Greanias Reports on State of METRO
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:33 PM
METRO President & CEO George Greanias reported on the state of METRO yesterday at the Greater Houston Partnership luncheon, saying that METRO has fixed problems, changed the way the agency does business and continues to make things work every day,with people using METRO services 370,000 times a day in the Houston region.
In a sweeping synopsis of the agency’s recent past problems – from Buy America issues on purchasing its trains to borrowing money to make payments in the General Mobility Program – Greanias showed how the agency tackled each issue and refocused its energy on its core mission.
“METRO matters because it works,” said Greanias, characteristically tossing off his jacket within minutes. “People in Houston won’t ride transit if it‘s not there. They won’t ride it if it’s not reliable, convenient, safe and frequent. But when you give them that package and when you connect the activity centers the way we did with this rail line, transit works in Houston.”
In addition to detailing what METRO is doing correctly now, Greanias hinted at things to come: acquiring smaller, 12-seat vehicles to run in neighborhoods that have little demand but still need service; accordion-like, articulated buses to carry more riders on crowded routes; a scheduled bus replacement of 100 a year; and double the number of new shelters to 200 a year by 2015.
By 2014, Greanias said we’ll have three new rail lines running – the North Line, Southeast Line and East End Line.
“METRO matters to Houston,” said Greanias. “Having been at METRO for two and a half years, having seen the progress in making things happen every day...the way (the employees) are making sure METRO is getting better every day – this team of folks will bring you the transit system this region needs and deserves.”
Click here to see the entire speech, as well as opening remarks by METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia, who spoke on the referendum and what the recent vote means.