Metro Announces a New Commuter Rail, and It Wants Your Input

The new train will chug around the dotted black lines.
The new train will chug around the dotted black lines.

If you commute from Fort Bend County to Houston, you may be in luck. Plans for a new commuter rail that will one day connect downtown Missouri City with Houston were set into motion today.

Kimberly Slaughter, Senior Vice President of Service Design & Development for Metro, unveiled the project's design at a press conference this morning. The train -- known clunkily as the US 90A/Southwest Rail Corridor -- will span eight miles from the Fannin South Station at the end of the Red Line to Beltway 8 in Missouri City.

But don't hold your breath. The rail is seven years and millions of dollars away.

Although Slaughter said costs are "completely conceptual" at this point, it's expected to cost at least $200 million. She said the train will be funded mostly from government grants and existing Federal Transit Administration money, and there's no plan to increase fares or taxes.

For now, all that Metro wants from you is your input. Four public forums will be held this month at various locations near the proposed train route. Attend, and you'll be able to tell Metro exactly what you think of the plan and its environmental impact.

"We're asking for everyone to come to the public meetings and tell us what other alternatives we should consider," Slaughter said.

Metro took the liberty of suggesting six alternatives of its own. Four include variations of light-rail construction, and one consists of ditching the affair entirely. (So basically, if you want this to happen, don't endorse any of the alternatives.)

Check out the meeting schedule here.

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