METRO Seeks Small Business Participation In METRO Solutions Phase 2 Projects

October 26, 2005

METRO is creating business opportunities for small Houston firms by hosting a forum where they can introduce themselves to large firms for potential collaboration on engineering and construction contracts to be awarded under METRO's $2 billion Phase 2 mobility projects.

Approximately 250 companies are taking part in the two-day Industry Review Forum, which began yesterday and concludes today at the Marriott Hotel in the Texas Medical Center.

Frank J. Wilson, METRO President and CEO, set the stage for the forum by describing "METRO's sacred commitments to project schedules, budgets and performance standards." One of these performance measures, he explained, is to implement a contracting plan that is effective and equitable, including adherence to METRO's small business goal of 35 percent participation.

"The Referendum that created METRO Solutions was supported by all segments of the community," Wilson said. "The sales tax that fuels the METRO Solutions financial engine is paid by all segments of the community. And the construction burdens resulting from this major building program will impact all segments of the community. Therefore, we believe that all segments of this community must participate and benefit from the implementation of this enterprise."

METRO executives updated attendees on the five transit corridors that were described June 13th when METRO launched the METRO Solutions Phase 2 Implementation Plan. The corridors will use a combination of light rail and other guided rapid transit vehicles. Because these vehicles will provide faster service than traditional fixed route buses, they have been designated "Quick Lines" by METRO.

Participants heard impassioned luncheon remarks from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, Senior Pastor of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church and a Board Member of the Greater Houston Partnership. Rev. Caldwell called attention to METRO's successful start up of light rail and he emphasized the need for additional transit investments because of Houston's growing population. He expressed confidence that METRO would continue its solid record of small business utilization.