The Kinder Institute's transit expert discusses the questions METRO Houston will have to consider as it plans its next project.


A METRO rail car stops in Houston's Midtown. Image via flickr/Ed Schipul.


Houston just wrapped up Super Bowl LI over the weekend, and by some estimates, more than 1 million people descended on downtown throughout the week to attend the festivities.

There's no doubt many of those people got around Houston using METRO's light-rail system. But what those passengers might not have realized is that the Super Bowl and Houston's light-rail system are actually closely linked.

Houston last hosted the Super Bowl in 2004, and just in time for that event, METRO debuted its Red Line. Back then, the system only carried passengers between downtown, the Texas Medical Center, and the stadium complex, but today, the system is so much more.

Since then, METRO has extended that Red Line north and added the Green and Purple Lines. Just a few weeks ago – once again, just in time for a Houston Super Bowl – METRO finished work on the Harrisburg overpass, the final component of the Green Line. That means METRO's light-rail system, in its current form, is finally built out.

But that raises the question: Now that we just finally completed 16 years of light-rail construction, what's next for transit in Houston? Kyle Shelton, the Kinder Institute's director of strategic partnerships, discusses potential projects with Kinder Institute senior editor Ryan Holeywell.

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