» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.
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On The Transport Politic:
- San Juan unveils plan for “Walkable City,” hopes for light rail on Isleta
- China agrees to major investments in Argentina’s rail and metro lines
- Fort Worth wins grant for streetcar, but whether it’s ready is another question
- Miami’s long-sought plans for metro extensions dissolve as funding disappears
- For French high-speed rail, a lower cost future pondered
- Begin: Brazil opens bidding for the construction of the Rio-Sao Paulo high-speed rail link. Planners hope to have the project completed in time for Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics.
- Closer: Saudi Arabia receives six bids for the building and maintenance of its Haramain high-speed line, which would connect Mecca and Medina after €10 billion in investment. The Alstom/SNCF team is apparently the front-runner.
- Almost: France chooses Vinci-led consortium of companies to begin work on the Tours-Bordeaux fast train line, a €7.8 billion project that will be the biggest of its type in Europe.
- Ready: By the end of the year, Turkey plans to begin operation on its Ankara-Konya high-speed line, cutting a currently 10-hour trip to only 75 minutes.
Not so fast!
- The global light rail market is expanding at a rapid clip, expected to reach $7.5 billion annually by 2015. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean every planned project will be built.
- The Boston Green Line extension into Somerville, proposed for years and the result of a settlement to mitigate the effects of the Big Dig, is increasing in construction costs, now up to one billion dollars. Partly for that reason, it has been delayed until October 2015.
- Los Angeles celebrates the 20th birthday of its Metro Rail system, whose Blue Line began the Southern California train revolution with a link between downtown and Long Beach.
- New York finally completes initial tunneling work on the 7 train extension into the Far West Side.
- Guangzhou BRT, a one-line system, is now recording 800,000 trips a day, a world record. It is one of the heaviest-used corridors of any type in the world.
- BART continues its campaign to build the Oakland Airport Connector, despite significant criticism over its social utility.
- German railways simply can’t stand the heat.
Image above: Buses in Guangzhou, from Flickr user Michael Mooney