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  1. METRORapid University Corridor Project Join us at the public meetings listed below to learn more about the METRORapid University Project, ask the project team questions, and provide input. We look forward to meeting you! Tuesday, July 12 Meeting #1 Meeting will be held at the Chinese Community Center. 6-8 p.m. 9800 Town Park Drive Houston, Texas, 77036 Meeting #2 Meeting will be held at the Emancipation Park Conservancy Cultural Center. 6-8 p.m. 3018 Emancipation Avenue Houston, Texas, 77004 Wednesday, July 13 Meeting #3 Meeting will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston in the Greenway Ballroom. 6-8 p.m. 6 E Greenway Plaza Houston, Texas, 77046 Meeting #4 Meeting will be held at the BakerRipley Ripley House (Gymnasium). 6-8 p.m. 4410 Navigation Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77011 Thursday, July 14 Meeting #5 Meeting will be held at the Wisdom High School (Auditorium). 4:30-6:30 p.m. 6529 Beverly Hill Street Houston, Texas, 77057 Meeting #6 Meeting will be held at Houston Community College, Felix Fraga Academic Campus. (Facilitated in Spanish / facilitado en español.) 6-8 p.m. 301 N Drennan Street Houston, Texas, 77003 Saturday, July 16 Meeting #7 Meeting will be held at the Julia C. Hester House. 9:30-11:30 a.m. 2020 Solo St Houston, Texas, 77020 Monday, July 18 Meeting #8 Meeting will be held at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center. 6-8 p.m. 3611 Ennis Street Houston, Texas, 77004 Wednesday, July 20 Meeting #9 Meeting will be held at Houston Community College – Central Campus in the WW Harmon Building – Room WWH 100 (green building located on the corner of Holman and Caroline). 6-8 p.m. 1300 Holman Street Houston, Texas, 77004 Thursday, July 21 Meeting #10 Meeting will be held at the Northeast Multi-Service Center. 6-8 p.m. 9720 Spaulding Street Houston, Texas, 77016 Monday, July 25 Virtual Meeting #11 Meeting is virtual, and will be recorded and posted online afterward. The meeting link will be provided a few days before the meeting. 6-7 p.m.
  2. Trains coming south from the Northline Transit Center (the planned terminus of the first extension) not be able to continue onto the existing Main St. line as currently planned and complete their trip at the Fannin South Park and Ride. People going between the north side and Medical Center will have to transfer trains. And, with a new technology, that means probably another expensive train barn and maintenance facility will have to be built, or major modifications will have to be made to the train barn at Fannin South, along with a connector line between it and the "new technology" lines. That just adds to the cost of extending the system.
  3. Renderings finally posted in another topic. Very exciting. http://s.lnimg.com/attachments/A55B766C-A6A3-49E0-8EF2-BCB5680D4D1E.pdf
  4. Metro unveiled their Preliminary Long Term Vision for Projects through 2040 on Thursday July, 2018 at the MetroNext Board Workshop. Perliminary Long Term Vision (discussed at the 17:30 mark) - Pretty much a pipe dream and estimated to Cost $35 Billion - 100 miles of Light Rail (to both IAH and Hobby, Inner Katy Line to High Speed Rail Station at Northwest Mall) - 90 Miles of BRT Forward Plan A (discussed at the 1:03:00 mark) is the more optimistic plan with the Metro receiving higher funding levels - 12 miles of Light Rail (Red & Purple Extensions to Hobby; Red line extension to Tidwell) - 34 miles of BRT (University Line, Inner Katy, Uptown Extension) Forward Plan B (discussed at the 1:22:00 mark) is the pessimistic plan with Metro receiving lower funding levels - 1 mile of Light Rail (Red line extension to Tidwell) - 11 miles of BRT (Inner Katy, Uptown Extension) Video http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1651
  5. METRO to launch pilot program opening high-occupancy vehicle, toll lanes on weekends
  6. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/m...politan/2915259 Nov. 23, 2004, 1:23AM Uprooted tree severs MetroRail power line By MIKE GLENN Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Heavy rainstorms uprooted a tree at Hermann Park tonight, severing a MetroRail power line when the tree fell across the southbound tracks. The tree snapped the cable about 8:45 p.m. near the Hermann Park/Rice University station along Fannin near Sunset. No one was injured. Metro Police Sgt. Herbert Darby said the tree would have to be removed from the tracks before the line can be repaired and power restored to the system. "It's a pretty good-sized tree," Darby said. Kerry Vick of Victoria and about 10 other MetroRail passengers were stranded for about 90 minutes when their southbound train suddenly lost power. Vick, who is scheduled to fly to South Carolina Tuesday to begin Army basic training, wasn't upset about about the delay. "Stuff happens. You can never be too safe when you're messing with electricity," he said. "I'd much rather be stalled than for them to let somebody come off and be hurt." A Metro bus was later called to ferry Vick and the other passengers to their final destinations. The line is expected to be repaired early this morning, officials said.
  7. I was looking through Metro's website for updates on MetroNext, and found this powerpoint from a meeting that apparently happened about a week ago. According to the presentation, the whole project is already funded through the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Improvement Program (and as I understand it, the root of much of that money is TXDOT), and the first public meeting is happening by the end of February. We've already seen preliminary designs for the two middle stations, and the whole thing seems pretty straightforward. It's the only major project from MetroNext that's under the "in progress" category . . . anyone think we'll see ground breaking this year?
  8. Any remodels or upgrades planned? I know this is very busy during Rodeo times. https://www.ridemetro.org/pages/TC-WestLoop.aspx
  9. Huge project registered with TDLR. Glad to see this!
  10. The old Amegy parking lot across the street is now closed. The surface lot west of it is still being used by people working at MTA building. I wonder what the plans are for this?
  11. Noticed this on instagram this week. Do we have a thread on this?
  12. Guest

    METRORail Green Line

    Public Meeting Date: Thursday, April 27, 2006 Time: 6 - 8 p.m. Location: Magnolia Multi Service Center Address: 7037 Capitol Purpose This is a follow-up from the previous meeting held on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at the same location. In this meeting METRO staff and consulting team will discuss preliminary findings, contruction concerns, alignment/right-of-way details, and ridership projections. The meeting is being held in a wheelchair-accessible location. Any persons requiring translation or other special communication accommodations should contact METRO Community Outreach at 713-739-4018 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate these needs. I can't make it, unfortunately. If anyone attends this, please let us know what corridor looks the most likely, as this Harrisburg line might be the most influential in terms of development in the entire city, as the area is so fertile for redevelopment with little opposition. I would love to see a bold move and run it down Navigation and help to speed up the conversion of that Ninfa's area into a great residential/retail/recreation zone. Harrisburg Blvd. is fine too, but there are better tracts of real estate in that zone towards the bayou and I'm thinking that all trains crossing Navigation pass over or under the street. Navigation is a cool name for a neighborhood too.
  13. https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/TC-FanninSouth.aspx Notice of Variance Request spotted today.
  14. EXCLUSIVE REPORTS From the January 28, 2005 print edition First effort calls for mixed-use project over transit center Jennifer Dawson Houston Business Journal The Metropolitan Transit Authority's first venture into stimulating real estate development along light rail is geared toward putting a mixed-use project on an existing transit center. Todd Mason's initial mission as a recently appointed Metro vice president is to identify private developers who might be interested in constructing a high-rise project for possible retail, restaurant, condo or medical office tenants over the TMC Transit Center at Fannin and Pressler. The Texas Medical Center site doubles as a combination light rail stop and terminal where buses pick up and drop off passengers. Mason plans on sending a request for qualifications to hundreds of developers within the next two months. His goal is to find a list of prospects with the capability and experience to handle such a significant project on the 4.5-acre site. Metro gained full-time access to Mason's services by signing a five-year, $2 million contract with McDade Smith Gould Johnston Mason + Co. The real estate firm's name principal and chief financial officer occupies an office in Metro's new downtown headquarters, where his duties include promoting commercial development on or near Metro properties and handling all of Metro's real estate holdings. Mason's description of his job would apply more to a for-hire contractor than a full-time employee. "Metro has outsourced their real estate department to me," Mason says. "The primary goal is to take their transit centers and park-and-ride lots that have real estate value beyond a parking lot, and get them into the private sector for joint venture-type deals." Open for ideas The inaugural effort to put a mixed-use project on a Medical Center transit hub could determine the feasibility and direction of future Metro real estate development. While hundreds will receive requests for qualifications, Mason expects to be dealing with a select few. "What I hope is we can narrow it down to six or less truly qualified developers," he says. Metro would then conduct one-on-one negotiations to see what sort of deals could be structured with various developers. Mason hopes to make a final selection for the project by June. The TMC Transit Center project is wide open for development ideas at this point. Metro may do a ground lease or sell air rights to a developer, Mason says. Or the transit agency could enter into a joint venture with a developer on the project. One likely prospect is the Morgan Group Inc., a Houston-based apartment builder with experience in developing transit-related projects in California. Company CEO Michael Morgan says the Metro project sounds interesting, but unless incentives are offered it might be difficult to turn a profit. "The Med Center is a good market, but everything is rent-sensitive," Morgan explains. "Land prices have gotten so high that it's very hard to make apartment numbers work any more." Mason points out that Metro may be able to help make the numbers work because the transit authority has other revenue potential from the deal. In addition to receiving lease payments, the development would funnel money to Metro through increased ridership and an expanded tax base, Mason says. "I don't have to get nearly as high of a return on real estate as a traditional land owner," Mason says. "In many ways, it could save on what the cost of land is." Rising demand in one of the city's hottest sub-markets also could affect financial arrangements. Paul Layne of Trizec Properties says he is not familiar with Metro's plan, but suggests a high-rise project makes sense because the Med Center area has nowhere to go but up. "I think the idea of going vertical in the Texas Medical Center has proven to be a logical element of life because of the incredible density they have there," Layne says. "That's smart business." Fee sharing Commercial developer David Wolff came up with the idea of retaining private real estate professionals following his appointment as Metro board chairman in 2004. Wolff and Metro President Frank Wilson interviewed several firms before hiring McDade Smith, Mason says. "We'll make Metro a very business-friendly, forward-thinking entity," says Mason. "I think I can create value for them." For $400,000 a year, Metro gets Mason on a full-time basis, as well as McDade Smith broker Jeff Lindenberger and an administrative person. "We had to have the base fee if I was going to devote all of my time to the account," Mason says. "We worked out a compensation package that incentified me." As Metro properties are bought and sold, McDade Smith will attach regular brokerage fees to the transactions. Metro will receive 75 percent of the commission revenue until the agency's $400,000 investment is recovered in any given year. If brisk real estate activity pushes the amount past the $400,000 mark, the brokerage fee revenue will be split 50-50 between Metro and the real estate firm, Mason says. The transit authority also gains access to the experienced McDade Smith team as part of the contract. "Two heads are better than one. Fifteen heads are better than two," Mason says. Estimating income from development deals along rail lines may be difficult at this point, but Mason's status as Metro's real estate czar provides access to other revenue streams. A big share of the brokerage team's earnings could come in divesting Metro properties, an activity that has received little attention in the past. Metro owns some 1,500 sites around Houston, and it's Mason's job to help determine the worth of each one. Looking ahead Market demand and Metro's ownership of the property made the TMC Transit Center a logical place to test the real estate development waters. But existing design factors also attracted Mason. The center consists of a series of bus platforms and stairs that climb to a skybridge and link to the light rail stop on Fannin. The skybridge one day will connect to a University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center building scheduled for construction. Instead of building upon an existing base structure, a developer would have to design a project that could be constructed above the platforms and moored to the ground. "It's already designed to be able to build a high-rise on that site with the transit center below it," explains Mason. "They put the footings into the ground to be able to build a high-rise above the transit center." Mason envisions more than one tower being constructed, possibly a high-rise and a midrise. With the wheels set in motion, Mason already is looking at a second possible development site -- the 6.7-acre Wheeler-Blodgett station. Mason says he won't move forward until the Federal Transportation Administration makes a recommendation as to whether another rail line could eventually intersect and increase the site's value. Somewhere down the road, other development possibilities may include strip retail centers at various park-and-ride lots or multifamily developments on or near them, he says. Switching to his sales agent hat, Mason says one site that may soon be declared surplus Metro property could attract quite a bit of attention from buyers. The 12-acre tract occupied by an underutilized park-and-ride is located next to a Wal-Mart north of Interstate 10 and west of the Beltway. Mason's goals over the next five years are to maximize Metro's real estate holdings and capitalize on transit center land values. "It's an opportunity to do something really neat for the city of Houston," Mason says. "If we're successful, I think we can put some things on the map."
  15. According to the Houston Chronicle, METRO began suspending fares and taking measures to promote social distancing on March 22nd. For a while, masks were required before passengers could board a bus. The policy is now enforced unevenly. Some Park & Ride routes were suspended; a limited number have been restored. Do you think METRO has responded appropriately to COVID-19? Any thoughts on how their policies could be improved?
  16. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/m...politan/2905358 Nov. 16, 2004, 11:23PM DeLay helps get rail line on track By RICK CASEY Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Congressman Tom DeLay changed his mind. Back in July, a spokesman said the House majority leader had "no plans at this point to insert ourselves" into a raging controversy regarding a proposed new rail line that would carry hazardous materials near the homes of DeLay's suburban Clear Lake constituents. The line was being pushed by petrochemical companies who said they were tired of paying high monopoly-level prices for low monopoly-level service to Union Pacific Railroad. Four shipping companies joined with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to propose a 12.8-mile "San Jacinto" line to break the monopoly. But three weeks ago at City Hall, DeLay joined Mayor Bill White, County Judge Robert Eckels and U.S. Rep. Gene Green for a session with the CEOs of both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern. The message: Our constituents don't want another rail line in their back yards. Solve the problem. DeLay gets credit for adding starch to the message by getting the two executives to commit to a Nov. 15 deadline. Cautious hope For good measure, the chairman of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Board, Roger Nober, with whom White had discussed railroad problems for months, lined up with the elected officials at the meeting. As of yesterday, the day after the deadline, spokesmen for both railroads declined to characterize the state of the negotiations. But political and chemical industry sources said they were very close. "We're extremely hopeful it will greatly reduce the need to build the new line," said Frank Michel, spokesman for White. But he offered a caution: "We can't say 100 percent this will be accomplished." DeLay's office issued a joint statement with the mayor saying, "It is our hope that in a very short time, after the shippers in the Bayport Loop review the proposed deal, Burlington Northern will be able to use the existing Union Pacific rail line that serves the Bayport Loop." David Harpole is a spokesman for Lyondell Chemical, one of the companies partnering with Burlington Northern to build the new line. Harpole said he understood the railroad companies were close, but that Burlington Northern would have to present the proposal to the four partners for approval. 'True competition' He said he understood the proposal falls short of what his company really wants
  17. http://www.ridemetro.org/latest/releases/pr051705_1.asp The new Gulfgate P&R and will serve routes: 5 Southmore 36 Lawndale 101 Hobby Airport Express It will have slightly more than 200 parking spots. Should be interesting to see how the commuters will adjust to this. Do you think that some commuters will surrender at the bottle neck at 610 and take the bus in? Ricco
  18. TxDOT maps for the 69/610 intersection rebuild project show dedicated bus lane flyovers connecting from Richmond to Westpark to get to the Uptown Transit Center. I think on the north end, the dedicated bus lanes will end/begin on North Post Oak Road, from where it is a short drive into the Northwest Transit Center.
  19. The goal of this thread is collect and house everyone's recommendations, tweaks, alternations, alternatives, etc... that they would like to see to Metro Next. The current draft which was exhibited this past summer is below: http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1651 Metro's call for further input on the draft prior to an upcoming referendum in 2019: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/11/23/312741/metro-moves-to-the-next-phase-in-developing-a-regional-transit-plan/ Whether planned or in response to the recent political shift (or both). The winds are changing and with that is a chance to broaden and enrich Metro's vision for their overall goals (2040 vision) and what could be achievable in the upcoming referendum (2019 referendum vision). I'm curious what the community here thinks is possible. This is without thinking about budgets or costs since we don't know what that could be. Assume for right now you can get what you want (within logical reason of course). What are your ideas or proposals? Light rail? regional rail? BRT? Links to HSR? Connections to Airports? Do you have an idea for an entire system and how it would work or do you just have idea for a small portion? Is this for the upcoming referendum or for what you want in Houston by 2040? Its open forum. Lets try to not stomp on any ideas. Later, if this is a successful thread we can have a thread where we get more critical. I'm partly doing this to get more engagement on this forum, tbh, lately its felt a bit stagnant (with the disappearance of the reaction buttons, etc...).
  20. I've now read the entire thread and Tory Gattis's linked article. A few thoughts about the Astrodome as HQ2. First, to cut to the chase, it's not going to happen. Rodeo and NFL/Texans would veto in a nanosecond. The only way Amazon would get that building is if they purchase both RODEOHOUSTON and the Houston Texans. Then there's the complicating factor that the property is owned by Harris County, so the city can't actually submit a proposal to Amazon without full county partnership. City and county are getting along well, but I would be stunned to see that happening by October 19, two weeks from now. There's also another stakeholder now, the Texas Historical Commission, which has to issue a permit for any modification to the Astrodome. While my reading of the tea leaves leads me to believe THC is going to be very forgiving in their approval of modifications, I would guess that the scope and scale of modifications required to enable HQ2 are outside THC's red lines. For several years now Astrodome Tomorrow has been advocating the building of new, multilevel structures inside the Dome, around the perimeter of the main floor. Such vertical construction is NOT part of the $105 M project now in the design stage, but we believe (partly by reading tea leaves) that the FOUNDATION PIERS and other structures needed to support such development in the future ARE being designed into the current project. We have appealed to all the decision makers and the Kirksey architects to do so. It would be tragically short-sighted if they don't, because that additional floor footage is needed if the Dome is to produce floor-lease revenue sufficient to pay for its upkeep over the long term. The old Astroworld property would be a better fit in some ways. Plusses are access to transit (red line terminus and park/ride across the street, straight shot down Bellfort to Hobby), property size and near-core location, adjacent expansion property. But there are issues. First there's no existing campus of buildings to occupy by 2018, and also there is some occasional street flooding in that immediate neighborhood. Having Amazon across the freeway would be a great assist to success of the kind of Astrodome/NRG Stadium Park redevelopment we have proposed. -- Chris Alexander for Astrodome Tomorrow
  21. Metro Survey for those that want to have input.
  22. For a short period of time there was a small airport on Old Galveston Rd, across from Ellington Field. They ran commuter flights to Houston Intercontinental only, as I recall. Ring any bells?
  23. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Metro-tries-to-smooth-mass-transit-woes-for-11058074.php#photo-12684803
  24. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/car-centric-texas-cities-reap-economic-boon-light-rail/
  25. METRO is increasing the number of spaces at the Grand Parkway P&R starting next Monday Oct. 26th. Capacity to radically increase again by next fall with a 1,650 space garage. http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXMETRO/bulletins/1205601
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