METRORapid Inner Katy Corridor Project


METRORapid

The Inner Katy Corridor is the area along I-10 (Katy Freeway), between the Northwest Transit Center (at the junction of I-10 West and I-610) and the Convention District area in Downtown Houston.

Part of the METRONext Moving Forward Plan, this project aims to do two things:

• Develop a new METRORapid line running for 7.6 miles on I-10 West in this Inner Katy Corridor area, including stations at Shepherd / Durham and Studemont

• Provide exclusive lanes for Regional Express buses using I-10 West and US 290, allowing them to bypass the congestion on I-10 where there's currently no HOV lane


METRORapid Inner Katy Map

In March 2022, METRO’s Board of Directors approved the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the METRORapid Inner Katy Project, which identifies the general location of the preferred alignment and stations that meet the needs of the Inner Katy corridor. The LPA was identified following extensive planning studies and community meetings. Additional environmental, design, and community involvement activities are now underway to bring you fast, reliable, and frequent service to the Inner Katy corridor by 2027.
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Here’s an aerial video representation of the proposed alignment for the METRORapid Inner Katy project:

Overview

METRORapid is a transit service that combines elements of light rail and bus to deliver faster connections and a smooth, convenient ride.

It features:

• Modern design offering 100% accessibility, with wider doorways and level boarding
• Stations and platforms like rail
• Dedicated, transit-only lanes to move through traffic
• Transit-friendly traffic signals

Increase connectivity

Downtown and Uptown are two of Houston’s largest employment and activity centers. Although METRO provides local bus service on city streets, there’s no rapid transit connection between Downtown and Uptown.


Reduce congestion

The Inner Katy Corridor is one of the most heavily congested roadways in the Houston area. This affects both motorists and METRO’s Regional Express buses, which operate in mixed traffic where there’s no HOV lane.

The new METRORapid Inner Katy line will provide:


Fast and frequent service

Universally accessible service for all between Downtown and Uptown throughout the day, at night and on weekends.


Faster and more reliable trips

The project will accommodate all of METRO’s Regional Express trips along the I-10 West and US 290 Freeways that currently get bogged down in traffic between I-610 and Downtown. Transit-only lanes in both directions will help reduce travel time and improve schedule reliability for thousands of current riders.


More connectivity

At Northwest Transit Center:

• Create direct connection with METRORapid Silver Line so you can ride from Downtown to Uptown without having to transfer
• Link with several METRO local and Regional Express routes – increasing connectivity to destinations like Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza, Memorial Park and Westchase

The project will also provide a fast connection between the METRORapid Silver Line and the METRORail Green and Purple Lines.


More access

• Serve current riders
• Accommodate expected population growth in this area
• Improve access to jobs and economic opportunity

The project began in late 2020. The planning phase is expected to continue through early 2022, followed by design. Construction is expected to begin about a year after design is complete. It’s anticipated that construction would last about three years. Public and stakeholder engagement are ongoing and will continue throughout the timeline.

As the project progresses, updates will be added to this page including more opportunities for you to provide input, ask questions, and submit comments.

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Route

The METRONext Moving Forward Plan identified a general alignment within the Inner Katy corridor. With input from community stakeholders, METRO conducted a detailed evaluation of the corridor and potential alignment options. The recommendation for the locally preferred alternative (LPA) was presented to the public in January 2022 for feedback and in March 2022, METRO’s Board of Directors approved the LPA.

The METRORapid Inner Katy Project is a separate project being developed by METRO. It will be designed to connect with the METRORapid Silver Line at the Northwest Transit Center and enable you to connect between Uptown and Downtown without transferring.

During the planning phase, METRO evaluated potential station locations between Northwest Transit Center and Downtown. We assessed the following locations identified in the METRONext Moving Forward Plan, which were ultimately included in the METRO Board approved LPA:

• Shepherd Street / Durham Street
• Studemont Street
• Theater District
• Central Station
• Convention District


We also evaluated additional potential station locations suggested by the community. Based on this input and planning studies, the project’s LPA also proposes stations at:

• Memorial Park
• Franklin Street / Bagby Street
• St. Emanual Street / East Downtown

The first phase of the Inner Katy Project is between Northwest Transit Center and Downtown Houston. Planning and design of a connection to the high-speed rail line will be conducted at a later date depending on the progress of the high speed rail project.

Based on input from the community, METRO is evaluating how existing and future pedestrian, bicycle and local bus route connections will be integrated with stations.

The METRORapid Inner Katy Project is planned to provide daily rapid transit service during the day and night. The frequency is expected to be similar to METRORail.

Significant property impacts are not anticipated. METRO expects determinations to be made sometime in 2022. As always, we’ll adhere to all federal requirements regarding potential property acquisition.


Environmental

After it begins, the study is expected to be completed in 2022.

METRO doesn’t expect an increase in air pollution. Any reduction in automobile travel as a result of having new transit options generally has a positive effect on air quality.

Overall, noise impacts are expected to be minimal compared with existing freeway noise. However, a noise analysis will be conducted. If it is determined that any actions are needed, they’ll be conducted in accordance with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines on noise and vibration.

METRO will explore possible use of lower emission vehicles.

METRO is always looking for ways to incorporate new technologies and will work to accommodate future technologies.

May 4, 2022 – Virtual Public Meeting #4
Click or tap to view the presentation given at the May 4, 2022 meeting in English or Español. The recording of the meeting, including the Q&A session, can be viewed below. For more information, click or tap on the Public Comments tab below.


 

Jan. 31, 2022 – Virtual Public Meeting #3
Click or tap to view the presentation given at the Jan. 31, 2022 meeting in English or Español. The recording of the meeting’s Q&A session can be viewed below.


 

Jan. 20, 2022 – Super Neighborhood Project Update Meeting
Click or tap to view the Super Neighborhood Project Update Meeting Presentation.

Aug. 16, 2021 – Virtual Public Meeting #2
Click or tap to view the meeting in English or Español.

Aug. 3, 2021 – Super Neighborhood Station Workshop
Super Neighborhood Station Workshop Presentation - The poll slides were only active during the live presentation. To provide feedback, visit Public Comments tab below.

Feb. 25, 2021 – Virtual Public Meeting #1
Click or tap to view the meeting in English or Español.

If you have feedback about the METRORapid Inner Katy Project, you can post it through our Public Comments website.

Just start by clicking or tapping on the “Offer a Suggestion” or “Ask a Question” button.

On the form page:

• Fill out your contact information
• Select “Construction/Planning Projects” from the first menu in the DETAILS section
• Then select “Inner Katy METRORapid Project”
• Complete the rest of the form and submit