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Congressman Green criticizes plan

Gets promise from Metro for rail lines

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) expressed concern over Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (Metro) revised Solutions Transit System Plan that was announced on Monday. Metro’s original November 2003 Referendum authorized a plan for the construction of four light rail routes throughout the City of Houston. The 2003 Referendum passed with a 52 percent vote.

“The necessary votes came from those that use public transportation the most,” said Congressman Green. “The north, east and south sides of Metro’s areas.”

“I am happy that Metro may receive Light Rail federal funding,” continued Congressman Green. “But we cannot ignore our transit user communities, which rely most heavily on public transportation to get to and from work and school. If you drive around Houston it’s as clear as night and day, when it comes to what areas of town use public transportation the most.”

The new plan would put train cars first on a route from the University of Houston across the city and ending at The Galleria. The rest of the lines (North, Harrisburg, Southeast) will receive Bus Rapid Transit, a train-like bus, that will then be replaced with light-rail.

Congressman Gene Green spoke with Metro Chairman David S. Wolff earlier today about his concerns with the new plan.

“Chairman Wolff has made a commitment to me, that the North Line and Harrisburg lines will not be left out of light rail,” said Congressman Green. “They will lay tracks as scheduled and through local and federal funds, we will get the train cars.”

“Chairman Wolff said that the UH-Galleria line is going to be the first line to get trains out of necessity by the Federal Transit Administration, not because of local politics,” said Congressman Green. “I will meet with the FTA in order to verify that.”

“The biggest problem with Metro is that they failed to inform the local elected officials of the details before they began acting as if it was agreed to,” continued Congressman Green. “Metro historically has a credibility problem with elected official and our constituents. I plan to meet with Metro leaders next week in Washington in order to get to the bottom of this.”