That next step is for the preliminary engineering phase for the University Line. METRO Chairman David Wolff says it will be a key segment of Houston's light rail system and in less than two decades should carry 49-thousand passengers a day.
"It will tie together the University of Houston, Texas Southern, Houston Community College's main campus, the University of St. Thomas, of course then Greenway Plaza going out to where we connect to the Uptown Line to go up Post Oak, through the Galleria area and go out to West Park."
Wolff says the next financial waypoint will be FTA's Record of Decision which is expected in about 60-days.
"Which enables us to go ahead and start surveying, work toward property acquisition and refining our costs."
But for now, says Wolff, this current FTA approval is seen as an indication that the feds thinks the University Line has merit and will be funded.
As far as projects underway go, Wolff says METRO is 30-to-45 days away from full funding grant agreements for the North and Southeast lines. Those lines are expected to be completed by 20-12 or 20-13 with the University Line within a year or so of that.