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METRO Hopes For A Strong Advocate In Congress With Lizzie Fletcher’s Election

Fletcher’s opponent John Culberson long fought plans for a proposed rail line on Richmond Avenue.

Candidate Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who is running to represent the Texas 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, was interviewed on Houston Matters on Sept. 11, 2018.

METRO Chairman Carrin Patman said she thinks Lizzie Fletcher will be a huge help as the agency moves ahead with a new regional transit plan.

On Tuesday’s midterm election, Democrat Fletcher defeated longtime Republican Congressman John Culberson, who for years fought METRO’s efforts to put a light rail line on Richmond Avenue.

In 2015, Culberson struck an agreement with former METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia, stating the agency wouldn’t move ahead with a Richmond rail line without a voter referendum. In return, Culberson would help seek additional funds for the transportation agency.

A train in the shared use lane at Dryden.

But what does Fletcher’s election mean for any Richmond rail plans?

Patman said for cost reasons they’re now considering bus rapid transit for the Richmond corridor, to help provide better connections between downtown and The Galleria. But she added that project would also require help from Washington, D.C.

“Just as we built two of the three rail lines with a federal match, we will need federal money to help implement our expanded transit in the region,” explained Patman.

During her campaign, Fletcher said she wanted to partner with METRO and other agencies to bring additional transportation resources to Houston.

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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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