Most traveled commuter bus route in Texas gets $5M grant for improvements

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Westheimer 82 line gets $5 million boost for improvements
The most traveled commuter bus route in the state of Texas is getting $5 million in federal funds to make improvements like installing sidewalks, accessibility upgrades, installing new bus shelters, and more.

HOUSTON, Texas -- The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County will receive $5 million in federal grants to make improvements to its Westheimer Road corridor bus route.

METRO officials will celebrate the award at a Feb. 22 news conference with U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, who recommended the project for federal funding.

The funding will help METRO implement its BOOST corridor treatment, which stands for "bus operations optimized systems treatment," along Westheimer's Route 82, a bus route that connects downtown Houston with Uptown, Greenway, Westchase and West Oaks.

METRO has identified 17 of its most used bus routes for BOOST corridors, which involve installing and improving sidewalks; accessibility upgrades; installing new bus shelters and lighting; providing digital real-time bus arrival information at stops; and making improvements to traffic signals for better timing with buses. The initiative seeks to improve reliability, accessibility and speed of service on the chosen routes, according to METRO.

Work on two other BOOST projects, one along the Airline/Montrose route and one along the Scott Street route, is already underway. In its 2022-23 budget, METRO projected project costs of $10.3 million in fiscal year 2022-23 and $25.6 million in 2023-24.

The grant funding comes from Congress' Community Project Funding program, which allows lawmakers to request funding for up to 15 projects each year. Fletcher made 15 requests for the 2022-23 fiscal year, including the $5 million request for the Westheimer BOOST corridor.

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