Houston light rail is already said to be the most successful in the country
"Ladies and gentleman, introducing the next generation of light rail — Metro Rail 2.0."
It was a big kick-off complete withÎ¾TV monitors, drinks, and all the politicians who've played a role in bringing light rail to Houston. METRO's chairman David Wolf started by talking about the way the rail system will bring communities closer.
"These light rail lines will connect our communities in ways they have never been connected before. They will provide improved access to jobs, to healthcare and to the educational institutions which are so important to our city."
(sound of train crossing)
METRO's Red line has been running for a few years now. But it's estimated that between now and the year 2025 another 2 million people will call Houston home. Congressman Gene Green told the crowd more people will only mean more traffic and unless changes are made now.
"We need something other than buses. We need light rail and ultimately heavy rail Î¾to move folks into the central business district or into our corridors where we have jobs that are there, whether it be in the medical center or the Greenspoint area or anywhere else in the county."
The Metro Light Rail system is said to be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the city's history. Right now there is a hundred and fifty-million dollars in the president's budget with Houston Light rail's name on it. Congressional leaders including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson all say they'll work hard to make sure that money stays in the budget. Mayor Bill White says this is about giving the people of Houston more options.
"More choices, more affordable choices of how we get mobility in this community, so that we can grow and be a city of opportunity without just being stuck in traffic."
After the politicians gave their speeches, there was a countdown... then a curtain dropped, confetti fell from the ceiling and there was a life size model of a light rail car. The real cars should be running by end of 2012. Bill Stamps KUHF Houston public radio news.