Planned Light Rail Systems

Atlanta | Austin | Baltimore | Boston | Calgary | Charlotte | Cleveland | Dallas | Denver | Edmonton | Hamilton | Hampton Roads | Honolulu | Indianapolis | Jacksonville | Kansas City | Los Angeles | Memphis | Minneapolis | Monterey Bay | Montréal | New Jersey | Ottawa | Orlando | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | Portland | Raleigh | Sacramento | St. Louis | Salt Lake City | San Diego | San Francisco | San Jose | Seattle | Toronto | Washington | Waterloo | York Region

Note that projects currently under construction are noted on that page. Use the feedback form at the end of the page to suggest updates.

  • Austin
    • City of Austin Urban Rail- 2021
      • New line, running from the Mueller Development to downtown in first phase and extending to south waterfront in second phase
      • Would run adjacent to University of Texas at Austin and State Capitol
      • $550 million cost for first phase, $1.3 billion for full system
      • Funding not currently available
    • Capital MetroRail DMU Green Line
      • 28-mile new line, running from downtown Austin to Elgin
      • $192 million cost
      • Funding not currently available
  • Baltimore
    • Red Line LRT – 2018-2021 – Partially Funded
      • 14-mile new line, running from Baltimore County east into Baltimore City, along Waterfront, past Patterson Park through Canton, and to Bayview Medical Center; connections with existing Metro, MARC, and north-south LRT
      • Partial subway running through downtown sections, street-running elsewhere.
      • Projected 40,000 daily riders
      • Construction likely to begin in 2015 (depending on full funding)
      • Relevant articles on the Transport Politic: Baltimore Fight on Red Line Plan, 27 April 2009; Maryland Governor Support Light Rail for Red and Purple Lines, 5 August 2009.
    • Yellow Line Extensions
      • One extension of the line would create a second north-south corridor and run from Camden Yards to Lutherville, via Penn Station, Johns Hopkins, Cold Spring, and Towson; another would run west from BWI Business District to Columbia Town Center, via BWI station, Dorsey, and Guilford
      • New full Yellow Line would extend 42 miles, compared to 14 miles today
      • Proposed in Baltimore Region Transit Plan
      • No funding yet available
  • Boston
    • Green Line Extensions- 2018
      • 5-mile total proposed westerly extensions of existing Green Line LRT service would extend route from relocated Lechmere terminus into Somerville and Medford
      • $932 million cost, but no guaranteed funding, applying for New Starts aid in 2012
      • Two branches – one to Union Square along Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line; another to Mystic Valley Parkway along Lowell Commuter Rail Line, via Gilman Square and College Avenue
  • Calgary
    • Northwest LRT Extension – 2014 – FUNDED
      • Project extends west from existing Crawfoot Station to Rocky Ridge/Tuscany
      • $120 million (Canadian) cost
      • Construction likely to begin in 2012
  • Charlotte
    • Blue Northeast LRT – 2017 - FUNDED
      • 9.3-mile extension of existing Blue Line; from Uptown to UNCC
      • Project cut short of initially planned route to I-485
      • Projected daily ridership of 17,500
      • Construction could begin in 2014
      • $1.16 billion construction cost (of which 50% will be covered by federal new starts funding)
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Charlotte Runs Out of Tax Funds, 5 February 2009.
  • Cleveland
    • Blue Line Extension LRT
      • Extension could run from existing terminus at Shaker Gateway to new station at Highlands Gateway, via Northfield Road, Harvard Crossing, and Enterprise Park, though other corridors also possible
      • Would serve major employment zones in southeast area of the Cleveland region
      • Not currently funded
  • Dallas
    • New Downtown LRT
      • New route would provide relief for the overburdened trunk line running through central Dallas, and provide a second corridor for development in the center city; it would receive trains running on several of the city’s lines
      • Route undergoing local review and therefore not yet determined
      • Project currently delayed due to funding directed elsewhere
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: New Rail Corridor for Dallas Would Double Downtown Transit Capacity, 24 November 2009.
    • Mesquite LRT Extension
      • Extension of Green Line using DMU vehicles would extend along Scyene Road from existing Lawnview Station to Downtown Mesquite
      • Service would be provided at 30 minute frequencies during peak hour
      • Costs could be between $110 and $125 million
      • Line would extend past DART’s current service boundaries into the City of Mesquite
  • Edmonton
    • Northeast LRT Extension
      • Extension of existing line, from Clareview Station to Anthony Henday
      • Funding not yet secured, route still in planning
    • South to Heritage Valley LRT Extension
      • Extension of currently under construction South LRT Extension, from Century Park south
      • Funding not yet secured, route still in planning
    • Southeast to Mill Woods LRT Extension
      • New low-floor line would run from Churchill Station downtown to Mill Woods, via 95 Avenue, 83 Street, 75 Street, and 66 Street
      • Ten planned stations
      • Would interconnect with West line downtown
      • Funding not yet secured, route still in planning
    • West to Lewis Estates LRT Extension
      • New low-floor line would run from Churchill Station downtown to Lewis Estates, via Stony Plain Road, 156 Street, and 87 Avenue
      • Thirteen planned stations
      • Would interconnect with Southeast line downtown
      • Funding not yet secured, route still in planning
  • Hamilton
    • King/Main Light Rail
      • 8.8-mile route, with 17 stations, stretching from Eastgate to McMaster
      • Trains would run in dedicated lanes and have signal priority
      • $784 million cost
      • Other routes throughout the downtown also being considered over the long term
  • Hampton Roads
    • Virginia Beach Light Rail Extension
      • From Newtown Road terminus of light rail currently under construction to Virginia Beach oceanfront, along inactive railroad right-of-way
      • No funding currently available
    • Peninsula Light Rail Extension
      • Connects Christopher Newport University with Huntington Pointe, via Downtown Newport News and airport
    • Long-Term Light Rail Plans- by 2035 — not currently funded
      • From Downtown Norfolk to Airport and Naval Station along Military Highway/I-64 – 2026
      • From Downtown Norfolk to Naval Station (possible streetcar) – 2026
      • From Eastern Virginia Medical School to Midtown and Downtown Portsmouth – 2035
      • From Downtown Portsmouth to Harbour View, via Chesapeake and Suffolk – 2035
      • From Lightfoot to Downtown Newport News – 2035
      • From Downtown Hampton to Downtown Newport News – 2035
      • From Newport News and Hampton, across Harbor to Norfolk – 2035
  • Honolulu
    • LRT Extensions
      • Several small extensions from line detailed above:
        • West from Kapolei to Kalealoa
        • South from Salt Lake towards Airport
        • Northeast from Ala Moana Center to University of Hawaii-Manoa
        • East from Ala Moana Center to Waikiki
      • No currently projected starting date or financing
  • Indianapolis
    • Northeast CR (DMU)
      • 18.3-mile new line would run between Downtown Indianapolis and 146th Street in Noblesville, via northeast Indianapolis and Fishers
      • 4,900 projected daily riders
      • $691 million cost
      • No funding yet available
  • Jacksonville
    • First Coast CR (DMU)
      • 90.5-mile new routes from Jacksonville Transportation Center to the north, southwest, and southeast along existing freight tracks
      • Three basic corridors being considered:
        • North – from Downtown Jacksonville north to Yulee (22.8 miles)
        • Southwest – from Downtown Jacksonville southwest to Glen Cove Springs (29.3 miles)
        • Southeast – from Downtown Jacksonville southeast to West Augustine/Atlantic Ocean (38.4 miles)
      • $543 million cost ($197 North Line; $158 Southwest Line; $172 Southeast Line)
      • No funding yet available
  • Kansas City
    • City LRT
      • 14-mile new line would run north-south from Kansas City North to Country Club Plaza, via North Kansas City, River Market, Downtown and Union Station
      • Dozens of miles of extensions were planned in all directions for the systems
      • $815 million cost
      • The project, funded by a 3/8-cent sales tax, was rejected by voters in November 2008; as a result, the future of this system remains up in the air
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Kansas City Abandons Light Rail, 17 February 2009; Kansas City’s Next Referendum?, 24 April 2009.
  • Los Angeles
    • Eastside LRT – 2035 – Partially Funded
      • Route extends east from the terminus at Atlantic Station in East L.A. of the currently under construction Eastside Gold Line
      • Project is currently undergoing study; exact routing is not yet determined
      • Total expected cost of Eastside Extension is $1.3 billion
      • Construction likely to being in 2030
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2017 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
    • Crenshaw LRT – 2016 – Partially Funded
      • 8.5-mile route extends from Exposition Boulevard south to El Segundo Boulevard, following Crenshaw, Florence, and Aviation Boulevards; connections to Green Line at Aviation/LAX Station, and Expo Line at Expo/Crenshaw Station
      • Total expected cost of Crenshaw Corridor is $1.5 billion
      • Construction likely to begin in 2013
      • 15,000 to 20,000 daily riders
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2018 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Cost Concerns Could Shorten L.A.’s Crenshaw Corridor or Turn Planners to Rapid Buses, 16 September 2009.
    • Foothill Extension – 2017 – Partially Funded
      • 11-mile route would extend existing Gold Line Light rail from Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa
      • Total expected cost of Foothill Extension is $758 million
      • Eventual future extension would go 12 more miles to Montclair, where connection with Metrolink commuter rail would be possible
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2014 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
    • Regional Connector – 2019 – Partially Funded
    • Green Line LAX Connection – 2028 – Partially Funded
      • Route would extend existing Green Line light rail from Aviation/LAX station to new station at airport terminals
      • Total expected cost of LAX Connection is $200 million
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2018 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
    • Green Line South Bay Extension – 2035 – Partially Funded
      • Route would extend existing Green Line light rail south from Redondo Beach station to Torrance Transit Center
      • Total expected cost of South Bay Extension is $280 million
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2018 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
    • I-405 Corridor – 2035 – Partially Funded
      • Route would extend north from planned Westwood/UCLA station to Sepulveda in San Fernando Valley, via Getty Center
      • Project has funding from Measure R tax, but could be advanced to 2018 if 30/10 proposal moves forward
  • Memphis
    • Regional Rail LRT
      • 8.2-mile new line from Downtown Memphis to Memphis Airport, via southeast Memphis
      • 30,000 projected daily riders
      • $404 million cost
      • Project remains under review and funding has not yet been secured
  • Minneapolis
    • Southwest LRT – 2015 – Partially Funded
      • New line would travel from Downtown Minneapolis to Mitchell, via Uptown; connections to Central and Hiawatha LRTs would occur either at the MultiModal Station or at Nicollet Mall
      • Projected 23,000 to 28,000 daily riders
      • Project is still being studied, so exact route has yet to be defined
      • Construction likely to begin in 2012
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Better Options for Minneapolis’ Southwest Corridor, 11 August 2009.
    • Bottineau Transitway- 2016 (could also be BRT)
      • Study area extends between downtown Minneapolis and the northwest suburbs, including Crystal, Rogers, and Albertville
      • Right of way for transit line would go to either Maple Grove or Brooklyn Park
      • Most likely line would extend 12 miles to Maple Grove with daily ridership of 19,500 and construction costs of $885 (in 2016 dollars)
      • Would connect at Minneapolis transit hub to other light rail corridors and Northstar commuter rail
  • Montréal
    • Highway 10 LRT- 2014
      • 8-mile new line, running from Downtown Montreal to Chevrier, via Ile des Soeurs and over the St. Lawrence River
      • 60,000 projected daily riders
      • $1 billion (Canadian) cost
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2010 if funding can be secured
  • New Jersey
    • Passaic-Bergen CR (DMU) – 2012 – Partially Funded
      • Route connects Bergen and Passaic Counties along an existing railroad ROW, from Hackensack to Hawthorne, via Elmwood Park and Paterson; connection to NJT Main Line Station at Hawthorne
      • $156 million cost
      • Construction apparently delayed
    • Northern Branch LRT or CR (DMU)
      • New line would run north-south from current terminus of Hudson-Bergen LRT North Bergen Terminus to Tenafly, via Palisades Park and Englewood
      • 8,000 to 24,000 projected daily riders
      • $540 to $865 cost
      • No funding currently available
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: New Links in North Jersey, 14 May 2009.
    • Hudson-Bergen LRT Extensions – Partially Funded
      • Two planned extensions to existing waterfront LRT line:
        • An extension west from existing West Side Avenue Station to new development along Hackensack waterfront
        • An extension west from existing Tonnelle Avenue Station (in North Bergen) to new development at Xanadu/Meadowlands
  • North-South LRT
    • 22-mile new line running north-south from Altamonte Springs to South Orange County, via Orlando
    • Will connect to SunRail commuter rail system
    • $1.3 billion cost
    • No funding and no set timeline for this project
  • OIA Connector LRT
    • 14-mile new line running east-west from Orlando International Airport to International Drive (theme parks)
    • $617 million cost
    • No funding and no set timeline for this project
  • Ottawa
    • Light Rail Link – 2018 – Partially Funded
      • 7.8-mile new line, running from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station, through downtown, mostly along the existing bus transitway corridor
      • New 2-mile long tunnel to be constructed underneath downtown and the University of Ottawa
      • Thirteen stations
      • $2.1 billion (Canadian) cost
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2010 if funding can be secured
  • Phoenix
    • Northwest LRT- 2015/2016 (Phase I) / 2026 (Phase II)
      • 3.2-mile extension from existing Central LRT line to Dunlap Avenue (Phase I); 1.4-mile extension west on Dunlap Avenue toward I-17 and Metrocenter Mall (Phase II)
      • $300 million project
      • Construction expected to begin in 2013/li>
    • Central Mesa LRT- 2016
      • Corridor heads due east from current Central LRT line terminus in Mesa at Sycamore/Main Street
      • First phase would run 3.1 miles, with four stations, to Mesa Drive
      • A second phase would run 2 miles from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Road, though this is not currently funded
      • Construction likely to begin in 2013
    • Glendale LRT- 2026
      • Corridor, still being studied, heads due west from future Northwest LRT extension and into the city of Glendale
      • Construction has been pushed back repeatedly because of a decline in sales tax revenues; project was originally supposed to be completed in 2017
    • Phoenix West LRT (possiblyBRT) – 2021
      • Corridor, still being studied, heads east from Central LRT line’s Washington/Central Station in Downtown Phoenix and along Washington, Jefferson, and/or Adams Streets, and then along I-10 to 79th Avenue
      • Construction has been delayed because of a decrease in sales tax revenues
    • Northeast Phoenix LRT- 2031
      • Corridor, still being studied, heads northeast from Central LRT line’s Indian School/Central Station in Central Phoenix and towards Paradise Valley Mall, along SR51-Piestewa Freeway
      • Construction has been delayed because of a decrease in sales tax revenues
    • South Central Corridor
      • Corridor is in alternatives analysis stage only
      • Corridor would run from downtown Phoenix to Baseline Road, via Central Avenue
  • Pittsburgh
    • Airport Corridor(undetermined vehicle type)
      • New line between Downtown and the Airport – exact route undetermined
    • Eastern Corridor(undetermined vehicle type)
      • New line between Downtown and East Pittsburgh and the suburbs
  • Raleigh (North Carolina Triangle)
  • Sacramento
    • Downtown Natomas Airport LRT – 2014 (Phase I) – Partially Funded
      • 13-mile new line, running from Downtown Sacramento Valley Station (existing) northwest to the Airport, via South and North Natomas
      • Construction already begun on the first segment, through the River District
    • South Corridor LRT
      • 4.3-mile extension of existing line runs from Meadowview Station southeast to Cosumnes River College Station
      • 11,270 projected daily riders
      • $270 million cost
      • Construction delayed because of FTA questions about the ability of the agency to fund its projects
  • St. Louis
    • A number of unfunded projects that have been proposed over the years but all lack political and financial support at the moment:
      • St. Claire LRT Extension
        • 5.3-mile extension of existing MetroRail service from Shiloh-Scott Station to MidAmerica Airport
      • Daniel Boone
        • 9.1-mile extension from Clayton to Westport
      • Metro South
        • Extends the Blue Line into South County to Butler Hill Road
      • Northside-Southside
        • Would create a new line running from downtown north to Goodfellow and St. Louis Community College, and south to Bayless and Butler Hill
      • Madison County
        • 21-23 mile extension from East St. Louis to Alton or Edwardsville
  • Salt Lake City
    • Draper LRT – 2015 – FUNDED
      • Extension of existing north-south light rail line to Draper City, via Sandy City
      • Construction likely to begin in 2010
  • San Diego
    • Mid-Coast Corridor Trolley Extension- 2014-2016
      • 11-mile extension of existing San Diego trolley line, running from Old Town Transit Center to UCSD University Center, principally along existing Coaster line, via Claremont and Pacific Beach
      • 8 new stations, connection to new “super loop” around UCSD
      • Phase I to Gilman Drive (3 stations), Phase II to University Towne Centre Transit Center (5 stations)
      • $1.2 billion cost
  • San Francisco
    • SMART CR (DMU)Phase II Unfunded
      • 70-mile new line running north-south from Cloverdale to Larkspur in Sonoma and Marin Counties, via San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Windsor; connection to San Francisco-bound ferry at Larkspur
      • Phase I, currently under construction, will link Santa Rosa and San Rafael; planned full 70-mile line will be completed in Phase II
  • Seattle
    • Link LRT Lynnwood Expansion – 2023 – Partially Funded
      • 8.5-mile extension from Northgate to Lynnwood, via I-5
      • Extension of Northgate service, currently under construction, which will open in 2021
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2018
    • Link LRT East Expansion – 2020-2021 – Partially Funded
      • 14.5-mile extension to (currently under construction) Central Line from Downtown to Overlake Transit Center, via Mercer Island and Bellevue
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2016
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Seattle’s East Link: I-90 or SR520, 23 October 2009.
    • Link LRT South Expansion – 2016-2023 – Partially Funded
      • 7-mile extension to (currently under construction) Central Line from SeaTac International Airport to Redondo/Star Lake
      • 1.6-mile first phase, at a cost of $383 million, would extend to South 200th Street, adding about 3,000 daily riders
      • Second phase, which would cost $800 million-$1 billion, would extend from South 200th Street to Federal Way
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2013 on first phase
    • Ballard LRT
      • Working with Sound Transit, Seattle is considering investing in a light rail or rapid streetcar route from downtown to Ballard, north of downtown
      • Project currently lacks construction funding or a timeline
    • Tacoma Link Expansion
      • Extension of current downtown light rail along the following potential routes:
        • Orange Line into North Downtown
        • Red Line into Eastside
        • Purple Line into North End
        • Yellow Line into South End
        • Green Line into South Downtown
        • Blue Line into North End
      • Funding not yet available for all routes but Orange route (into north downtown) is considered most promising by planners
  • Toronto
    • Transit City LRT Lines
      • Seven new lines, designed to reinforce transit interconnectivity within the city of Toronto:
        • Don Mills Road Line- Not Funded
          • 11.2-mile north-south new line, from Steeles Avenue in North Toronto to Bloor-Danforth Subway Downtown, along Don Mills Road
        • Etobicoke Finch West Line- Not Funded
          • New line runs from Yonge Street in North Toronto west to route 27 in Northwest Toronto
          • $880 million (Canadian) cost
        • Jane Line- Not Funded
          • 9-mile new line runs north-south from the Bloor-Danforth Subway in West Toronto to Steeles Avenue in Northwest Toronto, along Jane Street
          • $800 million (Canadian) cost
        • Scarborough-Malvern Line- Not Funded
          • 9.3-mile new line would run from Kennedy Station on the existing Bloor-Danforth Subway and Scarborough RT northwest to northern Scarborough and Malvern
          • $500 million (Canadian) cost
        • Waterfront West Line- Not Funded
          • Two segments, from Union Station to Exhibition Place and from Park Lawn Road to Long Branch, running along the city’s waterfront
          • $125 million (Canadian) cost
          • Exact routing has yet to be determined
  • Washington, D.C.
    • Purple Line LRT – 2016 – Partially Funded
      • 16-mile new line would run east-west in Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, from Bethesda to New Carrollton, via Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and University of Maryland; connections to Metro Red Line at Bethesda, Metro Red Line and MARC Brunswick Line at Silver Spring, Metro Green Line and MARC Camden Line at College Park, and Metro Orange Line and MARC Penn Line at New Carrollton
      • Projected 60,000 daily riders
      • Construction is likely to begin in 2012
      • Relevant articles on the Transport Politic: Maryland Purple Line to Get Road Money, 21 May 2009; Rail for Red and Purple Lines in Maryland, 5 August 2009.
    • Corridor Cities LRT- 2016
    • Northern Virginia Light Rail
      • Route 28 to Manassas Line
        • Corridor from area near Dulles Airport to Manassas along Route 28
        • In planning, no funding
      • Pentagon to Tysons Corner Line
        • Corridor from Leesburg Pike to Pentagon, via Route 7 and Columbia Pike
        • Section along Columbia Pike being planned by Arlington County, which is developing a streetcar there
    • Southern Maryland Transit Corridor
      • 18.8-mile line from Branch Avenue Metrorail station to Waldorf, in Prince George’s and Charles counties
      • No current funding for the project
  • Waterloo Region
    • Central Transit Corridor LRT – 2014 – Partially Funded
      • C$790 million project
      • Phase I would connect Waterloo and Kitchener
      • Phase II would connect with Cambridge
      • Would be integrated with a new BRT line as well
      • Has received C$300 million in funding from Ontario government; municipal and federal sources expected to make up the rest of costs
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Waterloo Plans LRT by 2014, 2 July 2009.
  • York Region
    • Vivanext Light Rail
      • Lines would extend from Toronto’s planned Transit City lines along the Don Mills and Jane Street Corridors
      • No funding yet committed
      • Light rail also possible to replace rapidway bus system being planned for several corridors in York Region

The Site / The Fight

by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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