Here’s a little handy graphic from Mayor Parker’s Metro transition task force, identifying what the team considers “major unresolved design issues” in the planned East End, Southeast, University, and Uptown light-rail lines. Attempts to resolve all 6 of them appear to be “bogged down” at the Metro staff level, according to the task force committee. Each problem might delay construction or increase cost, and each has already been “actively discussed” for at least a year.
What are they?
Oh, and then there’s this little bit about finding the money to build it all:
As long as Metro can resolve issues with the city concerning payments from its General Mobility Program, “funding appears sufficient” for the North, Southeast, and East End lines, the task force’s funding structure committee reports. But:
Hurdles remain for funding of the five line system. Funding threshold for five line[s] gets easier if Uptown line is delayed/deleted.
“We know there will be sufficient funding to build three new rail lines” were the words Mayor Parker chose to use at a press conference yesterday where she introduced her choices for 5 new members of the Metro board and released the task force reports. “However, hurdles remain for funding a five line system. I am committed to five lines, but we may need to proceed in phases.”
A press release from the mayor’s office adds:
The Obama Administration’s budget proposal currently includes $900 million in federal funding for the North and Southeast Light Rail Lines. The East End Line, the only line already under construction, and the Uptown Line are to be funded locally. The University Line will also require federal funding. The current best guess estimate of when that funding might be approved is 2014.
- Task force finds ‘hurdles’ funding 5 light rail lines [Bellaire Examiner]
- Fed transportation secretary wants new leadership for Houston Metro, mayor says [Texas Watchdog]
- Mayor Annise Parker Names Five New Metro Appointees / Releases Metro Transition Team Reports [Mayor’s Office]
- Previously on Swamplot: Getting Around the East Downtown Soccer Blockstopper
Graphic: Light Rail Punchlist Committee, Mayor’s Transition Task Force on the Metropolitan Transit Authority