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7/3/2001



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Houston Metro wins another court battle for light rail


Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, received a confirmatory pat on the back June 28 when the Texas Supreme Court denied the Petition for Review filed in the Todd vs. Metro case disputing whether Metro had the right to build a light-rail system on city streets.



In January, Houston Metro had planned to break ground on its $300 million, 7.5-mile light-rail starter line, but cancelled it following a lawsuit filed by City Councilman Rob Todd, a temporary retraining order issued by Judge Tony Lindsay and an injunction issued by District Judge John Devine.



Several weeks later, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas ruled that the trial court "erred in its application of the law to the undisputed facts." Houston Metro broke ground March 13.



The recent decision further affirms Metro’s legal right to proceed with the project.



"This is an important victory for Metro and one more time establishes our right to implement the region’s first light rail system," said Metro President and Chief Executive Officer Shirley DeLibero in a prepared statement. "And this reaffirms that the Houston City Council followed the proper section of the city charter when approving an agreement allowing us to use city streets to build the rail line."


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