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FTA to grant Houston METRO $50 million for light-rail lines


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) intends to grant $50 million to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, (METRO) for development of the North and Southeast light-rail lines.

The FTA notified Congress this week of its intent. The grant recognizes the FTA’s growing confidence in the transit authority, said METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia in a prepared statement. METRO has been working closely with FTA since September, when the federal agency concluded that METRO had not followed appropriate procurement policies and procedures when it entered into a contract to buy 103 rail vehicles from CAF USA.

“The new METRO understands that the FTA is our partner, and so we adopted a more proactive, cooperative approach in working with them,” Garcia said. “The release of $50 million is a clear sign we’re moving in the right direction.”

Starting at the University of Houston, the 5.3-mile North line will connect with the Northline Transit Center, Houston Community College and Northline Mall Center. The six-mile Southeast line will connect downtown with local universities, including Texas Southern University and the University of Houston.

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More News from 12/17/2010