Welcome to the Gulf Coast Rail District
Harris County, the City of Houston, and Fort Bend County created the Gulf Coast Rail District (GCRD) under authority granted by the State of Texas in Section 171 of the Transportation Code. The District is governed by a board of directors consisting of fourteen appointees, one Ex Officio member appointed by the Texas Transportation Commission, and one Ex Officio member appointed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. The District Chairman is jointly appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court and the Mayor of the City of Houston. Other members include the Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority and appointments by Harris County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, and Waller County, as well as the City of Houston, small municipalities in Harris County, and small municipalities in Fort Bend County. The GCRD held its first meeting in August of 2007.
The Gulf Coast Rail District was created to enhance the economic benefits of rail, while improving regional quality of life through the following goals:
- Improve safety and security, particularly safety at grade crossings and as it relates to rail transportation.
- Increase mobility, access and quality of life.
Near-term, the Gulf Coast Rail District wants to grade separate the rail crossings that will have the most impact on roadway safety and multimodal mobility and to initiate commuter rail in Harris county and counties adjacent to Harris County that are critical to the region’s growth and the Gulf Coast Rail District will work to facilitate the development and construction of these facilities.
Long-term, the Gulf Coast Rail District believes it is possible to enhance freight rail operations and capacity in a few of the region’s existing corridors to the benefit of freight railroads and the multimodal regional transportation network.
This vision will require extensive coordination and partnership with the Class I railroads operating in the Houston region.
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