This sounds promising.
The U.S. transportation secretary will announce "good news" regarding expanding transit in Houston Tuesday, a spokeswoman said. Metro has asked the agency to pay for half of two planned light rail lines.
The announcement by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters will be at 10 a.m. near the University of Houston-Downtown on North Main.
"We wouldn't be coming there to announce bad news," said the spokeswoman, declining to elaborate.
The site of Peters' announcement will be the northern end of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Red Line light rail tracks. Metro's planned North Line would link to them and continue to Northline Mall.
Metro spokeswoman Raequel Roberts said she she does not know what Peters will announce.
UPDATE: Thanks to Christof in the comments, this is what it was all about.
Right now, it takes longer to get federal approval for local transit projects than it does to put a man on the moon.
But if the Bush administration's reform proprosal passes, Houston, along with other cities, will be able to navigate a streamlined process to design and build new transit and highway projects.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters made those remarks at a METRO news conference today at the University of Houston-Downtown campus, on North Main St. and Rothwell. The photo here shows Peters talking to Frank J. Wilson, METRO's president & CEO, before the news conference started.
"Houston will no longer have to slice and dice every dollar. Indeed, it will have a level playing field....Does the project justify the investment of federal tax dollars? Local officials will be free to make investments based on their needs," said Peters, adding that economic merit, not political influence will determine if federal grants flow to local projects.
"Money won't get squandered on projects that do very little to improve transit," continued Peters. "That's bad news for those who build bridges to nowhere."