Houston METRO General Planning Consultant

Houston METRO

Houston METRO General Planning Consultant

HDR Has Worked With METRO to Deliver the Biggest Projects in the Region

The year 2021 marks 25 years of a relationship between HDR and METRO in the Houston area — a partnership that includes a new light rail system, millions of dollars in federal grants and successful implementation of the region's New Bus Network program.

METRO provides service to a large area, covering Houston, 14 other cities, and large portions of Harris County. Our teams have assisted METRO with a variety of projects, moving forward Houston’s transit and enhancing equity in the process.


As General Planning Consultant, we helped lead the long-range planning that envisioned transit development in the region for the next 25 years. HDR led the development of several Alternatives Analyses, feasibility studies and environmental documents supporting the program of projects in the METROSolutions plan. HDR’s work culminated in a successful referendum in 2003 which was the catalyst for bus service and light rail expansion in the region.

houston rail line

METRORail Extensions/New Bus Network

Our team helped navigate the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant process. Our team developed the strategy and assisted in creating the FTA New Starts readiness documents and ratings package for multiple light rail corridors, resulting in $900 million to expand the system. We also created the final design on the METRORail Red Line North Corridor extension.

During this time, we also performed travel demand modeling and implementation of the agency's New Bus Network effort.

METRONext Long Range Plan

We provided long range plan strategy and development and defined corridor alternatives for this effort to plan the region’s transit future for the next 20 years. It included expansions of multiple modes of transit, facility upgrades and improvements to accessibility and usability for customers. We also assisted with the Phase 2 Public Involvement effort, which led to a successful referendum approving the plan in 2019.

houston bus route

Boosting Economic Development

In 2020, we used an innovative, collective Categorical Exclusion approach allowing FTA to clear over 4,000 bus stops for Universal Accessibility, much more efficient than clearing each stop individually. A similar BOOST Corridors Categorical Exclusion cleared 17 corridors to improve service within the region through an optimized network. And the Northline Transit Center site was cleared through a Categorical Exclusion to allow additional construction contracts to be awarded. 

All of these, in turn, provided economic development through additional construction contracts. Our ability to clear several Categorical Exclusions during the pandemic has meant small businesses are now working with METRO to implement these programs.

houston rail cityscape

Partnerships with Small and Disadvantaged Businesses

We value the innovation, flexibility and responsiveness of our small business partners. We take seriously our civic responsibility to help build the economic and technical capacity of Houston’s small business firms.

HDR consistently utilizes small business firms on projects to mentor, assist in expansion of their resumes, as well as bolster staff experience. This is a continuing responsibility, not just a singular opportunity in response to one project. HDR and METRO gain value from these firms through their localized resources and understanding of community relations, expertise and history working in the Houston region.

We are proud of our partnerships in the Houston area, and we look forward to 25 more years of working together.

Houston METRO
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO)

Houston, TX
United States