cited on Metro’s website). Metro is a pretty poorly managed transit system.

  • METRO needs to find a new line of business. They obviously fail miserably in their ability to design/build a rail system that is on time and on budget.

  • Agreed this is way behind schedule, but it seems about as bad as Washington Metro’s similar H Street / Benning line which started construction in July 2009 and was supposed to be running in early 2012. It opened on it’s 2.2 miles of track last month.

  • The problem is public accountability. The mayors of all the member cities get to appoint board members. The board members elect a president. The president hires underlings to do his bidding. Break that down. A portfolio of elected officials from different jurisdictions (like El Lago) that were elected primarily for reasons unrelated to mass transit appoint a collection of individuals, whomever they want really, to a board. The board hires an employee. When things go wrong, the employee takes most of the heat; the employee can be fired, but that doesn’t fix what went wrong or the process by which they were hired, it doesn’t punish any board members for making crappy decisions or encourage them to change the way that they do business, and in all fairness to the mayors, so much has been done without their direct influence that it doesn’t reflect really at all on their performance. Maybe in principle, but not functionally.

    To put it succinctly, the problem is with METRO’s charter. It is by its nature something of a rogue entity. Don’t iike it? Blame your state’s Tea Party legislators for not doing something that it seems like its obvious that Tea Party legislators should want to do. Its all on them.

  • Metro is a sad sad joke.

  • Folks in the UH area are grateful that the new line’s teething pains will occur after the end of spring classes.

  • Apparently, the “Metro sucks” meme has more staying power than the “Low bid contractors building the new Marriott screwed up a water line under the light rail and killed Metro’s entire testing schedule” factoid.

    C’est la vie.

  • METRO does what it wants.

  • We are the 4th largest city in America and this is our mass transit operations entity?!?! It’s honestly embarrassing and should get more attention (maybe even some national attention) than it does. Perhaps then something might ACTUALLY kinda get done, semi-sorta-on time. Or just scrap it, start fresh – new name, new internals, massive PR campaign, etc.

  • @JackieChan, you didn’t mention METRO contracting to buy Spanish made trainsets in violation of the “Buy America Act”, which has been on the books for quite some time, then back pedaling and contracting out trainsets to a NY State company with little experience causing a massive delay in the delivery schedule. That part WAS METRO’s fault.

  • @ Jackie Chan: Nobody would care about this if there weren’t already such a lengthy and frustrating pattern of screw-ups thus far.

    Also…if a broken water main can interrupt light rail testing for six weeks then is that also how long would regular operations be interrupted in such an event? Whether its yes or no, I’m not sure that there’s a satisfactory answer that you can give me. This circumstance reflects on their disingenuous approach to public relations and/or poor project management skills and/or on their poor strategic direction regarding transportation technology.

  • For what it’s worth Niche, METRO’s set up is really no different than that of TXDOT. Members of the Texas Transportation Commission are appointed by the Governor and they select the Executive Director for TXDOT. And unlike METRO, TXDOT is pretty much given Carte Blanche by the Public to be as opaque as it wants, and do whatever it wants. But they don’t seem to have the same problems of project cost and duration overruns.
    So I wonder if the real issue is that METRO needs to rework it’s project delivery methods and perhaps hire better project managers. Not so much that they need an overhaul to be more accountable to the public.

  • @ ZAW: I disagree with your analysis. The Texas Transportation Commission is appointed by the Governor and only the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. There is one guy that has been doing the nominating for the past fifteen years and the buck stops right there, clear as day. His name is Rick Perry. By contrast, METRO’s board is appointed by various mayors from many different jurisdictions, so all of them can deflect blame from themselves and onto the group of mayors.

    Although TxDOT’s method of governance and its track record is different from METRO, both organizations have had serious problems in their recent past. I would tend to characterize the state agency as more corrupt, the local agency as more inept (both as they go about making mistakes and then being unable to neatly cover them up), and both can be criticized as lacking transparency or a fundamental degree of respect for their constituents.

    Its possible that with Perry now out of office and some fresh blood trickling in that there may be some infighting and some revelations made that undermine the public’s confidence in its state agencies, setting the stage for some ethics and administrative reforms in the 2017 legislature. I wouldn’t bet money on it, but its possible. I really hope so.