Houston transit officials Thursday wrote off $104 million wasted on multiple studies related to the controversial University and Uptown light rail projects that ultimately stalled due to a lack of funding and fierce opposition from the neighborhoods they would impact.
The studies for the two lines, which were approved by voters in a 2003 referendum, were conducted prior to 2010. The value of those studies have since been carried as assets on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s books, just like buses or real estate, a common practice as major projects are compiled.
Thursday, by approving Metro’s 2014 certified financial report – an audited assessment of the agency’s finances – board members authorized the removal of the studies from the agency’s ledger.
In other words, they paid $104 million for detailed engineering and analysis and got very little in return.