Transportation

Metro Delays Opening Of Houston’s Two New Light Rail Lines

Reasons for the delay include a water line break and faulty parts.

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Metro crews started testing the tracks last winter along the Southeast Line near the University of Houston.

Metro now says it won’t be able to open its new light rail lines before the end of the year.

The transit agency earlier announced it would open the new East End and Southeast Lines just before Christmas. Officials now say they don’t expect trains to roll before April 2015.

Reasons for the delay include reconstruction work after a water line break near Minute Maid Park. Metro also got some defective parts for one of its operating systems.

Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia says even though they said they’d have the trains running by the end of the year, the problems are out of their control. Garcia says they don’t know yet how much of a hit Metro’s revenues will take because of the delay, but they hope to recoup some of the costs from the companies that caused the problems.

“You know, that will be part of talking to these folks, to see how to make, all of us here, the taxpayers whole. But the long and short of it is, we want to get this system going,” Garcia says.

Metro’s board will talk about an exact schedule for opening the lines at next Thursday’s meeting.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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