Transportation

Opening Of Houston’s New Light Rail Lines Only Weeks Away

Crews are out along Houston’s new light rail lines making final adjustments ahead of next month’s scheduled opening which will allow riders to travel directly into downtown from southeast Houston and the East End.

Testing is underway along the Southeast Line at the Palm Center Station on Griggs at MLK
Testing is underway along the Southeast Line at the Palm Center Station on Griggs at MLK.

 

Crews are out along Houston’s new light rail lines, making final adjustments ahead of next month’s scheduled opening.

The new segments will add about ten miles to the current system, allowing riders to travel directly into downtown from southeast Houston and the East End.

For a while now, light rail trains have been a common sight along Harrisburg in the East End and MLK to the southeast. But the trains can’t start picking up passengers until they go through about a month and a half of what’s called “pre-revenue operations.”

They’re basically rehearsing a typical day. Metro Chief Operating Officer Andy Skabowski says they’re also looking for potential problems.

Metro-is-testing-trains-in-downtown-Houston-where-three-light-rail-lines-meet.jpg
Metro is testing trains in downtown Houston where three light rail lines meet.

“We work to make sure our timing with the intersections is correct. We work out how we stop at different stations and the timing of that. We work out the schedules that we’re going to be running on,” Skabowski explains.

And while crews are testing the rails, Stakeholder Affairs Representative Antoine Bryant has been talking to people in the community about how to use the system.

“This is an opportunity to connect residents directly to downtown, as well as to a lot of our major locations. So now they have another travel venue, another travel opportunity, in addition to driving their cars,” Bryant says.  

Metro originally said it would open the rail lines late last year, but there were issues with a broken water line downtown, along with some faulty parts. The new opening date is now set for May 23. 

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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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