METRO to Build Four New Light Rail Lines in Houston

The board of directors of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) has approved a $1.4645 billion contract with Parsons Transportation Group to build four more light-rail lines for Houston, which will total approximately 20 additional miles of light rail.

The initial phase of the contract calls for spending $632 million and includes a combined $90 million in utility work on the North and Southeast Corridors and $390 million in total costs for the East End Corridor, including an overpass at Harrisburg for light rail, construction of a service and inspection facility, and rail cars.

The rail cars are part of an initial contract for 29 light rail vehicles from CAF USA, Inc. for $118 million. The total contract calls for CAF to supply 103 LRV's and includes their maintenance over an 8-year period for $320 million. The vehicles will be built at CAF's plant in Elmira, N.Y., with deliveries expected to begin in spring 2012 and end in summer 2014.

The Parsons Transportation Group will be responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the four new light-rail lines. The company worked on similar projects in Dallas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur.