Former Katy Mayor Shares Highlights of METRO Plan to Improve Service

By George Slaughter

Former Mayor Don Elder, Mayor Bill Hastings, and former Mayor Skip Conner at Wednesday’s Katy Business Association luncheon – George Slaughter photo

Katy residents in Harris County and in part of Fort Bend County are being asked to consider supporting a $3.5 billion METRO-sponsored bond issue designed to improve public transportation.

Former Katy Mayor Don Elder, who now serves on the METRO board of directors, shared plan highlights at the Katy Business Association luncheon, held Wednesday afternoon at La Estancia Italian Restaurant, 5361 E. 5th St.

The need for improving, and in some cases expanding, public transportation service comes as the Greater Houston area population is expected to increase by 10 million people by 2040.

Plan highlights include:

  • 16 miles of light rail with a METRORail extension to Hobby Airport.
  • 21 new or improved park-and-ride and transit centers, one of which will be at the Katy Mills Mall.
  • 75 miles of new metro read bus service that operates like light rail, including an extension to Bush Intercontinental Airport.
  • 110 miles of a regional express network, including two-way HOV lanes.
  • 290 miles of boost and signature bus service, plus accessibility and usability improvements for the disabled and seniors.

Elder said the proposed plan affects Katy residents living in Harris County and some living in Fort Bend County.

METRO is running television advertising that describes the plan in general terms. METRO said the bond package would involve no tax increases, and would be repaid through existing sales tax revenues based on projections from the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston.

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