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Houston-area voters to consider $3.5B for public transit

The Magnolia Park Transit Center Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Houston. Metropolitan Transit Authority will ask voters for $3.5 billion in borrowing authority on the November ballot, to build what's anticipated to be $7 billion in new transit projects. About half the money would come from federal grants. Along with 16 miles of new light rail, the list of projects includes 75 miles of bus rapid transit and new park and ride lots.
The Magnolia Park Transit Center Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Houston. Metropolitan Transit Authority will ask voters for $3.5 billion in borrowing authority on the November ballot, to build what's anticipated to be $7 billion in new transit projects. About half the money would come from federal grants. Along with 16 miles of new light rail, the list of projects includes 75 miles of bus rapid transit and new park and ride lots. Steve Gonzales

Houston-area voters this fall will be asked to approve up to $3.5 billion in bonds to expand public transportation that supporters say could benefit more than a dozen communities.

Metropolitan Transit Authority board members on Tuesday agreed to place the issue on the Nov. 5 ballot. The bonds would be repaid by future sales tax revenues.

Federal money will also be sought for the anticipated $7.5 billion in projects that could extend three light rail lines, expand use of bus rapid transit in dedicated lanes and create high-occupancy vehicle lanes along most Houston's freeways.

Houston-area voters in 1978 created METRO and approved a one-cent sales tax to support operations.

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