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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Board of Directors
by Garrett Bryce
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with the Uptown Development Authority, Harris County Improvement District No. 1 and the City of Houston for the Uptown Bus Rapid Transit Project.

The agreement is for the development, maintenance and operation of the project, as well as an agreement to convey parcels of land to the City of Houston for the project.

Board Member Christof Spieler spoke on his approval of the project.

“I'm really excited about this,” Spieler said. “I think we're actually building one of the best BRT projects in the United States in one of the most congested place in Houston.” Listen (3:09)

The board voted unanimously to authorize negotiations with New Flyer of America, Inc. for the purchase of 14 heavy duty 60-foot articulated clean diesel low floor bus rapid transit style 5-door buses.

The buses will be used for the Uptown Bus Rapid Transit Project. The board discussed the advantages of 5-door buses as opposed to approving another item purchasing 3-door buses. While a 5-door bus is not required for the Uptown project, board members favored having the 5-door models for possible future bus rapid transit projects that could utilize the 5-door model as two of the doors would be on the left hand side of the bus.

Board Member Lex Frieden asked questions regarding the accessibility of the 5-door buses. He also noted that the buses being considered had only two positions for wheelchairs. Listen (21:13)

The board took no action regarding negotiation of a contract with Nova Bus for the purchase of 3-door buses due to approving the 5-door bus contract.

The board voted unanimously to adopt a labor agreement with the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO and Local 260.

The board voted unanimously to renew an all-risk property insurance policy with FM Global and a windstorm deductible buy-down insurance policy with Lloyds of London Syndicate.

The board did not meet in executive session, and no action taken regarding any matters listed in the executive session portion of the agenda.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Board Member Don Elder was absent. Agenda

The meeting was held Tuesday, as opposed to its usual meeting day of Thursday. For a video of the meeting, Click Here

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