Metro Rail Expansion

There are several proposals for the east-west expansion of metro light rail and tonight there are competing public meetings on the topic. The fifth of eighth METRO forums will be held at Pilgrim Elementary and Houston Representative John Culberson will hold a town hall meeting at Shell Auditorium at Rice University. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports.

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Culberson has in the past been opposed to light rail, but more recently has publicly supported the process of extending mass transportation in Houston. Robin Holzer with C-T-C, the Citizens' Transportation Coalition, hopes that is still true.

"Everyone has a right to be part of this planning process and has a right to do so. I don't think it's legitimate for any of our elected officials to say right now, nope we're done, we've heard enough, I, I know what the answer is."

Holzer says CTC does not back a specific route for the rail line that will eventually run from the Galleria area to Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. But, she says CTC does believe the rail line should go where there are people and places to benefit from it.

"For this investment to make sense it's got to serve the most people and the most destinations. At the same time, we have to protect neighborhoods and we have to protect the businesses that make our neighborhoods safe in the first place. The only way to do both of those is through an open, public, planning process."

Holzer says she is concerned that Culberson is close to making a decision on the east-west route. She hopes that is not the case. Representative Culberson did not respond to a request for an interview.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...