The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is shaping its first comprehensive regional plan since 2003, which could include more than $3 billion worth of projects.
At a Sept. 12 meeting, METRO’s board of directors reviewed the transit agency’s most recent preliminary plan, which includes funding for light rail extensions, bus rapid transit extensions and express bus services near downtown Houston.
Additionally, the draft plan includes two-way HOV lanes on major highways throughout the Greater Houston area. According to METRO documents, these projects would be completed with partnering entities, including the Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County Toll Road Authority, the city of Houston and various other special districts.
The preliminary plan also includes transit options to both the William P. Hobby Airport and the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
These projects include an estimated $1 billion addition of light rail services from the Fannin South Transit Center to William P. Hobby Airport, and an estimated $98 million to create express bus services from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to downtown Houston.
METRO is still forming the list of projects that will be included in the plan, as well as its total cost. At the Sept. 12 meeting, Carrin Patman, METRO board of directors chair, said the transit agency will share the plan with the public for feedback soon.
After hearing and viewing public feedback, METRO will make adjustments to the plan and release a final version next year. After finalizing the list of projects and costs, METRO plans to hold a bond election in November 2019 to fund the projects, Patman said.