MetroRail construction continues, students get options
Construction continues around UH as Metro coordinates its next MetroRail project.
The MetroRail could ease the woes of distressed commuters, but not anytime soon.
“The rail will give students another option to move about. They can link to the existing Red Line, which connects patrons to 70-plus bus routes at or adjacent to the rail line, or transfer to the future Green Line and head East,” said Jerome Gray, senior press officer for Metro.
“Expanding the rail system gives the community more choices. Rather than get in a car and fight traffic, they can ride the rail, transfer to a bus and finish their trip on a bike — or whatever combination works for them — and let Metro do the driving.”
The project is expected to be completed in late 2014, said Metro spokeswoman Caroline Mendoza.
Mendoza said voters approved the Southeast Line in the 2003 referendum.
“It takes years to construct a project like this,” Gray said. “The Southeast Line is a partially federal-funded line. So before ground is broken, there are a lot of milestones to be reached in the federal process, like environmental studies and clearances, preliminary engineering work, final design and more. Construction on the Southeast Line began (in) January 2010.”
The total cost of the Southeast Line is $823 million, he said.
Metro expects the expansion project to have a positive influence on businesses and plans to coordinate on several campaigns with the University to increase awareness for students and faculty, Gray said.
“This will give the public more commuting options to patronize business, schools, visit entertainment venues, go to medical appointments or connect to the other rail lines or to the bus network and explore the city further using transit,” Gray said.
Prospective UH graduate student Diandre Watford is looking forward to the University’s access to the rail and thinks it will be great for students and those that don’t have a vehicle.
“I plan to begin the MBA program in the spring, and I would rather ride the line than drive. It will save gas and time with traffic in Houston. My only concern is the safety, if the line will be running at night,” Watford said.
Safety information will be posted on the gometrorail.org under driver safety and construction safety. The scheduled times the MetroRail will run have not been set. Students may go to ridemetro.org for more details.