OVER 15000 passengers rode Houston's 12 km Main Street light rail line in the 4h following the official dedication ceremonies on January 1, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the MTA.

The first car was driven through a banner at the Fannin South Park & Ride terminal by former Mayor Lee Brown, a strong advocate of the $324m light rail project. Other VIPs on board the Siemens Avanto LRV included Houston Metro Chairman Arthur Schechter and President & CEO Shirley DeLibero.

The official opening ceremony was held at the UH Downtown campus. Other speakers included APTA President William Millar, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Siemens (US) President & CEO Oliver Hauck. After a weekend of free rides, revenue services began on January 5.