Big Celebration This Weekend Kicks Off Metro's Newest Light Rail Line

The North Line extension's Burnett Street Station features views of the Houston skyline.
Starting Saturday, Houstonians will have a new way to get around. Metro is now making final plans for this weekend's kickoff of the new Northside light rail line.

The $756 million North Line extension is the first of three new light rail lines to go into service. Starting Saturday morning at 10:00, riders can hop aboard for the five-mile trip between University of Houston-Downtown and the Northline Transit Center. 

Metro Interim CEO Tom Lambert says transit riders will now have expanded hours of service on Main and Fulton Streets and they can make more frequent trips. 

"But what it also does is allows us to really feed in other bus routes, into that corridor that improves travel times, improves frequencies, improves overall service for the customer."

Metro started work on the North Line extension in 2009. As part of the process, the agency offered cash assistance to businesses that were affected by the lengthy construction. It paid out close to two million dollars to restaurants, shops, and other businesses along the route.  

Metro Vice-President David Couch says the work also included major infrastructure improvements.  

"There are literally miles and miles of water lines, storm sewers, and AT&T duct banks that have been reconstructed during the process. Every piece of the city streets has been reconstructed."

To celebrate the new line, Metro is offering free rides on Saturday, and there's also an all-day party at Moody Park. Mike Martinez is Manager of Stakeholder Affairs.

"In acknowledgment and recognition of local businesses, Metro has reached out to the area business owners to offer them an opportunity to participate in this important event. Among these businesses will be an array of area food vendors from Houston's Northside community."

For more information on the light rail kickoff, visit RideMetro.org

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...