Agreement Could Mean New Rail Options For Houston Commuters

May. 18, 2015Houston Public Media

The agreement settles a long-running dispute between Metro and Congressman John Culberson, who’s been a vocal opponent of the proposed University rail line on Richmond Avenue.

Under that agreement, Metro agrees not to do the Richmond project unless voters approve it.

In turn, Culberson says he’s seek federal funds for a commuter rail line along Highway 90A, a long-studied project that would bring people in from the west.

“Our first responsibility as public officials is to ensure that the will of the voters is always followed, that we’re being good stewards of our constituents’ hard-earned tax dollars,” says Culberson.

There’s no indication right now as to when Metro would move ahead with the Richmond line, but Chairman Gilbert Garcia says he doesn’t have a problem with putting it up for a vote.

“We have already exhausted our borrowing authority. So we would need to go back to the voters. And so to me, it makes good government, good public policy, if you borrow the money to let people know what the money’s for,” says Garcia.

The agreement comes as Metro opens two new light rail lines on Saturday.

The Southeast line was funded in part with federal money, while the East End line was paid for with local tax revenues.