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Houston opens

After three years of construction the first passenger-carrying light rail car will leave the Metropolitan Transit Authority's (METRO) depot New Year's Day at the start of a series of celebrations. After the formalities the 7.5 mile system, which cost some USD 324 million, will open to the public with free rides. A parallel bus service is being provided to alleviate any crush loading.

METRORail will also offer free rides from Jan. 2nd — 4th from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. From Monday, Jan. 5th fares will be collected and the service will operate with limited hours of service (5am -10pm). The full service (4:20 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays) is due to commence on Jan. 26th.

This line, which was built entirely with transit authority funds, is the first stage of a master USD 11.9 billion plan to build 73 miles of light and commuter rail by 2025.

1 January 2004

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