The Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority will receive $900 million in federal grants under agreements signed last week by Peter Rogoff, director of the Federal Transit Administration, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The city has been seeking the grants since 2003. The funds will finance most of the estimated $1.6 billion needed to extend the light-rail system by 12 miles.

 “The fourth largest city in the United States deserves a world-class transit system that will meet the region’s needs for the 21st century, and the investments we are making today will accomplish that,” Rogoff said.

Congress has appropriated $334.5 million of the grant. Houston Metro has received $84.5 million so far.

The plan was almost derailed in 2010 when the FTA said Houston Metro violated federal law in the procurement process for rail cars. The system canceled those contracts and sought new proposals.

The FTA said in September it would approve the grants.

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