A letter from the Federal Transit Authority released this morning by the office of long-time light-rail derailer US representative John Culberson announces that the comatose plans for rail construction along Richmond Ave. have now lost eligibility for federal funding due to the project’s lack of major progress, reports Dug Begley for the Houston Chronicle.
Previous plans for the University Line show it running from the Wheeler Red Line station along Richmond to Cummins St., where a turn south would take the line down to Westpark Dr. before continuing out to the Hillcroft Transit Center just past 59 — connecting along the way to the also-stalled Uptown rail-turned-bus-line). The Richmond part of the route includes a 1.7 mile stretch west of S. Shepherd Dr. that falls in Culberson’s district; the rest of the route to Hillcroft falls within 7th district territory as well.
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Use It Or Lose It
JOHN CULBERSON TO METRO: STOP THIS TRAIN! After poring through financial documents on the Metro website that the organization’s chairman now says are outdated, Congressman John Culberson announces his opposition to federal funding for the light-rail University Line — because he’s concluded that Metro won’t be able to afford it: “Culberson filed a formal objection with the Federal Transit Authority late Tuesday, ahead of a deadline today for members of Congress to file any concerns. Otherwise the FTA would have given Metro the nod to begin preliminary engineering work on the line. Part of the 10-mile route lies within Culberson’s congressional district. FTA spokesman Paul Griffo said the agency retains the final say. ‘It is not a process that requires explicit congressional approval or disapproval,’ Griffo said. ‘The FTA will keep Mr. Culberson’s concerns in mind, as we do the concerns of all elected officials, as projects advance through our evaluation process.’” [Houston Chronicle; more detail in the River Oaks Examiner]