» Construction continues on rapid transit expansion projects around the country.
This year, more than $64.3 billion worth of transit expansion projects will begin construction, continue construction, or enter into service in the United States. It’s a huge investment, much of it the product of extensive state and local spending.
What is evident is that certain cities are investing far more than others. Among American cities, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington stand out as regions that are currently investing particularly dramatically. Toronto has the biggest investments under way in Canada. These metropolitan areas have invested billions of local dollars in interconnected transit projects that will aid in the creation of more livable, multimodal environments. Dynamic, growing cities require continuous investment in their transit systems.
Yet the federal government also continues to sponsor a number of these investments, contributing half and sometimes more of many of the projects’ costs. Washington’s involvement should not be downplayed.
Under the just-inked bipartisan compromise to head off the fiscal cliff, transportation funding will not be affected in the short term.* But an 8% reduction in federal discretionary spending (the “sequester”) — a threat that has yet to be neutralized — remains official policy and will be enforced on March 1st if no compromise is reached. That 8% cutback would reduce funding for the New Starts program, which funds most major new transit expansion projects, by $156 million in 2013 alone. Payments to the Transportation Trust Fund, which provides funding for transit maintenance programs and the purchase of new buses and trains (as well as money for highway projects), will decline by $471 million in the same period.
This is no phantom menace. Congressional Republicans in the U.S. House have demonstrated a deep-seeded desire to cut federal spending. The Obama Administration and Democrats in the Senate have shown themselves willing to compromise to a significant extent, and transportation is unlikely to be spared. The result could be significant cutbacks in funding — cutbacks that states and cities are unlikely to make up with their own revenues. Investments from Washington make transit expansion possible.
For now, though, the construction goes on. See below for the list of transit lines expected to open this year; projects beginning construction this year; and projects already under construction that will open after 2013, in that order. Not included are line renovations or intercity rail projects.
* Fortunately, the deal did expand the transit commuter tax benefit to make it equal to the parking benefit.
New Transit Capital Projects Opening in 2013
- Atlanta Downtown Streetcar (2.6-mile streetcar), opening in late 2013 from Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site to Centennial Olympic Park
- Austin Capital MetroRapid (BRT), running along Lamar, South Congress, and Burnet.
- Boston Fairmount Line Improvements, adding Four Corners and Newmarket stations to Fairmount Commuter Rail Line.
- Denver West Line (12-mile light rail), part of Denver’s FasTracks program, from Union Station to Jefferson County Government Center/Golden.
- Miami Central Station, new interchange between commuter rail, metro, and AirportLink.
- New Orleans UPT/Loyola Avenue Corridor (1-mile streetcar), opening in January from Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street.
- New York Nostrand/Rogers Avenues BRT (9.3-mile BRT), opening in late 2013 from Williamsburg Bridge to Sheepshead Bay.
- Roaring Fork Valley VelociRFTA (BRT), from Aspen to South Glenwood.
- Salt Lake City Sugar House Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in December 2013.
- Salt Lake City Airport TRAX (6 mile light rail), from Downtown Salt Lake City to Salt Lake International Airport, part of Salt Lake FrontLines 2015 program.
- Seattle RapidRide E Line (BRT), opening in September from downtown to Shoreline.
- Seattle RapidRide F Line (BRT), opening in September from Burien to Renton via Tukwila.
- Tampa MetroRapid North-South (17.5-mile BRT), from downtown to Temple Terrace Park and Ride, via Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues.
- Tucson Modern Streetcar (3.9-mile streetcar), from University of Arizona to Downtown Tucson.
- Twin Cities Cedar Avenue BRT (16-mile BRT), opening in the Spring from 28th Avenue Station and Mall of America in Bloomington to 215th Street in Lakeville, via Eagan and Apple Valley.
- Washington, DC Dulles (Silver Line) Metrorail Extension Phase 1 (11.6-mile metro rail), from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue.
- Washington, DC H Street/Benning Road Streetcar (streetcar), from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue.
New Construction Starts in 2013
- Charlotte Blue Line Extension (9.3-mile light rail), opening in 2017 from Center City Charlotte to UNC Charlotte.
- Cincinnati Downtown Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from Over-the-Rhine to Riverfront.
- Dallas Oak Cliff Streetcar (1.5-mile streetcar), opening in 2014 from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff.
- Detroit M1 Rail (3.4-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from downtown Detroit to New Center.
- Kansas City Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 on Main Street Downtown.
- Los Angeles Downtown Streetcar (streetcar), opening in 2015 in a loop from Civic Center to Fashion District and Staples Center, via Financial District.
- New Orleans French Quarter Expansion Project (2.5-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.
- Ottawa Confederation Line (light rail), opening in May 2018 from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair, via downtown Ottawa.
- Phoenix Northwest Extension Phase 1 (3.2-mile light rail), opening in 2016 from Montebello Avenue to Dunlap Avenue. Phase 2 will extend line to Metrocenter Mall.
- St. Louis Loop Trolley (streetcar), opening in 2014 from Missouri History Museum to University Gate.
- 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.
Already Under Construction, Opening After 2013
Opening in 2014
- Anaheim ARTIC Station, opening late 2014 as a multimodal transit station.
- Boston Assembly Square Station, opening in fall 2014 as an infill station to Orange Line.
- Dallas Orange Line Phase 2 (4.7-mile light rail), from Belt Line to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- Denver Union Station, redevelopment of city’s major transit hub, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
- Edmonton North to NAIT (2-mile light rail), opening in April 2014 from Churchill Station to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
- Fort Collins Mason Corridor (BRT), from South Transit Center to Downtown Transit Center.
- Hartford CTfastrak (9.4-mile dedicated-guideway BRT), from downtown Hartford to New Britain.
- Houston East End Line (3-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Altic/Howard Hughes. Later extension to Magnolia Park Transit Center.
- Houston North Line (5.2-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Northline Transit Center.
- Houston Southeast Line (6.1-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Palm Center, via University of Houston.
- Montréal Train de l’Est (32-mile commuter rail), from Downtown Montréal to Mascouche.
- New York City 7 Line Extension (1.3-mile metro rail), from Times Square to 34th Street.
- New York City Fulton Street Transit Center, redevelopment of downtown’s largest subway interchange, opening in June 2014.
- New York City WTC/PATH Transportation Hub, redevelopment of downtown’s station for subway service to New Jersey.
- Orlando SunRail (31-mile commuter rail), opening in May 2014 from DeLand to DeBary. Phase II will extend project by an additional 30 miles.
- Salt Lake City Draper Transit Corridor (3.8-mile light rail), from Sandy Civic Center to Pioneer Road, part of Salt Lake FrontLines 2015 program.
- San Bernardino sbX (15.7-mile BRT), opening in 2014 from downtown to Cal State San Bernardino on E Street.
- San Francisco Bay Area Santa Clara-Alum Rock (7.4-mile BRT), from Eastridge Transit Center to HP Pavilion.
- San Francisco Bay Area Oakland Airport Connector (3.2-mile metro rail), from BART Coliseum Station to Oakland Airport.
- Seattle First Hill Streetcar (2.2-mile streetcar), from Capitol Hill to King Street Station, via Broadway.
- Twin Cities Central Corridor (11-mile light rail), from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.
Opening in 2015
- Charlotte Streetcar (Phase 1) (1.5-mile streetcar), from downtown transit center to Presbyterian Hospital.
- Los Angeles Gold Line Foothill Extension (11.3-mile light rail), from Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa.
- Los Angeles Expo Line Phase II (6.6-mile light rail), running from Culver City to Santa Monica.
- Phoenix Central Mesa Extension (3.1-mile light rail), from Sycamore Street to Main Drive.
- Portland-Milwaukie Corridor (7.3-mile light rail), from downtown Portland to Milwaukie.
- Sacramento Blue Line to Cosumnes River College (4.3-mile light rail), extending the Blue Line south.
- San Francisco Bay Area BART to Warm Springs Extension (5.4-mile metro rail), from Fremont Station south to Warm Springs.
- Sonoma-Marin SMART Train (38-mile commuter rail), opening in 2015 from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.
- Toronto Georgetown South Project and Union Pearson Express (commuter rail upgrade and 2-mile extension), including spur to Toronto-Pearson Airport.
- Toronto Union Station Revitalization, renovation and expansion of the city’s primary commuter rail hub.
Opening in 2016
- Denver Northwest Rail Segment (2-mile electric commuter rail), from Pecos St Station to South Westminster, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
- Denver East Corridor (22.8-mile electric commuter rail), from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
- Denver Gold Line (11.2-mile electric commuter rail), from Denver Union Station to Ward Road, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
- Denver I-225 Line (10.5-mile light rail), from Nine Mile to Peoria/Smith.
- New York City Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 (2-mile metro rail), opening December 2016 from 63rd Street to 96th Street.
- San Francisco Bay Area eBART (10-mile commuter rail), from Pittsburgh/Bay Point to Hillcrest Avenue.
- Seattle University Link (3.2-mile light rail), from Capitol Hill to University of Washington.
- Toronto Spadina Extension (5.6-mile metro rail), from Downsview to Vaughan Corporate Center.
- Vancouver Evergreen Line (7-mile metro rail), from Lougheed Town Centre to Douglas College.
Opening in 2017
- Boston Green Line Extension Phase 1 (light rail), from Lechmere to Washington Street Station and Union Square Station.
- Honolulu Rail Transit Phase 1 (metro rail), from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.
- San Francisco Transbay Transit Center, downtown’s planned major bus and rail terminus, first phase.
Opening in 2018
- Los Angeles Crenshaw Corridor (8.5-mile light rail), from Exposition Boulevard to LAX/Aviation Station.
- San Francisco Bay Area BART to Silicon Valley Phase I (10-mile metro rail), from Warm Springs to Berryessa in San Jose.
- Washington, DC Dulles Metrorail (Silver Line) Extension Phase 2 (11.6-mile metro rail), from Wiehle Avenue to Route 772, via Dulles Airport.
Opening in 2019
- Boston Green Line Extension Phase 2 (light rail), from Washington Street Station to College Avenue Station.
- Honolulu Rail Transit Phase 2 (metro rail), from Ala Moana Center to Aloha Stadium, via Airport.
- Los Angeles Regional Connector (2-mile light rail), from Union Station to 7th Street/Metro Center and unifying the Gold Line with the Expo and Blue Lines.
- New York City Long Island Railroad Eastside Access (4-mile commuter rail), connecting Long Island rail lines to Grand Central.
- 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.