Skip to comments.Senate committee allocates $150 million for Houston METRO light-rail projects
Posted on 07/28/2010 11:53:49 AM PDT by Willie Green
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) is in line to receive $150 million for the North and Southeast Corridor light-rail lines as part of the Senate Appropriations Committees fiscal-year 2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill approved last week.
The House version of the FY2011 appropriations bill set aside $152 million for the projects. The full House will vote on the bill later this week.
The $150 million proposed by the Senate committee would be in addition to $150 million secured in FY2010, bringing the total amount of federal funds allocated for the two light-rail projects to $300 million, METRO said.
July 26, 2010
The Board and staff of the NEW METRO want to express their appreciation to U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn for their strong support and significant efforts to secure another $150 million for the North and Southeast Corridor light- rail lines, as the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill Thursday.
METRO also wants to highlight the hard work and strong support from U.S. Representatives Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green in helping to secure $152 million in the House version of the FY 2011 Appropriations bill approved earlier this week. The full House of Representatives will vote to approve this bill this week.
In addition to the $150 million included in the House bill for the North and Southeast Corridor Lines, the House bill also included $1 million for the 90A rail initiative and $1 million for the METRO bus program.
The funds provided in both the House and Senate versions of the Appropriations bills are in addition to the $150 million secured in 2010, bringing the total amount of federal funds allocated for these two LRT projects to $300 million. Both the House and Senate will have to reconcile other differences in their respective bills before final enactment; completion of work on these bills is expected later this year.
I thought this wa dead due to the Law that they have to use AMERICAN contractors and Metro was contracting with EU countries.
And this sort of useless waste is how we get to this
U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 28 Jul 2010 at 06:51:27 PM GMT is:
$ 1 3 , 2 5 9 , 7 1 7 , 1 1 2 , 7 3 4 . 4 5
4-bits/head down the drain.
The choo choo marxists don’t care about debt.
I’m a guessing this is a shovel ready program? Funny. Fed to taxpayer, “I will give you $152M of your own money to build a $1B railroad - such a deal”.
Accidental Houston Chronicle memo admits to tainting the news with political agenda (houston chronicle memo November 25, 2002)
Next November, voters in the city and across the Metropolitan Transit Authority service area will cast a truly important vote: They will decide whether Metro should be permitted to expand our rail rail system beyond the 7-mile South Main line.
There isn't a more critical issue on the horizon. I propose a series of editorials, editorial cartoons and Sounding Board columns leading up to the rail referendum, with this specific objective: Continuing our long standing efforts to make rail a permanent part of the transit mix here.
The timing, language and approach of the paper's editorials would, of course, be the decision of the Editorial Board. But I suggest that they could be built upon and informed by a news-feature package with an equally specific focus: Telling the story of rail here by examining the long term relationship of the two key players in the local transit wars -- Rep. Tom DeLay and former Mayor Bob Lanier. For better or worse, (mostly worse, I would argue) no two have had a more significant impact on transit decisions here. Our readers deserve to know how they've operated to fund and promote an anti-rail agenda for the past two decades. This would be vital information for voters as they come to their decision on rail. It would also be highly entertaining read.
We in Houston have our own version of the "Chinatown" story of the early 20th century Los Angeles, when the currency of power was water: Who controlled it; who received it; where it came from; and where it went at what price. Since World War II, Houston's currency has bee concrete-- millions of cubic yards poured for freeways.
DeLay and Lanier have been the two central characters in our local drama. This urban-suburban, Republican-Democrat odd couple is bound by the belief highways and poured concrete are the path to a profitable future for this area, and its converse--the belief that mass transit must be stopped in its tracks.
The broad elements of the news/features package could include:
? The story of how the Lanier-DeLay relationship began (in the early 1980's when Lanier was chairman of the state Hiway Commission and DeLay was a young congressman)
?Lanier the land man: Through his privately held Landar Corp., Lanier has long shown his prescience in purchasing land where roads would ultimately go. Where are his holdings? Specifically , where are his holdings along the Grand Parkway? How has he benefitted by the building of roads.
?DeLay's steady rise to power in Congress. How it come about and, more importantly, how it was funded (by the highway lobby).
?Lanier's rise to political power. His rift with former Mayor Kathy Whitmire that turned into a determination to run her off (he did and she was never heard from again); his controversial shifting of transit funds into the city budget in the much discussed "Metro transfer."
?Bob Lanier, public kingmaker. For almost a decade, the path to public office in Houston has wound through Lanier's den. Mayoral and City Council hopefuls, congressional candidates, would-be Texas Texas legislators and county commissioners--all come to kiss the great man's ring and bid for his approval. What is protocol? Who makes introductions? What is the quid-pro-quo? And, the $64 question: How has Lanier managed to promote himself as the patron saint of inner city Houston while working with DeLay to promote a relentlessly suburban/freeway/anti-rail funding agenda at all levels of government?
?Ground zero for November: The campaign led by DeLay and Lenier to defeat rail expansion. Who is doing the funding? What is the history of the San Antonio-based think tank doing the the research to discredit rail?
Any number of sidebar topics also come to mind:
?The Fort Bend mayors who are bucking DeLay and Lanier to bring commuter rail to the thousands of Fort Bend residents who work in the Medical Center.
?Laniers involvement in the lawsuit brought by former Houston Councilman Robb Todd to hold up the South Main light rail project.
?Elyse Lanier: From jewelry salesperson to Houston political insider.
?The Greater Houston Partnership and the clean-air saga. When the Environmental Protection Agency put clean-air deadlines on the Houston region in the early 1990's, the Partnership resisted mightily. The thinking was: We have the political connections in Washington--from George Bush and Bill Archer to DeLay and Lloyd Bentson-- to stall and stonewall until this all goes away. What went wrong? What was the Chronicle's role in supporting this approach?
?A primer on highway building, Houston style: Why the Southwest Freeway turned south and west rather than continuing due west (developer Frank Sharp had a hand in this).
?Why Texas highways have frontage roads (a key to economic development) in the first place. Sam Rayburn added them to the language in President Eisenhower's landmark legislation creating the Interstate Highway System in the 1950's. At whose bidding?
This is a story in urgent need of telling, and an editorial position of equal urgency. Voters deserve to know the history of how Houston came to be a city of freeways well before they decide about rail's future next November. They need to know who has wielded the power to pour concrete, who still wields it and to what lengths the concrete pourers will go in order to stop rail.
The corrupt Comical never asked these questions when they insisted we spend a billion dollars on stadiums and a billion more to protect their corrupt pals in the downtown business partnership.
They weren't against Lanier on any of that. Or his handpicked successors.
“Progressive Railroading”. Haha. That’s the most accurate title of a magazine I’ve ever seen.
$150M for a rail system nobody wants and nobody uses. Fantastic idea.
Bleh. More mostly-empty Blight Rail fouling up traffic corridors.
Are you a pimp for Blight Rail, Willie? Seems like all you post now is this commielib rail crap?
The houston taxpayer suckers have no clue how much ‘light rail’ costs to maintain into the future. It will cost 10x whatever they’re being quoted.
In the end, a few miles of track will be laid here and there around the country and the bulk of the money will disappear as if it had never existed in the first place.
The “progressive railroaders” will still keep whining for more money to be siezed from the taxpayers.
There was a meeting with the city engineers a few years ago for anyone that wanted to go regarding our little Metro rail system. Some people I know went and couldn’t believe what they heard. The point was there was no inclusion of outside places like Katy and others for coming into and out of Houston. The obvious question asked by the people to the engineers was why not since it seemed to be the point.
The engineers just laughed.
Now, do you want these kind of people involved at all?
Besides that 150 mil if it actually exists will not go to fund anything but slush funds of the politicians.
I was thinking the same thing, it would get them about a mile or less.
Houston....WE HAVE A PROBLEM....
They’re giving Michigan $40 million for something estimated to cost $50 million per mile to build. They’re taking the other $230 million out of highway funds while we’re letting roads return to dirt.
That'll buy a few sweet consulting contracts for those well-placed at an NGO or "non-profit" corp, but not a foot of track.
That's the trick I guess, have Fedgov.com waste SO much money $150 million sweetheart paydays for "environmental consultants" and urban planners just fly right under the radar.
Hell, $1500 million might actually buy something you can touch and feel, as opposed to “studies” and environmental impaact papers.
Chris Bell was adamant in seeing that I-10 at 610 would remain a clusterf&&&. He said that those who live in the suburbs and Katy should not find it easy to enjoy the downtown sports complexes or employment inside the loop.
Never mind that the city redirects taxdollars into downtown that is used in a “redevelopment” scheme that permits tax money from downtown to only be spent there (after being seeded with citywide money).
For those who don’t know, I-10 is a major trucking highway from California to Georgia. And some sphincter Democrats like to see it stopped up as it goes “inside the loop”.
A smart plan would link Intercontinental Airport with our 3 distinct “downtown” regions (downtown + Medical Center + Galleria). That would handle out of town visitors. But a ride to the airport can run $20-60. And our stadiums are “supposed” to be funded with car rentals so out of towners will NOT be encouraged to stay out of a car.
"Mr. Gore, what are you going to do about saving the Texas Eagle?".
Al Gore, being the enviornmentalist he is replied, "Well, as you know I am an ardent environmentalist and my book 'Earth in the Balance' talks about endangered species. If I'm elected, I'll make sure that the Texas Eagle gets on the Endangered Species List".
Someone later pointed out that the Texas Eagle was an Amtrak train.
Kudos to Obama for being more financially pragmatic than JFK.
I bet he's more faithful to his wife as well.