There’s still “some uncertainty” over the exact schedule, but all the pieces needed to allow Metro to open Houston’s second and third light-rail lines won’t be in place until late December, according to reports delivered to a committee of the transportation organization’s board of directors last Friday. Previously, an opening date sometime this fall had been projected for the Southeast and East End linesÂ (though the far eastern end of the East End line won’t come on line until a newly planned overpass is built
underÂ over the Union Pacific East Belt freight rail line between the future Altic and Cesar Chavez stations). Delays in the delivery of trains aren’t the sole reason for the late openings, however.
The contractor building the lines won’t be ready to turn over the completed tracks until September 30th to Metro, which will then need approximately 60 days to prepare for their operation. Other factors affecting the schedule: delivery of hundreds of newly redesigned axle counters to monitor train traffic on the rail lines, and construction of Houston First’s new Marriott Marquis hotel next to the downtown convention center.
Photo of new station at Palm Transit Center on Southeast Line: Metro