Weekend Links

» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.

Follow my Twitter account (@ttpolitic) to get news in real time.

On The Transport Politic:


  • 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.


Image above: Buses in Guangzhou, from Flickr user Michael Mooney

8 replies on “Weekend Links”

Yonah, I like to use mouseovers to look at the destination of links in my status bar. When you use URL shorteners like, all I see is a meaningless string of characters.

I can’t think of any reason to use URL shorteners in a blog post where the links are in HTML anchors on text descriptions. If it’s not too much trouble, I would appreciate if you could link directly to the websites instead of to the shortened URLs.

I am a Cantonese and I live near the “BRT” system. However, Guangzhou BRT is not as well as some governers said. It’s always slow like an ant and crowded like a can. As far as I know, most citizens aren’t fond of it.

Because the alternatives are even less desirable? Guangzhou is a very difficult place to get around by car, even though there’s a growing middle class who likes to own automobiles and drive.

Plus, one of the great transit cities in the world (Hong Kong) is just 170km down the river, but in terms of the quality of the urban infrastructure, it’s night and day. And regularly visible on televisions all over the province of Guangdong.

I live 200m from a BRT stop here in Guangzhou but until the government-directed bus operators add more routes and frequencies (particully during rush hours) and make the service more rider-friendly, I’m sticking with my car for most of the time.

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