Houston METRO Light Rail Expansion – Texas

Project Details
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO)
Contract Value

$1.242 billion

Project Duration


Services Provided

Project oversight, design-build, systems design, testing, commissioning and procurement of light rail vehicles

Vision for the Future

Serving the largest city in Texas and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, Houston METRO’s vision is to improve mobility, provide alternative transportation options, and enhance economic opportunities that will benefit Houston’s residents and businesses alike. In 2003, citizens demonstrated their support for this ambitious vision by approving a referendum for an expanded, modern transit system and comprehensive plan for a multimodal premium transit network.

Based on our performance on previous Houston METRO projects and on light rail transit (LRT) projects worldwide, Houston METRO chose Parsons for two key roles: managing partner of the design-build (D-B) joint venture and project oversight. We were responsible for designing and building the expanded light rail system—the first transit D-B project led by Parsons—which included three new rail lines totaling 15 mi of LRT, 24 stations, and new storage, maintenance and inspection facilities. We were also responsible for system safety and operational upgrades to the existing 7.5-mi LRT system, acquisition and commissioning of 58 new light rail vehicles, and major renovations to the existing operations center, as well as safety and quality assurance.

In addition to the abovementioned activities, we managed the the project’s award-winning community outreach program aimed at communicating Houston METRO’s vision for the future as well as disseminating construction information to the traveling public and to businesses and residents along the rail lines. We also managed the project’s Small Business/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SBE/DBE) program, which maximized participation and promoted equal opportunity and nondiscrimination while providing opportunities for small businesses to participate in contracting and procurement for the Light Rail Expansion Project. We managed these efforts so that the project became a model for future transit projects and a catalyst for community development, job opportunities, and long-term prosperity in the neighborhoods and communities along the LRT lines.

Featured Apr 2014/Updated Jul 2017

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