Federal Transit Administration

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2011

    George Greanias, CEO of Metro: Metro Out to Prove It's Not "Evil and Stupid"

    Metro CEO George Greanias wants to make a transfer right into your heart.​When Metro trains are broken, they chug into the rail operating center on West Bellfort to be fixed. But today inside the vast concrete warehouse, repairs of a different sort were first on Metro's mind. Metro president ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2011

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

    METROThe new train will chug around the dotted black lines.​If you commute from Harris 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 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2010

    Metro Settles Its Differences With Its "Buy American" Spanish Railcar-Provider

    Metro closes one more chapter from the Frank Wilson era. ​While the crowd over at the "new" Metro has worked to settle in and push its new image, one of the big things hanging over its head was possible litigation from Spanish rail car company CAF. If you haven't followed the story: When stuff rea ... More >>

  • News

    November 25, 2010

    2010 Turkeys of the Year

    Metro chief Frank Wilson is our biggest gobbler.

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2010

    Two Versions Of The Chron's Bill White Story Out There: The Houston One Is Nicer

    Two cities, two versions of a story​The Houston Chronicle did its Bill White's Houston Legacy story today, and it was picked up online by the Dallas Morning News.It had the same writer in the byline, and the stories were essentially the same. But there are subtle differences between what showed u ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2010

    Big Stop Sign On Metro's Light Rail Projects

    Photo by Bryan WilliamsMetro's light rail expansion plans are slowing down. Big time. ​More bad news, at least for people hoping for more light rail in Houston, came from Metro headquarters this morning when the agency's president, George Greanias, announced that the light rail expansion budget fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    Metro Tackles Huge Budget Gap...By Getting Rid Of Some Office Printers?

    Metro promises to maintain service levels despite cutting its budget by 31 percent. ​At a Metro board meeting this morning, Metro's president and CEO, George Greanias, gave his first formal presentation about what's in store for the agency's 2011 budget, which should be drafted and complete by the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2010

    Walmart Tagged, Metro Gets Spotlight At City Council

    At least one city council member asked Metro if it's time to re-evaluate certain plans. ​At a Houston City Council meeting that was supposed to clear up a few things about a planned Walmart development near the Heights, Metro, and its financial mess, ended up being the issue of the morning. Counci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Metro Gets Bit By The "Buy American" Rule

    An FTA ruling concerning light rail cars purchased from Spanish company CAF puts a whole lot of money in jeapordy for Metro. ​Metro has received just about the worst news possible: The Federal Transit Administration's "Buy American" investigation found that Metro did, in fact, violate federal guid ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2010

    George Greanias Lays The Groundwork For Metro's Tough Upcoming Budget Decisions

    Starting September 8, the Metro board will have 20 days to review and approve the agency's 2011 budget. ​September is a big month for Metro. It's when the board will start to publicly discuss and plan its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. There are only 20 days between the first budget presenta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Metro: E-Mails Show How Not To Negotiate To Buy Rail Cars

    Other companies wanted to give Metro a better deal before it signed a deal with CAF, but Metro decided to say, more or less, nothing. ​Frank Wilson, Metro's former president, might be considered old news, but the decisions he made, and more importantly the contracts he signed, continue to linger. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2010

    Gregory Clark: Metro Driver Fired For Drinking Before A Fatal Crash

    After a Metro wrecker driver, Gregory Clark, hit a car, he failed a drug and alcohol test. ​On Tuesday, a Metro wrecker hit a car on the south side of the city, sending the two passengers in the car, including a 64-year-old woman, to Memorial Hermann hospital. According to a Metro press release ab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Metro's University Line: Start Digging?

    Plans for Metro's University Line are one step closer to complete. ​Metro released news yesterday that the Federal Transit Administration has officially approved an environmental impact review of the University light rail line, giving Metro the authority to start buying land along the planned 11.3 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2010

    Metro Takes Several More Steps To Distance Itself From Frank Wilson

    The Sweetheart Contract bus may have made its last run​The buzzword around Metro is "new."A recent press release from the agency, for example, promoted "New Metro's" standards, and at this morning's board meeting, the agency's president, George Greanias, talked about the same New Metro.And it did ... More >>

  • News

    June 17, 2010

    A Rail Issue

    METRO responds to our cover story, at length.

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2010

    Metro Responds To Our "Train Wreck" Article; We Respond To Their Response

    Metro ain't happy with us​Last week's cover story didn't go over too well at Metro; maybe that's not too surprising since it was entitled "Train Wreck: How Metro and it's president Frank Wilson got so far off track."George Smalley, the agency's head of communications and marketing, responded ... More >>

  • News

    May 27, 2010

    Train Wreck

    How Metro and its president Frank Wilson got so far off track.

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2010

    Frank Wilson Survival Watch: Down Goes Wilson!!! Down Goes Wilson!!

    ​Today's installment of the Frank Wilson Survival Watch is our last -- the Metro president announced his resignation at a meeting this afternoon -- but that doesn't mean Wilson is completely dead to Metro. He's still got quite a bit of cash coming to him, thanks to generous contract stipulations t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2010

    Frank Wilson Survival Watch, Day 4: The County Judge Doesn't Weigh In

    ​How long will the embattled Metro president last? Hair Balls presents today's installment of the Frank Wilson Survival Watch. 1. Ed Emmett won't muddy the Frank Wilson waters. Yet. Along with appointing two members to Metro's Board of Directors, there's no question that the county has a stake in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    Frank Wilson Survival Watch, Day 3: Spanish Bombs

    ​How long will the embattled Metro president last? Hair Balls presents today's installment of the Frank Wilson Survival Watch. 1. The Federal Transit Administration sends Frank Wilson a damning letter. Dorval Carter, the FTA's chief counsel, alerted Wilson at the end of last week that the feds are ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2010

    Frank Wilson Survival Watch, Day One: He Just Keeps Us Hanging On

    ​In the last several months, things could not have gone worse for Metro president Frank Wilson. When Annise Parker was elected mayor, it seemed only a matter of time before Wilson was ousted from the agency. Parker was critical of Metro during her campaign, and her criticism continued after the el ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2010

    Metro, Investigate Thyself

    ​The Metro board called a special meeting yesterday afternoon to hold a private executive session to discuss attorney Lloyd Kelley's lawsuit against Metro, which deals with all that alleged document shredding. But the board also used the opportunity to release the findings from UHY Advisors, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2010

    An Open Letter To Metro Spokesman George Smalley

    ​Fans of the ongoing Metro drama may want to check out the beleaguered agency's response to an April 15 KHOU story on allegations that Metro submitted outdated financial projections to the Federal Transit Administration. According to the text preceding the video, the story was "dist ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2010

    It's Not Turning Into A Good Month For Metro

    ​If the paper-shredding scandal were not enough ... it seems the Metropolitan Transit Authority aka Metro has more problems than it can handle.Remember the rail lines approved by voters in 2003 ... yeah that 2003 when Michael Jordan was still playing basketball and YouTube did not exist? Well, se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2009

    The Deathmatch Between Metro And John Culberson Continues

    ​Congressman John Culberson didn't say much today when he released his response to Metro's response to a letter Culberson sent the Federal Transit Administration earlier this week, questioning Metro's ability to pay for a planned $1.5 billion University rail line. About the only thing Culberson ac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    Who Lied During The Dispute Over How Much The New Rail Lines Would Cost? Maybe No One

    ​We may finally have some answers to the questions that emerged after it was reported that Metro lied about the cost of two proposed light rail corridors. During a Metro meeting in April, Houstonian Paul Magaziner told the board that the projects would cost $1.8 billion. Frank Wilson, Metro's pres ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2009

    Metro Still Has To Prove To The Feds It's Not Screwing Low-Income Riders

    Photo by pfrench99​The Federal Transit Administration released its final report on Metro's compliance -- and non-compliance -- with federal civil rights laws, and according to the report, Metro is still deficient in two areas, including not being able to prove that its November 2008 fare increase ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2009

    Metro's Latest Civil Rights Trainwreck

    A couple months back, we wrote about Metro receiving notification from the Federal Transit Administration, saying Metro had violated federal civil rights laws, but we hadn't seen a draft of the preliminary report. Now we have, and, apparently, Metro hasn't been too concerned with the federal laws. A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2009

    Feds Say Metro Has Violated Civil Rights Laws (Without Specifics)

    We reported yesterday on things looking up for Metro, but today Hair Balls learned that our transit authority is violating the federal government's definition of civil rights. According to a letter dated April 27, the Federal Transit Administration conducted a Title VI Compliance Review of Metro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2009

    Feds All But OK Funding For Two More Light-Rail Lines, Costing Whatever

    Photo by pfrench99More news -- good or bad depending on your side of the fence -- about Metro's planned light-rail lines came today when board chairman David Wolff announced that Metro has all but got its first funding agreement from the Federal Transit Administration.For 2010, the feds listed the N ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2008
  • News

    February 15, 2007

    This Blows!

    Houston has a national rep for taking down buildings. So why are these eyesores still standing?

  • News

    April 13, 2006
  • News

    November 6, 2003