HOUSTON (KTRK) --METRO is getting pressure from veterans and a Houston congresswoman to act quickly on allowing disabled vets to drive the transit agency's high occupancy transit lanes for free, which most other Texas toll authorities offer.
Surrounded by veterans Tuesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said she was baffled why the transit agency could not implement what she described as a "simple request."
"A constituent called and said they wanted to be able to access the HOT lanes for free, without cost during off-peak hours," Jackson Lee said. "I really thought it was a simple request. I did not think it was a challenging request, but yet over a period of months, we were not able to secure that permission from the local METRO board."
Ted Oberg Investigates reported last week on METRO's board members decision to refuse disabled vets free tolls on the agency's HOT lanes.
The agency said it needed more information despite being aware of it for two years.
See the Ted Oberg Investigates report here.
Jackson Lee said she worked to clear any federal barriers to the program.
"There is no federal prohibition to provide this free service to our veterans," she said.
It is past time for METRO to act, she said.
"I am standing here with vets to make a final plea to the METRO board; otherwise I will ask my veterans to show up at all their meetings," Jackson Lee said.
A vote on free tolls for vets is expected next month.