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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis December 2, 2011
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Metro Inks Houstonís First-Ever Full Funding Grants for Light Rail

Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Metro) will receive $900 million in federal funds for light rail expansion under two Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) awarded during a Nov. 28 signing ceremony. Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, joined elected officials and Metro representatives at the event, held at a rail expansion construction site overlooking downtown Houston.

According to Metro President and Chief Executive Officer George Greanias: “The $900 million federal grants more than double the local dollars being used to construct the 5.3-mile North (Red) extension and the 6.6-mile Southeast (Purple) Line and mark the first time rail projects here have received FFGAs. This is a great example of how we can leverage our local dollars to improve mobility in the region.”

Each of the lines will receive $450 million through its FFGA; the total construction cost for the two lines is $1.6 billion. The federal government has already set aside $484.5 million for the two projects as part of the FFGAs, of which Metro has received $84.5 million. The transit agency expects to continue receiving the federal funding over the next few years.

The rail expansion approved by Houston voters in 2003 includes the North (Red) Line and extends the current Main Street Line, starting at University of Houston-Downtown to the Northline Transit Center, Houston Community College, and Northline Commons Mall. The Southeast (Purple) Line connects downtown with local universities including Texas Southern University and the University of Houston central campus. Metro expects to complete construction of the two federally funded lines, along with the locally funded East End (Green) Line, by 2014.


FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff, seated center, signs the FFGA for Houston Metro, accompanied by Metro President and CEO George Greanias, left, and Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia. Standing, from left, are Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Al Green (D-TX); Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).


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