Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012

» Many new streetcar lines expected to begin construction last year are scheduled for this year instead; BRT projects advance all over the map.

The uncertainty in Congress over the future of funding for the nation’s transportation programs has not yet hit local transit authorities, which will collectively spend billions of dollars this year on enhancements to their local public transportation networks. At least 33 metropolitan areas in the U.S. — and five in Canada — are planning to invest in new BRT, streetcar, light rail, metro rail, or commuter rail projects in 2012. Virtually every American project listed here is being at least partially funded through federal capital grants.

The Obama Administration’s zeal for the distribution of small grants for bus rapid transit and streetcar projects through the TIGER and Urban Circulator programs will play out this year more than ever. Seven cities will begin construction on new streetcar lines (most were supposed to begin last year), and Portland and New Orleans plan to open extensions of their existing networks to the public. At least a dozen cities will either have a new bus rapid transit line under construction or completed by the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, the nation’s largest metropolitan areas have not forgotten their interest in more expensive light and heavy rail lines: Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, and Seattle continue to expand their light and commuter rail networks at a breathtaking pace thanks to strong local funding support. New York, perennially the country’s transit leader, will join D.C., Miami, the San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto, and Vancouver in expanding its metro rail system.

The map above summarizes the planned improvements for the next year. Below is a comprehensive list of the major transit capital projects either under construction already, entering construction this year, or opening for service over the next twelve months. There is a lot to look forward to.

New Transit Capital Projects Opening in 2012

Opening in 2012

  • Boston Fitchburg Line Extension to Wachusett (4.5-mile commuter rail), opening in the Spring and funded by a TIGER grant
  • Calgary Northeast Line Extension (1.8-mile light rail), opening in the Fall from McKnight-Westwinds to Saddletowne Circle
  • Chicago Jeffery Corridor (BRT), opening in the Fall from 67th to 83rd Streets
  • Dallas Blue Line Extension (4.5-mile light rail), opening in December from Downtown Garland to Downtown Rowlett
  • Dallas Orange Line Phase 1 (5.4-mile light rail), opening July 30 from Bachmann Station to Irving Convention Center Station; Phase II (3.9-mile light rail), opening December 3 from Irving Convention Center Station to Belt Line Station
  • Gatineau Rapibus (7.5-mile BRT), from Alexandre-Taché to Lorrain
  • Las Vegas Sahara Avenue Corridor (12-mile BRT), opening in February from Red Rock Casino to Boulder Highway
  • Los Angeles Orange Line Extension (4 mile busway), opening in Summer from Canoga to Chatsworth
  • Los Angeles Expo Line Phase I (6.5-mile light rail), opening in the Spring from downtown L.A. to Culver City
  • Los Angeles El Monte Transit Center (new bus terminal), opening in July as the largest bus-only station west of Chicago
  • Miami Airport Link (2.4-mile metro rail), opening in the Spring from Earlington Heights Station to Miami Intermodal Center Station
  • Monterey Jazz (6.75-mile BRT), opening in the Fall from Sand City to downtown Monterey
  • Montréal Train de l’Est (32-mile commuter rail), opening in December from Downtown Montréal to Mascouche
  • New Orleans UPT/Loyola Avenue Corridor (1-mile streetcar), opening in June from Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street
  • New York Nostrand/Rogers Avenues BRT (9.3-mile BRT), opening in Summer from Williamsburg Bridge to Sheepshead Bay
  • Pittsburgh North Shore Connector (1.2-mile light rail), opening in March from Gateway Center to Allegheny Station
  • Portland Eastside Streetcar Loop (3.3-mile streetcar), opening 21 September from Pearl District to Riverfront District, via Lloyd Center and Burnside
  • Providence Rail to Wickford Junction (commuter rail), from Warwick to Wickford Junction
  • Sacramento Green Line to the River District (1-mile light rail), opening in the Spring from downtown into the River District
  • San Antonio Via Primo (BRT), running on Fredricksburg Road from downtown to South Texas Medical Center
  • Seattle Sounder Lakewood Extension (8-mile commuter rail), opening in the Spring from Tacoma Dome to Lakewood Station
  • Seattle RapidRide C Line (BRT), opening in the fall from downtown to West Seattle
  • Seattle RapidRide D Line (BRT), opening in the fall from downtown to Crown Hill, via Ballard
  • Stockton Joaquin Hammer Lane Corridor (6.3-mile BRT), connecting Interstate 5 and State Route 99
  • Toronto Mississauga MiWay (BRT), from Mississauga City Centre to Renforth
  • Twin Cities Cedar Avenue BRT (16-mile bus rapid transit), running from 28th Avenue Station and Mall of America in Bloomington to 215th Street in Lakeville, via Eagan and Apple Valley
  • Winnipeg Southwest Corridor (2.2-mile BRT), opening in April from downtown to Fort Rouge

New Construction Starts for 2012

  • Atlanta Downtown Streetcar (2.6-mile streetcar), opening in 2013 from Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site to Centennial Olympic Park
  • Cincinnati Downtown Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2013 from Over-the-Rhine to Riverfront
  • Denver Northwest Rail Segment (2-mile electric commuter rail), opening in 2016 from Pecos St Station to South Westminster, part of Denver’s FasTracks program
  • Fort Collins Mason Corridor (BRT), opening in 2014 from South Transit Center to Downtown Transit Center
  • Jacksonville North Corridor (9.3-mile BRT), opening in 2014 from Downtown to Armsdale Road
  • Los Angeles Crenshaw Corridor (8.5-mile light rail), opening in 2018 from Exposition Boulevard to LAX/Aviation Station
  • Milwaukee Streetcar (streetcar), opening in 2014 from Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Central Business District
  • New Britain-Hartford Busway (9.4-mile busway), opening in 2014 from Hartford to New Britain
  • New Orleans French Quarter Expansion Project (2.5-mile streetcar), opening in 2013 from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue
  • Orlando SunRail Line (31-mile commuter rail), opening in 2014 from DeLand to DeBary. Phase II will extend project by an additional 30 miles
  • Roaring Fork Valley VelociRFTA (BRT), opening in 2013 from Aspen to South Glenwood
  • St. Louis Loop Trolley (streetcar), opening in 2014 from Missouri History Museum to University Gate
  • Salt Lake City Sugar House Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2014
  • San Bernardino sbX (15.7-mile BRT), opening in 2014 from downtown to Cal State San Bernardino
  • San Francisco Bay Area BART to Silicon Valley Phase I (10-mile metro rail), opening in 2018 from Warm Springs to Berryessa in San Jose
  • San Francisco Bay Area East Bay BRT (BRT), opening in 2015 from San Leandro to Berkeley
  • San Francisco Bay Area Santa Clara-Alum Rock (7.4-mile BRT), opening in 2014 from Eastridge Transit Center to HP Pavilion
  • Seattle First Hill Streetcar (2.2-mile streetcar), opening in 2013 from Capitol Hill to King Street Station, via Broadway
  • Seattle North Link (4.3-mile light rail), opening in 2021 from Brooklyn to Northgate
  • Seattle South Link (1.6-mile light rail), opening in 2016 from SeaTac Airport to South 200th Street
  • Seattle RapidRide E Line (BRT), opening in 2013 from downtown to Shoreline
  • Seattle RapidRide F Line (BRT), opening in 2013 between Burien and Renton, via Tukwila International Boulevard
  • Sonoma-Marin SMART Train (commuter rail), opening in 2014 from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael
  • Tampa MetroRapid North-South (17.5-mile BRT), opening in 2013 from downtown to Temple Terrace Park and Ride, via Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues
  • Tucson Modern Streetcar (3.9-mile streetcar), opening in 2013 from University of Arizona to Downtown Tucson
  • Vancouver Evergreen Line (metro rail), opening in 2016 from Lougheed Town Centre to Douglas College
  • Washington, DC Dulles Metrorail Extension Phase 2, opening in 2016 from Wiehle Avenue to Route 772, via Dulles Airport

Already Under Construction, Opening After 2012

Opening in 2013

  • Austin Capital MetroRapid (BRT), running along Lamar, South Congress, and Burnet
  • Boston Fairmount Line Improvements, adding four new stations to Fairmount Commuter Rail Line
  • Calgary West Line (5.2-mile light rail), from Sunalta to 69 Street Station with four intermediate stops
  • Denver West Line (12-mile light rail), part of Denver’s FasTracks program
  • Denver Union Station, redevelopment of city’s major transit hub, part of Denver’s FasTracks program
  • Miami Central Station, new interchange between commuter rail, metro, and AirportLink
  • New York City 7 Line Extension (1.3-mile metro rail)
  • Salt Lake Airport TRAX (6 mile light rail), from Downtown Salt Lake City to Salt Lake International Airport, part of Salt Lake FrontLines 2015 program
  • Washington, DC Dulles Metrorail Extension Phase 1 (11.6-mile metro rail), from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue
  • Washington, DC Anacostia and H Street Streetcars (6.2-mile streetcar)

Opening in 2014

Opening in 2015

Opening in 2016

Opening in 2018

  • Honolulu Rail Transit (20-mile metro rail), from Ala Moana Center to Kapolei, via Airport; opening in phases with full completion in 2018
  • San Francisco Transbay Transit Center, downtown’s planned major bus and rail terminus

Opening in 2019

  • San Francisco Central Subway (1.7-mile light rail subway), from 4th and Brennan Station to Chinatown

Opening in 2020

  • Toronto Eglinton Crosstown (15.5-mile metro rail), from Keele Street to Scarborough Town Centre
56 Comments | Leave a Reply »
  • Corey

    Somehow you forgot NJ in all of this and PA? There are few projects that might start up this year or next year…

  • Steve Perry

    Calgary West LRT opening has been delayed until March 2013.

  • Michael

    What’s the word on the new Dallas streetcar line? I don’t know when the construction begins so its exclusion from the map is probably fine, but if it starts this year it should be listed

    • Nathanael

      I’ve seen very little information on the planned schedule for the McKinney Avenue streetcar extension. I would also appreciate it if anyone had such information.

  • aw

    Another possible construction start in 2012 for Seattle is North Link.

    “An updated construction schedule will be available in early 2012…

    Construction of North Link is expected to begin in 2012 and service will start in 2021.”

  • Chris R

    Columbia Pike Streetcar in South Arlington Virginia not listed? I think they are going for only 30% federal money but have 2017 listed as possible start of service…

    • AlanF

      I don’t believe there are any reasonably solid start of construction dates for the Columbia Pike Streetcar project in Arlington VA. Looking up the project website, preliminary engineering does not begin until 2013, so lining up the funding is the key issue. According the FAQ, they will rely on state matching funds and FTA new Starts program.

  • Andrew

    The Eglinton line is really “Metro rail” not “Light rail” because plans have been changed to build it totally underground, which has been highly controversial.

  • Stephen C

    Small correction: The New Orleans streetcar project will connect with the Union Passenger Terminal, not the Union Pacific Terminal.

  • Robert

    I’m not sure it satisfies the threshold for true BRT, as its not really separated from traffic, but Monterey’s “Jazz” line is supposed to open in 2012.

    • Nathanael

      BRT is meaningless. Waste. Of. Time. Nobody in the world has done it successfully. I think it’s very polite of Yonah to list these worthless projects which nobody will ever care about.

      This is one of those. Fancy bus shelters and stop elimination, plus signal priority. Perfectly valid things to do. Hope it was cheap.

      The best bus improvement projects… aren’t even *called* BRT. That’s actually a good way to spot one people might actually appreciate; if it’s *not* called BRT that is usually a good sign.

  • Another project to include is the San Joaquin RTD’s 6.3-mile Hammer Lane BRT Corridor, due to open late 2012. Here’s the FTA link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/printer_friendly/12317_11820.html

  • Boston has no metro rail projects under construction. The fairmount line is commuter rail.

    LA’s Expo Phase 2 has been delayed to Sunday, November 6, 2016, instead of the 2015 listed.

    AKA, 2018.

  • Chris B

    Ottawa LRT just misses – planned construction is early 2013! Next year we will be on the list

  • Carter Rubin

    The Los Angeles County Metro Crenshaw Line and Regional Connector are scheduled to open this decade as well.

  • 23skidoo

    No mention of the Calgary NW extension?

    http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TI/Pages/Transit-projects/Northwest-LRT-Extension-to-Rocky-Ridge—Tuscany.aspx

    Apparently it starts construction this year and will open in 2014.

  • Vincent

    Ok here is the problem: Half of the projects are downtown streetcars!

    The problem with those: No-one is going to use them guaranteed! Expensive projects with very little benefits!

    • Nathanael

      Actually, all of the downtown streetcars which are funded will be heavily used. Those are big cities gagging for downtown circulation.

      Within a couple of years, some of them will probably be considered “underbuilt” and will have to be reconstructed as light rail, that’s the only problem….

  • michael

    Isnt the Baltimore Red Line supposed to start construction this year or next?

    • AlanF

      No, the projected start of construction is 2015. The Baltimore Red Line did get selected for fast tracking of the federal permit and environmental review, so the process and schedule may get sped up. But until the Record of Decision is issued and funding is officially allocated to the project, the schedule is always a moving target. Which is the issue with many transit projects that are in the works, but until they are fully funded, don’t make the posted 2012 lists.

      For the Red Line, see http://www.baltimoreredline.com/overview-timeline

  • ConcernedAboutWinnipeg

    You forgot Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg’s $138M 3.6 km BRT in an exclusive right-of-way is opening on April 10th, 2012. There’s more to Canada than just Vancouver, Toronto Montreal and Alberta.

  • Blackburn

    The WTC PATH line is now scheduled for 2015. Check back next year for the next delay.

    The East Side Access LIRR project won’t be online until at least 2018.

  • Andrew

    Also Kitchener-Waterloo, although construction isn’t planned to start until 2014.

  • Kevin

    Great job with this compilation, thanks! It’s really neat to look at.

  • Robert

    Not to push the issue, but the first leg of the VTA rapid (BRT) in San Jose is supposed to start construction this year.

    http://www.vta.org/brt/sc-ar/index.html

  • Philip Freyre

    Since you mentioned Denver’s Union Station, you should also mention St. Paul’s Union Depot.

    Construction started in January 2011, and it will open in winter 2012. Union Depot will serve Amtrak and other intercity bus services, and although the Central Corridor LRT project is separate, it will have a stop that opens in front of Union Depot in 2014.

    Here’s a link.
    http://blog.regionalrail.org/

    • Buckeyeman

      What’s to become of the present Midway Station? Is there any thought at all Amtrak serice in or anywhere near Downtown Minneapolis? I’m also curious about this Minneapolis interchange mentioned in the Red Rock Cooridor video since I’d never heard of it before.

      • Buckeyeman

        I just found out what the Minneapolis Interchange is. I just now was made aware that it’s the same thing as Target Field station. Not being familiar with the Twin Cities, I had no idea that they were one and the same.

      • Nathanael

        When Amtrak moves to St. Paul Union Depot, Midway Station will be completely shut down. I don’t know whether it will be demolished or not. It certainly has no historic or architectural value, and I’ll be happy to see it demolished.

        There are no current plans to have an Amtrak intercity station in Minneapolis, largely because all the old locations were destroyed and built over. Target Field is all very well for commuters, but could not really be adapted into a full-service station for vacationers with luggage; the tracks are too busy for a long station stop, there’s no room for additional platforms, and any train continuing to points west has to reverse to the Northstar line, due to the state of the trackage through Wayzata and points west.

        For some reason, Minneapolis planning documents keep renaming the Target Field station — I’ve seen it as “Minneapolis Multimodal” (in the Northstar planning documents), “Ballpark Station”, “Target Field” (the name actually on the signs), and now “Minneapolis Interchage”. It is confusing, isn’t it?

        Minneapolis is currently doing a planning/alternatives/EIS thing in order to extend the LRT tracks a couple of blocks north with another station. I think the hope is to (a) reduce crowding at the existing LRT platforms, and (b) get a head start on SW LRT.

  • François

    There’s also the Rapibus BRT in Gatineau, Québec, begun in 2009 and scheduled to be completed in 2012.

    http://www.rapibus.sto.ca/index.php?id=6

  • Gerald R. Cichy

    How does the Red Line Light Rail in Baltimore with FTA Engineering Start approval fit in?

    Also the Purple Line Light Rail in Montogmery County and Prince Georges County, Suburban Washington, DC area, with FTA Engineering Start?

  • Kevin

    Also worth mentioning is the construction of Miami’s new union station, Miami Central Station. It began construction at the end of 2010, expected to be finished in 2013.

  • Nathanael

    Quick prediction: of the things opening in the US in 2012, Expo Line Phase I is going to be by *far* the most popular.

  • Will

    There’s a one-station extension of Toronto’s GO Train opening in 2012 (from Barrie South to Allandale Waterfront). And major upgrading is underway on the GO Georgetown South corridor, which will be used by the new Pearson Airport rail link, to be operated by GO (and scheduled to open in 2015).

  • Justin Bernard

    Valley Metro(Pheonix) is starting construction on the Mesa extension this spring.

    http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_projects_planning/central_mesa/

  • I wonder why you do not include San Diego in your report, this year or last?
    Among projects underway: a $600 million modernization of the trolley system (including purchase of 47 new cars); a $1 billion addition to the airport; a $200 million double-tracking or the coastal rail line that serves Amtrak, the Coaster and freight); a multi-million dollar expansion of San Ysidro border crossing. A four-lane “freeway within a freeway” expansion of I-15 will be completed next month, a year ahead of schedule. SANDAG in October approved a 2040 Regional Transportation Plan that lays out $214 billion in transportation spending over the next few decades.
    Stuffs happening here! I’dbe glad to compile a watchlist for you. — Bob

  • Dabido87

    Hey! Where is Phoenix on this list?! An expansion of the metro’s light-rail system farther into Mesa (an inner-ring suburb) is scheduled to start construction this year and open in 2016. Similarly, Tempe, another suburb home to Arizona State University, is building a new streetcar system that also is due to open in 2016.

    See here for details: http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_projects_planning/

    There are a host of other expansions scheduled (though the funding is not secured for all of them), as well as a people-mover system linking the airport to the existing light-rail line. The PHX may be the poster-child for sprawl, but it’s making progress.

    • I did not include either of those projects because both will begin construction in 2013. This list only includes projects that are either under construction already or due to begin construction in 2012.

  • Frank

    The Great Northern Station was taken down in 1978, shortly after Amtrak moved into the Midway Station,. which is rather a joke. well, finally a Rent Car Station and Bus Area. Therefore, The only area that I know of as I write this note for Minneapolis is where Steve has his Barn for the Milwaukee 261. that could be a Shelter and not a Ticket Both. this day in age, like Stupid Airplanes, one could print out their own Tickets, or have them mailed to you. However, this will only delay getting going and will not be Baggage check, give me a break for 2 Trains a day? Minneapolis has only one Stupid Airport, while Chicago, L.A. New York and Washington has 2 or more. also London,, GB some cities has Rail to the Stupid Airport. such as Paris France. so, with that being said. this country is be-hind the times to expand Amtrak. and after reading Peoples Complaints about lax of Internet, and miss-connections. Well, the Amtrak Staff Attitudes from being very to be very professional, to being rude. but, does their job to the Min. standard. so, to finish. at one time this country had Railway Service. but as interstates and stupid airplanes came about. the Passenger Trains Performance went down hill. I was hoping going on 11 years Post 911, that we would finally get some extra Trains. The pro, one is not into their set like cattle, the con. not every business guy is turn on.

  • Valerie Powell

    Why wasn’t the planned Kitchener-Waterloo LRT line mentioned? http://www.subways.net/canada/kichener.htm

    Valerie

  • Najee Jackson

    Do you think they can construct a light rail for Delaware. Leading all the way to Rehoboth Beach. That would have more people taking transportation, then driving because gas is ridulously high. Ya get what I’m saying?

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