HOUSTON – On Jan. 1, 2004, the “Red Line,” a 7.3-mile line connecting downtown Houston with the southern part of the city, opened.

Construction cost $324 million for the line running from south of Reliant Park to Downtown Houston.

In 1973, the Texas state Legislature authorized the creation of local transit authorities. It wasn’t until 1978, however, that voters in the Houston area created Metro. A one-cent sales tax was also levied to support Metro’s construction.

Metro bus service opened in January 1979.

Since 2001, officials have been developing Metro Solutions, a transit plan aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the Houston area. Metro’s Board of Directors adopted Metro Solutions in July 2003. An additional 65 miles of rail expansion is included in the plan.

No timetable has been offered for when the rail expansion might be built.