METRO officially UH-bound

The final approval on University light rail line was announced by METRO when they had received a Record of Decision, the final phase needed to go ahead with the 19-station project. | Kendra Berglund/The Daily Cougar

The Houston Metro received a federal Record of Decision concerning the University light rail line’s environmental review process, the final green light of approval for the 11.3-mile project.

The approval allows Metro to go forward with its plans for matters such as pre-construction and utility coordination of the project.

“The ROD allows METRO to continue with design, which will refine details. The basic alignment of the route is finalized as defined by the (Final Environment Impact Statement),” senior media specialist for METRO Solutions Margaret O’Brien-Molina said. “METRO will continue to work with communities along the corridor to make specific refinements as the engineering and design advances.”

The Federal Transit Administration will be renewing community outreach programs in an effort to engage the public in the project.

“The FTA’s decisions affirms the NEW METRO approach to working with Houstonians for the best regional transit solutions. It also validates years of hard work, reaching out to communities and institutions like the University of Houston trying to find the best approach to mobility,” President & Chief Executive Officer of METRO George Greanias said.

The University light rail will stretch between the Hillcroft and Eastwood Transit Centers, including a stop at UH — one of the 19 stations included in the transit plan.  Other stops include Greenway Plaza, the University of St. Thomas and Texas Southern University.

The University light rail line is part of a five line rail plan that includes the North, East End, Uptown and Southeast lines. While the Uptown line is in the design phase, the North, East End and Southeast line are under construction.

“The University line will serve as a critical link in the future of this campus as it brings students and faculty together for the purpose of education,” Greanias said. “We at NEW METRO can’t think of a better way to serve the community.”

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