[PHOTOS] Light Rail Expansion Moving Faster Than You Might Think
Since 2004, anyone living or visiting the areas near Main Street, the Medical Center, the Museum District or Reliant Park has probably gotten to experience METRO Rail, for better or worse. Some ride it daily. Some get in accidents with it. Some just gawk. But, one of the busiest stretches of commuter rail in the country has stood alone as Houston's only truly modern form of public transportation.
Photo by Jeff Balke Looking down the Red Line on Main Street from where two new rail lines will cross it.
Our snail's-pace movement on public transportation seemed to take another hit in November when a poorly worded and confusing ballot initiative passed, all but squelching any further light-rail development in Houston between now and 2025. When it comes to public options for getting around, our city falls remarkably flat.
But, while many complained, one thing went basically unnoticed. METRO has three new rail lines that are progressing rapidly and could open as soon as 2014. In case you hadn't checked the calendar, that's less than two years away.
I'm fascinated by the light rail, probably because I grew up here and it carries a certain novelty value for me. Plus, I love trains and, unlike a kid who grew up in the Northeast and probably rode the subway to school and the train to the shore, I spent my formative years in a car. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it seems far less romantic.
So, I decided to take to the streets with my camera hanging from my open truck window and document the rail lines currently under construction.