METRORail Uptown Line

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Overview
TypeBus rapid transit
SystemMETRORail
StatusUnder construction
LocaleHouston, Texas
TerminiNorthwest Transit Center (north)
Bellaire Uptown Transit Center (south)
Stations10
Operation
OpenedMay 2019 (estimated)
Operator(s)METRO
Technical
Line length4.7 mi (8 km)[1]

The Uptown Line is a planned bus rapid transit line in Houston, Texas, to be operated by METRO. Scheduled to enter service in May 2019, the line connects the Uptown area of Houston, with dedicated lanes on Post Oak Boulevard.[2] It will serve ten stations in Uptown, with termini at Bellaire Uptown Transit Center and the Northwest Transit Center.

The line was originally planned as a 4.7 mi (8 km) extension of the METRORail light rail network. Due to lack of funds, it was announced in early 2013 that the Uptown/Gold Line will be constructed initially as a bus rapid transit line using three-door buses. The design will feature the ability to easily convert the line to light rail in the future.[3][4]

Route[edit]

The Uptown Line will begin at the Bellaire Uptown Transit Center, a new park and ride facility located on Westpark Drive near the intersection of the Southwest Freeway and West Loop (I-610). It will run in the median of Post Oak Boulevard through the Uptown area, serving eight intermediate stations, before reaching an interchange with the West Loop freeway. Buses will continue north on a two-lane elevated busway along the West Loop, which rejoins Post Oak Road near I-10. The line terminates at Northwest Transit Center, located at Katy Road on the north side of the I-10 interchange.[5][6] The corridor is currently served by Route 33.[7]

History[edit]

Following a statement in 2010 by Houston's mayor, Annise Parker, construction will commence at a time when funding can be secured for this line.[8][9] Furthermore, due to the lack of infrastructure upgrades promised by the Uptown Management District, METRO will hold off on anything related to the line until a deal is arranged.[10]

The light rail project was repeatedly blocked by Congressman John Culberson, based on concerns from constituents on Richmond Avenue.[11] It was downgraded to a $177.5 million bus rapid transit project with dedicated lanes in 2013, under a plan promoted by Uptown developers to receive improved transit service sooner than the estimated 2025 arrival of light rail.[3]

Stations[edit]

The following is a list of planned stations for the Uptown Line, listed in order from north to south. The initial line will contain 8[12] stations with the Four Oaks Station being added at an unspecified date in the future.[13]

Uptown/Gold Line
Northwest Transit Center Station
Memorial Station
Uptown Park Station
Four Oaks
San Felipe Station
Ambassador Way Station
Westheimer Station
West Alabama Station
Richmond Station
Bellaire Station*

*Note: this station is shared with the University/Blue Line in order to provide transfers.

Expansion[edit]

Future expansion would include a 1.1 mi (1.8 km) extension northbound to Northwest Mall, as well as a westward expansion to the Hillcroft Transit Center.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 14, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Begley, Dug (February 15, 2018). "Metro ready to move ahead with Post Oak rapid transit bus buy". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Begley, Dug (February 9, 2013). "Post Oak redesign drops rail for bus lane". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Uptown bus lanes won't be ready until 2019". Houston Chronicle. 2016-06-23.
  5. ^ "Uptown BRT Project". METRO. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Koetting, Nicki (April 18, 2017). "The Long, Complicated History of the Post Oak Boulevard Project". Houstonia. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Route 33: Post Oak" (PDF). METRO. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Rick Casey: Metro can't let rail jeopardize its buses - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  9. ^ Shay, Miya (2010-03-11). "Houston Mayor Annise Parker wants to put brakes on University and Uptown rail lines | abc13.com". Abclocal.go.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  10. ^ Knight, Paul (2010-08-13). "Metro Ponders Galleria Real Estate, And Why The Uptown District Can't Deliver On its $70 Million Promise | Houston Press". Blogs.houstonpress.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  11. ^ Powell, Stewart M. (June 20, 2012). "Culberson inserts Metro rail-line limits into federal spending bill". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Long, Complicated History of the Post Oak Boulevard Project". Houstonia. 2017-04-18.
  13. ^ "Uptown Line Stations" (PDF). Gometrorail.org. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  14. ^ "Metro Light Rail (Houston, Sugar Land, Galveston: 2015, university, tax) - Texas (TX) - City-Data Forum". City-data.com. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2016-03-19.

External links[edit]