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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Houston set to open two new light-rail routes next week


Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) next week will debut service on two new light-rail lines.

The 3.3-mile Green Line and the 6.6-mile Purple Line will begin running May 23, METRO officials said in a press release.

“This is a huge step forward for our region," said METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia in a prepared statement. "These two new lines will provide greater transit options and help spark development in the communities they serve."

The lines travel through Houston's downtown theater district, as well as nearby nightlife and entertainment centers. Each rail station will also feature the work of 22 artists showcasing the diversity of the communities served by the line, officials said.

The Green Line, also known as the East End Line, received $587 million in sales tax revenue, according to Houston Public Media. The Houston Chronicle reported the cost of the Purple Line at $823 million.

Originally, the projects were slated for completion in 2012, but a federal investigation delayed them to 2014. In late 2014, the date was pushed back once more to 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/13/2015