New METRO plan lays groundwork for light rail system to Hobby Airport
Transportation to and from the airport can be a headache, requiring time, patience, and focus. But METRO has big goals to make it easy with light rail to Hobby Airport.
When ABC13 asked airline passenger Leigh Pugh about the possibility of light rail to Hobby, she liked that it might be not only easy but less expensive than a rideshare or other options.
"Parking your vehicle at the airport for long periods of time can be pretty expensive," Pugh said. "And it would open up options if you don't have to do that as much."
METRO Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran talked to Eyewitness News about the current concept for METRORail to Hobby Airport. "Rail connectivity to Hobby and BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] connectivity to George Bush Intercontinental are priorities for the agency, absolutely," Ramabhadran said.
The general alignments include extending the Purple Line, which travels through the Third Ward, and the Green Line, which runs through the East End until they meet to travel to Hobby Airport.
However, just a one-minute walk from the end of the Purple Line at Palm Center is a potential roadblock to that plan. There are the intersections of Griggs, Long, and Mykawa, and two railroad tracks.
It's a busy intersection with long waits behind the trains. METRO is working to join at least a portion of the recently launched SH-35 expansion project, a bridge that would allow vehicle traffic. METRO hopes light rail will pass over that challenging intersection.
"The Long-Mykawa junction - you've got to be able to thread the needle for all modes. Whether it's roadway or for rail," Ramabhadran said. "So what we're doing is doing everything we can in a sequential manner so that rail to Hobby becomes a reality. The first part is, when somebody else is building SH-35, let's make sure we take advantage of that."
Continue reading this story by Elissa Rivas on our news partner ABC13.