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Metro leadership believes University line is still doable

We’ll have to find the money

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Metro leadership are talking about building the University line regardless of the Metro referendum diverting $2.1 Billion in funding, according to the Houston Chronicle:

There was a lot of gloom and doom about the effect last month’s referendum vote would have on transit rail lines in Houston, but none of it is coming from Metropolitan Transit Authority officials.

They’re continuing to talk about the three lines under construction right now, and the long-sought University Line linking the University of Houston and the shopping area at Interstate 610 and Westheimer Road.

“Dallas has almost 100 miles of light rail,” Metro board chairman Gilbert Garcia told a business luncheon Tuesday. “Certainly we can get to The Galleria.”

Metro’s light rail program will grow in 2014, but critics of the recent referendum fear that’s the end of the line. Metro officials disagree. Photo: Metropolitan Transit Authority

What hasn’t been figured out, yet, is how to pay for the project. Federal money was heavily leveraged to get the North Line and Southeast Line to construction, but Metro is assuming a lot of the costs. And the agency is building the East Line without federal money.

In order to attract more federal funds, Metro will still have to pay up to get the University Line going. With a price tag of $1.3 billion, according to the project’s environmental report, that won’t be easy.

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