HOUSTON - On Monday, Metro gave their first look on board their two new light rail lines.
The $1.3 billion project runs from downtown, through the East End and past the University of Houston. The ten new miles of track bring the total for the system up to 23 miles.
The sound of the train's horn is a sound some people living on the east side have waited years to hear.
"I'm actually excited about it," said Angela Gutierrez, who lives near the Green Line. "I think it'll make it a lot easier for people to get around."
On Monday Metro officials took media for a ride along the New Green and Purple lines just a month out from their May 23 opening.
Metro officials don't have ridership estimates but say the last line they opened, the Red Line's extension north, had nearly double the expected daily boardings. They're hoping this expansion, combined with
"Yes I do feel like it's going to tie into other services," said Andy Skabowski, Metro's Chief Operating Officer.
Skabowski says the line is already kickstarting development around EaDo Station. "EaDo" is short for "East Downtown".
"The new construction's just amazing," said Skabowski. "When we first started the alignment there wasn't anything on either side of us."
"I actually like it because hopefully it'll be a good investment for the area and hopefully we'll get a good resale on our house in the future," said Amanda Pfeiffer, who lives in EaDo.
"I really honestly don't care because I don't think I'll use that line too much," said Samantha Solis, who also lives in EaDo. "It blocks my route to work because I have to go 288 south."
Metro says they've not only made safety upgrades near schools along the line, including installing pedestrian hybrid crossing signals, but are also running extensive testing to make sure traffic backups like the ones already seen downtown aren't an issue when the first train leaves the station Memorial Day weekend.
Metro officials will extend the Green Line out to Magnolia Park Transit Center in 2016. They tell KHOU they plan on extending the rail system further but still have to figure out where and how to pay for it.
For more information on the Green and Purple Line projects: https://www.ridemetro.org/CurrentProjects/METRORailExpansion.aspx