The people of Houston voted in 2003 to build a five line high quality transit system, but that deployment has been blocked by Congressman John Culberson and a small band of anti-transit radicals for too long. Houston is building the best modern light rail system in the nation in terms of ridership per mile. Upon completion, the Uptown and University lines will join the Main Street Line as the most successful light rail lines in the nation. The delays on completing this initial system also are delaying the further deployment of high quality transit throughout the region.
Congressman Culberson has inserted language into a Federal bill that, if passed through the Senate and on to the President, would have Congress overrule the locally preferred alternative - light rail on Richmond and Post Oak. The idea that the US House of Representatives should vote to block the locally preferred alternative selected through a Federal Environmental Impact Study is absurd and a misuse of Federal power.
This attack against Houston’s future transit options must stop. Congressman Culberson is also working to deny funding from the Texas Department of Transportation for transit projects in Houston and to include anti-rail language in actions of the Texas Transportation Commission. While Houston recently received $25 million to help build the Uptown Bus Rapid Transit Line, Austin, a much smaller region with vastly smaller rail ridership, got twice as much funding as Houston, because of Culberson’s anti-transit campaign.
Let’s do this Houston. Let’s finish our 2003 transit system.
The text of the petition:
We, the citizens of the Houston region, want all local governments and transportation agencies to prioritize completing the five-line high-capacity transit system approved by voters in 2003.
We want to build the University Line, including the key section on Richmond, according to the locally preferred alternative already established through a public process. We want to deploy high-capacity dedicated-lane transit service in Uptown. We want to deploy any bus rapid transit in a manner that the people of Houston can decide to convert it to rail in the future.
We request that all elected representatives of the people of Houston cease actions that are harmful to Houston’s transit future - like the recent actions of US Representative John Culberson - and instead work to build the transit system the people of Houston deserve.
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