4

METRORail Update: When Are the New Lines Going to Start Running?

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

The expansion of METRORail has at times felt to be moving at a snail's pace, but progress is being made and it appears that all three of the new lines -- plus the extended "downtown" line -- will be in place by the end of 2014, including one much sooner.

A few weeks ago, our photographer Groovehouse took some shots of the light rail downtown at night. As is evident through his photos and through the downtown road construction, there is still a lot to be done, particularly downtown, but the same cannot be said for the North Line.

According to the METRORail Web site, the North Line, which extends the existing Red Line from UH Downtown north to Northline Mall, will be open by December of this year. The remaining work to landscaping and stops along the line is almost complete. Take a drive down Fulton and you will see the substantial progress.

The East End Line, which runs through downtown past Minute Maid Park and the George R. Brown Convention Center down Harrisburg is the next furthest along with 100 percent of road work done and 41 percent of the finishing touches to the stations and landscaping. That line actually splits into the Southeast Line just past downtown, which then runs out to the University of Houston.

The Southeast Line is the next most completed portion, but it still has some roadwork and guideway work ahead before getting to the finishing touches. The remaining portion is what METRO is referring to as the "Downtown Line," but is, in reality, just a small stretch from Main Street west to the Theater District. That has the most work to go, not surprising given the heavily trafficked part of downtown it crosses.

The good news is that while no specific dates have been set for the opening of the remaining portions after the North Line, it appears Houston is just about a year away from a much more comprehensive rail system in and around downtown. If they could just figure out how to get the University and Uptown Lines built, we could finally argue that we have legitimately usable mass transit, at least inside the Loop.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.