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8/21/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Houston's METRO schedules Nov. 6 referendum for mobility program


The board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) has approved a ballot measure regarding its future “General Mobility Program” (GMP) for the Nov. 6 election.

On Aug. 17, the board agreed to put before voters a proposal that would continue the program in its current form, allocating a quarter of is 1-cent sales tax to its 16 member jurisdictions. However, allocations will be capped at 2014 levels and any growth in revenue beyond the sales tax portion will be split evenly between METRO and other jurisdictions from October 2014 to December 2025, METRO officials said in a prepared statement.

“This proposal will focus on two things: increased ridership and fiscal responsibility,” said METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “The transit agency will be able to enhance our bus service and reduce short-term debt on the balance sheet.”

The proposition also calls for another election to be held before Dec. 31, 2025, to address whether METRO should continue support of the GMP.

METRO’s GMP was established to enhance regional mobility and ease traffic congestion through the funding of certain infrastructure and maintenance projects.


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