METRO laying the groundwork for light rail to Hobby Airport

Elissa Rivas Image
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
METRO laying the groundwork for light rail to Hobby Airport
METRO is laying the groundwork for more affordable ways to get to Hobby Airport in southeast Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- 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."

The video above is the ABC13 Houston's 24/7 Streaming Channel.

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."

While METRO lays the groundwork now, it admits that those in their 20s could be 40 years old when they ride it.

Airline passenger Peter Grapentine is not deterred by that time frame, saying the sooner the better.

"The time frame shouldn't be something to worry about because we should be thinking about the future," Grapentine said.

For news updates, follow Elissa Rivas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

PREVIOUS REPORT: METRO considering extending a light rail line to Hobby Airport

METRO considering rail line to Hobby Airport