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Congressman Al Green, Elected Officials and METRO spur commuter rail expansion

Congressman Al Green meets with elected officials and METRO representatives to spur the expansion of commuter rail in Southwest Houston

Congressman Al Green (TX-09) recently met with Houston-area elected officials, as well as representatives of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to discuss the development of an action plan to implement the U.S. 90A Corridor. The proposed passageway would connect downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center with Missouri City and other cities located in Fort Bend County.

The meeting included mayors Allen Owen of Missouri City, Leonard Scarcella of Stafford, and Joe Gurecky of Rosenberg, along with Fort Bend County Commissioners Richard Morrison and Grady Prestage. Representatives of the City of Houston and METRO were also present.

Passed in 2003, the U.S. 90A Corridor plan was approved by voters as part of a METRO Solutions referendum. The proposal would establish a commuter rail line of approximately 8 miles that would run through the counties of Harris and Fort Bend. Both Harris and Fort Bend County, which comprise the 9th Congressional District of Texas, are represented by U.S. Congressman Al Green.

During his presentation, METRO’s President and CEO, Frank Wilson, explained the status of the project as “shovel ready” and specified that this new commuter rail line would transport residents of Missouri City and its surrounding areas to the Medical Center in less than 30 minutes with trains traveling at a top speed of 66 mph.

METRO estimates the cost of the project at $207 million and projects that ridership would be 12,000 in the opening year —which would be the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars of off the road— increasing to 23,000 by 2030.

“This project has been discussed for many years and we hope to get traction with it because it would mean jobs at a time of high unemployment,” commented Congressman Green.

Green continued, “the U.S. 90A Corridor has all the potential to be enormously beneficial for the residents of Southwest Houston and its surrounding areas because it would provide them with a reliable alternative to travel to the city and, especially, to the Texas Medical Center. Moreover, it is environmentally friendly because it would use electric trains and, to a certain extent, it would even reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

According to Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi, President, CEO and COO of the Texas Medical Center, “This project would not only help the thousands of employees of the Texas Medical Center, but also patients and their families, students, and many others.”

In the coming weeks, Congressman Green plans to meet with other stakeholders and public officials to discuss the ways in which the U.S. 90A Corridor can become a reality.

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