» Streetcar lines dominate the nation’s new transit construction landscape, but this year only light and commuter rail lines will open for service.
Lest one think that investment in transit is a coasts-only phenomenon in the United States, the sheer quantity of spending planned for new public transportation projects across the country in 2011 indicates otherwise.
In almost every major city or metropolitan area in both the U.S. and Canada, major new rail or bus links are being readied for service. Over the course of the next year, five new light rail lines or extensions will open for operations, as will two new commuter rail corridors. Perhaps more significantly, there are a dozen projects that will enter the construction process — including many streetcar projects — in addition to the dozens already underway. In sum, these represent a continent-wide public sector commitment to the extension of transit offerings.
All of the corridors opening for service, entering the construction phase, or already under construction in 2011 are listed below.
To note: Many of these lines may not get off the ground as expected. A year ago, Cincinnati, Detroit, and other cities seemed on the verge of beginning construction on their respective rail transit lines — but they have yet to get started on them. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not point out that this information is updated throughout the year in The Transport Politic’s Under Construction and Planned sections.
New Service Planned for 2011
» Eugene/Springfield Gateway EmX Extension bus rapid transit will open on the 9th from downtown Springfield to Gateway Mall and Sacred Heart. The 7.8-mile project cost a total of $41.3 million.
» Norfolk Tide light rail line, the first of its kind in Virginia, will bring service along a 7.4-mile route that will encompass 11 stations and attract between 6,000 and 12,000 riders per day. The project cost a total of $338 million.
» Denton County A-Train will open 21 miles of diesel commuter rail between Denton and North Carrollton, where there will be a connection with Dallas DART Green Line light rail. Construction costs totaled $191 million. This project was originally supposed to be completed in December 2010.
Mid-Year (No date yet specified)
» Los Angeles Expo Line Phase 1A light rail opens between downtown L.A. and Culver City, though the final station on the line will not be completed until 2012. The first, 8.5 mile phase cost $899 million and will share tracks with the Blue Line downtown. A further extension from Culver City to Santa Monica is planned and funded. This project was originally supposed to be completed in December 2010.
» Sacramento Riverfront District Green Line Extension opens, extending light rail an additional mile into a major development zone north of the state capital’s downtown. The line is the first section of a larger program to bring rail transit to Natomas Airport.
» Salt Lake City West Valley and Mid-Jordan TRAX light rail will open on the 7th. The West Valley line will run 5.1 miles southwest from 2100 South Central Pointe to West Valley City Center. The $250-290 million project is expected to attract 10,500 riders per day by 2030. The Mid-Jordan line will run 10.6 miles from 6400 South to Daybreak and is expected to attract 19,000 riders per day.
» Rhode Island Wickford Junction Commuter Rail Extension will open between T.F. Green Airport near Providence and Wickford, where a large transit village is planned. Boston MBTA commuter rail service will offer service.
New Construction Starts
» Downtown Streetcar (2.6-mile streetcar) from Centennial Olympic Park to Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site, via downtown. $289 million project (including a second phase not yet funded) will open for service in 2013.
» Downtown Streetcar (4.9 mile loop streetcar) from the Banks to University Plaza, via downtown and Over the Rhine. $128 million project is expected to open in 2012, and is estimated to attract 6,400 daily riders.
» Woodward Avenue Corridor (9.3-mile light rail) from Hart Plaza to Eight Mile. $500 million project could be completed by 2016. Being built in cooperation with privately funded M1 group.
» Hartford-New Britain Busway (9.4-mile BRT) from Hartford to New Britain. $579 million project will open for operations in 2013.
» Honolulu Rail Project (20-mile metro rail) from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center. $5.5 billion project will open in stages between 2012 and 2018.
» Crenshaw Corridor (8.5-mile light rail) from Exposition Boulevard (Expo Line) to LAX (Green Line), via Inglewood. $1.4 billion project will open in 2016 and serve between 15,200 and 21,300 riders a day.
» Loyola Avenue Corridor (1.5-mile streetcar) from Howard Avenue and Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street. $45 million project will open in 2012.
» Sunrail Phase 1 (31-mile commuter rail) from DeBary to Orlando. $615 million project will open by 2013. 30 miles of additional extensions, north to DeLand and south Poinciana, expected to be completed by 2015, will produce 7,400 daily trips by 2030.
» Portland-Milwaukie Corridor (7.3-mile light rail) from Portland State University to Milwaukie and Oak Grove. $1.5 billion project will open in 2015 and is expected to attract 22,000 and 26,000 daily trips.
Salt Lake City
» Sugar House Streetcar (2-mile streetcar) from Central Pointe to McClelland. Project will open in 2013 and is expected to attract 4,000 daily riders by 2030.
San Francisco Bay Area
» Sonoma-Marin Train (SMART) (70 mile diesel commuter rail) from Cloverdale to Larkspur, via San Rafael and Novato. $590 million project will open in 2014 and is expected to attract 5,300 daily riders.
» First Hill Streetcar (2.2-mile streetcar) from First Hill to the International District, connecting areas on Capitol Hill. $140 million project will open for service in 2013.
» Tucson Modern Streetcar (3.9-mile streetcar) from Arizona Health Sciences Center to downtown, via University of Arizona. $197 million project will open in 2013.
» Evergreen Line (6.8 mile metro rail) from Lougheed Town Centre to Douglas College, via Port Moody. C$1.4 billion project will extend existing Millennium line in 2015 and is expected to attract 70,000 daily riders by 2021.
Already Under Construction, Opening After 2011
Opening in 2012
- Boston Fitchburg Line Extension to Wachusett (4.5-mile commuter rail)
- Calgary Northeast Line Extension (1.8-mile light rail) and West Line (5.2-mile light rail)
- Dallas Blue Line Extension (4.5-mile light rail) and Orange Line Phase 1 (9.3-mile light rail)
- Los Angeles Orange Line Extension (4 mile busway) and Expo Line Phase 1B (6.5-mile light rail)
- Miami Orange Line Phase 1 (2.4-mile metro rail)
- Montréal Train de l’Est (32-mile commuter rail)
- Pittsburgh North Shore Connector (1.2-mile light rail)
- Portland Eastside Streetcar Loop (3.3-mile streetcar)
- Seattle Sounder Lakewood Extension (8-mile commuter rail)
- Washington, DC Anacostia and H Street Streetcars (6.2-mile streetcar)
Opening in 2013
- Denver West Line (12-mile light rail)
- Salt Lake Airport TRAX (6 mile light rail)
- Toronto Sheppard Avenue East Line (8.7-mile light rail); Note that this project is a bit up in the air because of the election of anti-light rail Mayor Rob Ford in fall 2010
- Washington, DC Dulles Metrorail Extension Phase 1 (11.6-mile metro rail)
Opening in 2014
- Dallas Orange Line Phase 2 to airport (4.7-mile light rail)
- Edmonton North to NAIT (2-mile light rail)
- Houston East End Line (3-mile light rail), Southeast Line (6.1-mile light rail), and North Line (5.2-mile light rail)
- Los Angeles Gold Line Foothill Extension (11.3-mile light rail)
- Minneapolis Central Corridor (11-mile light rail)
- New York City 7 Line Extension (1.3-mile metro rail)
- San Francisco Bay Area BART to Warm Springs Extension (5.4-mile metro rail) and eBART (10-mile commuter rail) and Oakland Airport Connector (3.2-mile metro rail)
Opening in 2015
- Denver East Corridor (22.8-mile commuter rail)
- Salt Lake City Airport Line (6-mile light rail) and FrontRunner South (44-mile commuter rail)
- Toronto Spadina Extension (5.6-mile metro rail)
Opening in 2016
- New York City Long Island Railroad Eastside Access to Grand Central (4-mile commuter rail)
- Seattle University Link (3.2-mile light rail)
- Washington, DC Dulles Metrorail Extension Phase 2 (11.5-mile metro rail)
Opening in 2017
- New York City Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 (2-mile metro rail)