UH will become more accessible to visitors and students not only since Metro received a $188 million grant, but also as the city of Houston continues its project to connect main campus to the Energy Research Park on Gulf Freeway.
The pathway is funded in part by the $15 million Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grant which was given to the city of Houston by the U.S. Department Transportation in late June. More recently, Houston Metro’s funding comes from the entirety of its grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Out of the $188 million in funds, the North and Southeast lines will each receive $94 million.
The most exciting part of the ERP pathway is its proximity to the new light rail line, traveling from the corner of Calhoun and Wheeler to the ERP and continuing the already existent Brays Bayou Trail, thereby aiding in student transport.
“The intent is to then tie our part to the main campus and the main linkage with be the new multimodal hub at the corner of Calhoun and Wheeler which is associated with garage 1A,” said Sean York, UH’s director of real estate.
“And there’s also a main transit hub there, Metro train station will be located there.”
By the time this transit center is complete, projected at January 2014, it will serve as an area that will accommodate the Welcome Center Garage, Garage 1A — which will house Hertz Connect cars, a Metrorail train station, a UH shuttle stop and possibly a bike sharing program.
“Probably the most exciting aspect is its link to the Metro light rail,” said Robert Browand, director of Parking and Transportation Services.
“Expectations are high that the rail will be a great asset to the UH community and we feel the development of this pathway along with the multimodal center at the new garage will play a big role in meeting those expectations.”
The USDT-funded pathway will also tie together the UH community as it will further the cohesiveness and excitement that the Metro project will begin.
“This would also not only link the main campus to the park and all the facilities that we have here that focus on energy research and education, but would also be able to link the students and faculty to future recreational opportunities that might exist out here in that back acreage,” York said.