Finance Infrastructure

Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2014

Major Transit Investments, 2014

» Transit agencies are investing billions upon billions of dollars into new transit expansions. We’ll get hundreds of miles of improved transit service as a result, but cost effectiveness could be improved for rail projects.

Virtually every metropolitan region in the United States and Canada is investing millions of dollars in new transit expansion projects. The map and database available here provide an overview of all of the major rail and bus capital expansion projects either being completed in 2014 or to be under construction at some stage in 2014. They also include some major renovation projects of lines or stations.

Look back at the compilations of openings and construction starts from previous years for a refresher: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013.

This year, dozens of new lines will open to the public, including light rail lines in Houston, Minneapolis, Edmonton, Dallas, Calgary; heavy rail lines in New York City and outside Washington; and streetcars in Tucson, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, among many others. Bus rapid transit — or some variety of it — will see its coming out, with new lines opening in Chicago, Fort Collins, San Diego, Orlando, Los Angeles, and outside Toronto.

In addition, dozens of projects will enter the construction phase, including three rail lines in Los Angeles; bus rapid transit projects in New York City, Oakland, Fresno, and El Paso; streetcars in Fort Lauderdale and Tempe, and more. Other regions, from Honolulu to Portland, will continue work on projects that have already started but won’t be ready for completion this year. It’s a veritable circus of construction activity, almost everywhere. In total, 737 miles of new lines or line extensions, in addition to 10 new stations or major station renovations, will be either complete or under construction in 2014, accounting for a total of $80.7 billion in programmed funding.

A note of caution: This frenzy of construction activity may not be everlasting. The federal government, though much-maligned, remains a primary funder of most major transit expansion projects, through its New Starts/Small Starts capital programs, the TIGER discretionary grant program, or other sources. Yet the freeze on federal funding that has cut resources from Washington tremendously since 2010 will likely have long-term consequences when it comes to paying for new lines. Peter Rogoff, Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, noted last year that “For the first time in modern memory, FTA was unable to make new funding commitments for any new projects through the New and Small Starts program in its 2014 budget,” according to Streetsblog‘s Tanya Snyder. New sources of local and state funding are essential to help fill the gap, or we need to focus renewed attention to the importance of federal spending on transportation.

But agencies also need to place renewed attention on ensuring that their projects’ budgets remain within reason. The eight subways of this bunch (representing light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail) average an astonishing $1.1 billion per mile in cost. The average light rail project in this group of 24 projects across the country will cost $284 million per mile to build. Most of the light rail projects are being completed at grade and often in existing rights-of-way. While the average bus rapid transit project is far less expensive — just about $17 million per mile on average — most of the BRT projects featured here will not even give their buses their own dedicated lanes. Their major budget items are usually the construction of bus shelters, the purchase of fancy-looking buses, and upgrades for traffic lights.

When European cities can build full-featured tramways at just $30 million per mile, we know we have work to do to economize on planning, design, and construction budgets.

The investments made in new rail lines, busways, or stations are hardly the full sum of expenses dedicated to capital improvements by transit agencies. Indeed, the federal government distributes billions of dollars each year specifically for state of good repair spending or the purchase of new bus or rail cars, and older cities usually commit more to maintaining their lines than building new ones. In Chicago, for example, the Blue Line will receive almost $500 million of improvements beginning this year; in New York, almost $1.3 billion in improvements for which some construction is occurring this year are dedicated to six signal improvement projects in individual locations.

The following interactive map, which is also available in full screen mode through Google Maps Engine, offers the opportunity to explore the hundreds of new transit extensions being built across the U.S. and Canada — from a geographic perspective. What is perfectly clear is that, though many investments are concentrated in the largest metropolitan areas (New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto are investing $20.4 billion, $8.7 billion, and $8.1 billion, respectively), small and medium-sized regions are also investing significantly in improved transit, from Grand Rapids to Fort Collins.

If the map does not load correctly, reload this page or access the map through Google Maps.

The following chart, which is accessible and sortable through Google Docs, provides access to all of the information contained in the above map.

Note that there may be (and, in fact, likely are!) errors in the map and table included in this post. Please comment on the Google Table or in the comments here if there are issues that stand out or missing projects.


71 replies on “Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2014”

As always, I appreciate when you assemble this data, and like the new infographic and interactive features. While I know it would take more time, I would encourage you to further categorize the BRT projects according to the 2011 (and not the 2013 version) ITDP BRT standard, which would appropriately reveal some of the more aesthetics-focused projects for what they are, while also highlighting the better BRT projects that are providing significantly improved transit experiences to citizens of their cities. BRT is a mode that can have a positive impact in many cities, but we need to identify the projects that really make bus service RELIABLE and RAPID, know what the costs of those projects are, and build on the real BRT projects.

Aesthetics-focused projects? These are still transit projects that will improve bus service for their customers. Lay off the koolaid please.

Instead of writing an insulting, ill-informed comment you could have better spent your time Googl’ing “ITDP BRT standard” and saved making a fool of yourself.

Those prices are obscene. What are we, a third world country where every official has to take a 20% bribe before the project is approved?

The Silver Line Phase 1 is mostly at-grade. It runs in the median of the access road to Dulles Airport. The elevated section, and a short tunnel section, are where it deviates from the highway to go through Tysons Corner. Phase 2 will go underground on the airport property, but will similarly be mostly at grade.

The DC Metro Silver Line Phase 2 will be entirely above ground with a ~3 mile elevated section through the grounds of Dulles Airport. The plans to go underground at Dulles were dropped 2 years ago to cut costs with the line shifted to an elevated station about 600′ away from the front of the main terminal.

As for the list, useful summary that shows that there are more transit projects underway than most realize. There are also a number of projects in the advanced planning stages which have received commitments of state and local funding that could start construction in the next 2-3 years. But the tight federal funding situation could cause some of those projects to be delayed. What happens if MD has to choose for matching federal funds between the Purple Line LRT in the DC suburbs and the Baltimore Red Line LRT? Both are important and major transit projects.

Don’t want to nitpick here too much, but I think the cost figures for the Silver Line Phase 2 are out of date. The wining bid for the Phase 2 primary construction contract came in below the projected range, so the current total estimate for Phase 2 is $2.587 billion (source: The RFP for the maintenance yard at Dulles is still out for bid, so the total cost may still go down or up. It should be noted that the total price tag for the Silver Line includes 128 Series 7000 cars (64 for each phase) and the rail yard at Dulles, so those are embedded in the $/mile cost.

As for the overall high cost per mile numbers, the whopping costs for the Second Ave Subway Phase 1, 7 Line extension, and the East Side Access push up the average. If we put NYC or really Manhattan transit projects off into its own box as the outliers, I think the per mile cost in the US come out as somewhat more reasonable.

Yes, the New York numbers really push up the average. The average for subways outside of New York (the five of which are fully underground) is $691 million, which is much less than those in New York, but still not fantastic.

As for the Silver Line, don’t worry about nitpicking–I’d like to make sure this is useful information. Nonetheless, I am going to keep the figure as is because as far as I can tell, that’s the funding currently available for the project (, which would likely include the costs of the maintenance yard. It will be nice to see what the ultimate cost comes down to.

You’re right that the figures include rail vehicles, but so do those for most of the projects listed here.

What metric are you using to separate BRT projects from other bus improvement projects? For instance, San Francisco has an litany of projects to improve bus speeds, called the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), which adds bus lanes, reduces conflict at intersections, etc, but it certainly not billed as BRT and doesn’t show up here. Many “BRT” projects listed here simply add new buses and bus shelters and do nothing to improve speed or service. I would suggest that the SF program provides much more of a transit benefit than many of the “BRT” projects, yet it doesn’t make the list. It seems to me that the only criteria required to be listed on this site is for the transit agency to label the bus enhancements “BRT”.

Unfortunately, as you and CityBeautiful21 pointed out, “BRT” can mean a whole bunch of different things, and you’re right, San Francisco’s improvements are better than most in many ways! Yes, I’ve used transit agency language to determine what is BRT, which admittedly has its problems (it’s kind of like self-identification on the Census), but still is indicative of the effort by transit agencies to invest in their systems. While BRT in El Paso may be no better than regular buses in San Francisco, it’s a big step up from regular buses in El Paso.

What would be ideal would be to rate each of the systems on a scale similar to that proposed by ITDP to actually judge the significance of the investments themselves. Doing so, however, requires an in-depth analysis of each project that would take weeks to accomplish, unfortunately.

Hopefully, APTA officers who visit this blog will impress upon members to develop standard nomenclature to differentiate Dedicated BRT from Improved Bus Transit from Bus Transit. The improvement in nomenclature would also be helpful to Congresspersons to make better transit funding decisions.

There’s a few things you’re missing in the Boston area – notably station reconstruction on the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line at Salem (, double-tracking of the Haverhill commuter rail line ( – does not have a page on the T website, and the dates given here are inaccurate as the project is still ongoing), the Green Line extension (, and there are probably a few others I’ve omitted as well.

Also, the Fairmount line does not use DMUs, it uses conventional trains. The MBTA has studied the feasibility of using DMUs, but has not yet even issued any RFP or moved any further than feasibility.

My apologies about the green line. Not sure how i missed it.

Regarding the Fairmount line though, yes, DMUs are proposed. But no money has been allocated toward purchase of them, and the MBTA has not issued an RIP or anything else. Thus if they are included, then shouldn’t every other proposed but unfunded and unconstructed project also be included?

Well, there’s definitive money for the Fairmount corridor, which is not true of the projects which are not on this list. You’re right that it’s worth questioning whether it should be listed as conventional commuter rail or DMUs, but the state has said it plans to contribute the money to that component, so I’m assuming it will happen within a reasonable period.

For the Haverhill Line, do you have any more information? When did construction begin and end? Is it still $17.4 million and including double-tracking between Andover and Lawrence?

I added the Salem station project, but couldn’t find the pricetag–any ideas?

The MBTA can be remarkably uninformative about what it’s doing.

Haverhill Line work is very extensive and I’ve read many on-site reports about the work on the forums, but the MBTA no longer publishes timelines or budgets for these projects as far as I can tell.

The same is true of the Worcester Line improvements (double-tracking, improved speeds), which are still ongoing.

And the Fitchburg line upgrades (new signals, improved speeds, new stations), which are still ongoing.

The same was true of new Yawkey station, but it’s now been stated that it should open on January 27th.

Oh, Government Center is going to be rebuilt; big project.

Wow, nice job! Love the infograph, and the tables. Very minor comment: any way to freeze the headers when scrolling the tables?

Fantastic resource.

I believe you are missing the Anacostia streetcar in DC (separate from H street project), and the Harrison PATH station major reconstruction near Newark, NJ.

Also, I believe the South Brunswick NJT station breaks ground this year.

I would also include the south florida rail line being constructed from Miami to Ft Lauderdale and beyond. Its a private project but its essentially commuter rail.

I added the Harrison PATH Station.

Will the Anacostia streetcar serve passengers anytime soon? I see that it will be used as a testing line, but I can’t see evidence that it will be under construction for planned passenger services in 2014. For the North (not South?) Brunswick station, I don’t see evidence that it will be under construction this year, either (see Please reply with links if you have additional references.

I have not included All Aboard Florida (if that’s what you’re referring to) because I have not included intercity rail projects here–the project extends far beyond the Miami region and thus is more that commuter rail. Do you disagree with this assessment?

The Anacostia line has been a clusterfuck. I believe it was originally supposed to open in 2009. Most of the track has already been installed, just not the ends. It’s technically under construction though, they move cones around every few months.

Yes, I meant north brunswick. Looking into it further, the flyover will start construction in 2014 (possibly delayed into 2015 during the bid process) with the station not coming until 2017. So my mistake on that one.

I did mean all aboard florida but couldnt remember the name. I believe it’s a hybrid intercity/commuter line. Sort of like the planned caltrain extension to Gilroy. Miami to west palm beach will be used by commuters (as an alternative to tri-rail), with continuing service to orlando.

Plans to run revenue service on the short existing Anacostia tracks appear to have been shelved for now. I think those tracks won’t see revenue service until a contractor has been selected to build and operate the 22 priority system and the Anacostia to Buzzard Pt tracks are in place. Could be a few years.

As for All Aboard Florida/FEC, I agree with Mr. Freemark, that is clearly intercity passenger rail with circa 3 hour trips from Miami to Orlando Airport. There are a bunch of Amtrak related intercity passenger rail upgrade/expansion projects underway from the HSIPR stimulus and FY2010 grants that are not covered by this transit project list. Some of the HSIPR projects will benefit commuter rail, but it is a challenge to parse them out.

Cincinnati’s modern streetcar system started construction in 2013 and will continue its construction in 2014 and 2015. It is not clear to me if this is just a list of those starting the construction phase in 2014, or all projects that are under construction in 2014. If it is the latter, then Cincinnati’s modern streetcar line should be included.

The Silver Line is not in Washington DC, it is in Northern Virginia. (Yes, the trains will run into the District, but the entirety of the project that is being constructed lies within the Commonwealth of Virginia.)

Yonah, as always, I look forward to this annual update. Amazing job and thank you so much for taking the time to compile all this.

One request, if you’re including projects from Canada, why not also Mexico? I’d love to compare transit improvements with the rest of North America.

Thank you!

You’ll be happy to know I added a few projects in Mexico! This may not be a complete list, but I’ve added:

Guadalajara Light Rail Line 3
Monterrey Light Rail Line 2
Mexico City Metrobus Line 6
Mexico City Metro Line 12 Extension

If you have more information, share it!

Do station improvements also entail union stations? If so, Miami is finishing construction of its Miami Central Station this spring. The portion of the station for Metrorail opened in 2012, but this spring is when the Amtrak and Tri-Rail portion opens. It’s the largest and most significant portion.

Realized that the DC list is missing the Crystal City Potomac Yard Corridor Transitway ( and which is supposed to start service by the end of 2014. It is a BRT project that is not getting much publicity, perhaps because it is shared between Arlington County and City of Alexandria and has been in the works for a while with multiple schedule slips. Much of the route is in a dedicated transitway with level boarding stops. The Potomac Yard segment in the middle is slated to be rebuilt as a transitway when the PY redevelopment is built which is waiting in part for a decision on where to put the PY Metro infill station. The longer term plans for the transitway are in conflict as Arlington want to convert the transitway to a streetcar line, while Alexandria is not as interested in a streetcar conversion. (That is a simplified story to the limited extent I have followed the project).

I have a couple of questions regarding Cincinnati and Kansas City.

Apparently Cincinnati’s Streetcar is being built with light rail gauge tracks. Though it is designed as a streetcar, it has the potential to be expanded onto the I-75 right of way as grade separated light rail. It is technically a starter streetcar line. Is it classified as “streetcar” or “light rail” in this listing?

Also, I know that Kansas City is ordering the same vehicles as Cincinnati. I’m curious if their line will also be built with light-rail gauge tracks.

***I meant to say “light rail starter line”

Here’s a link to a blog post showing the difference in construction for streetcars and light rail:,18957.msg690640.html#msg690640

It’s pretty apparent that Cincinnati’s rails are significantly more substantial than rail that has been installed in Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, etc.

So far, the only rail construction I’ve seen in Kansas City was on a bridge reconstruction. It’s difficult to discern the gauge in that context.

Again, I’m not sure what that means. Compare the specifications between different light rail and streetcar models, including the United Streetcar (used in Portland/Seattle/Tucson–the streetcar standard in the U.S.) and compare it to standard light rail vehicles, such as the Siemens S70 (San Diego/Charlotte); Bombardier Flexity (Minneapolis); and Alstom Citadis (all over Europe) I could not find accurate weight data for the CAF vehicle to be used in Cincinnati, but I assume it is similar to the United Streetcar vehicle.

What you find is that while those other vehicles are longer and heavier than the United Streetcar, their weight per axle is actually lower. Here’s some data on weight per axle:

Siemens S70: 14,697 lbs/axle
Bombardier Flexity: 14,468 lbs/axle
Alstom Citadis: 16,976 lbs/axle
United Streetcar: 17,747 lbs/axle

The “streetcar” in this group is actually the heaviest of all in terms of weight on the track. I don’t see why those other “light rail” vehicles couldn’t run on any streetcar track.

Track geometry, perhaps? United Streetcar’s vehicle is 66 feet long and has a minimum turning radius of 59 feet, where the standard Siemens S70 is 91 feet long and has a minimum turning radius of 82 feet.

The difference between “light rail” and “streetcar” is vague, and there’s usually no technical difference.

You are correct, DM: track geometry is the most common difference: “light rail” usually requires bigger curve radii.

Curve radii are not necessarily the differentiation between “streetcar” and “light rail”. This shows most where both type of vehicles are running on the same network, such as in Zürich (Forchbahn (light rail) and VBZ (streetcar), and the Forchbahn vehicles are allowed (AFAIK) on most of the network (the stretches they are not allowed have specific signalling which is not built in the Forchbahn vehicles)). Another place would be Lyon with the Citadis (streetcars) and the light rail vehicles (Tango) to the airport.

There is not really a distinct definition of “streetcar” and “light rail”; they are mostly cross-compatible.

Actually, the “modern” articulated vehicles do have higher “axle” loads than the conventional types. Modern articulated types are, for example Citadis, Combino, Cobra, etc. whereas the conventional types are S70/S100 or the Tango.

Comparing, the S70 type is single articulated and has a Bo-2-Bo wheel arrangement with the non-driven bogie under the articulation, whereas the Citadis compact, or the United Streetcar type are double-articulated with a (AA)-(AA) arrangement (kind of the modern version of the “two rooms and a bath” design). So, even if the “modern” articulated vehicle may be lighter, its axle load is higher.

From the pictures, it is just a different concept of tracks. The Cincinnati track is rather conventional (rails linked with a distance bar every few meters, placed on concrete blocks, and then filled up with concrete or asphalt. The Seattle track is “not so conventional”, and the rails are directly cast in concrete block without distance bars.

The Seattle arrangement requires much better precision all the time, whereas the Cincinnati arrangement is more error tolerant when laying the tracks.

The forum post is misleading in that it shows a different stage of construction. See this photo; it looks pretty much the same to me under the concrete.

Thanks for the link to the photo. There is indeed a difference, as that new photo shows pseudo ties keeping the tracks, whereas the conventional grooved rails configuration uses distance holders attached to the neck of the rail.

However, it is possible (and would be not a surprise) that Seattle is using different configurations, depending on the location.

Actually, looking at the pictures showing the difference, there is a next to the actually referenced Seattle pic which shows the situation somewhat better. In this picture, I don’t see any distance bars or ties; the rail is actually placed directly on concrete blocks, and there are portable distance holders visible in the background (those yellow “C” shaped pieces).

This was looked at in some detail for the Streetcar Loop in Portland, where the new tracks for Streetcar were evaluated as a potential emergency connection for light rail vehicles (but ultimately not designated as such).

The biggest issue was platform design. Since streetcar vehicles are narrower than LRT vehicles, a platform that aligns correctly with streetcar would obstruct passage of LRT vehicles. There was some discussion but no serious consideration of adjustable platform designs.

For the ION aBRT for the Region of Waterloo, your line on the map ends too soon; it doesn’t reach the southern terminus at Ainslie Terminal. :)

Fantastic map and data set. Just one minor quibble that would make it much easier to digest – would it be possible to list amounts in millions of dollars rather than dollars? It’s rather hard to tell if 2500000 is more or less than a billion without holding your finger over the last three zeroes!

Sorry – that’s referring to the data you see when you click on the map items. Changing the format so that commas are displayed would do the trick as well.

The BART Oakland Airport Connector may be similar to cable-drawn trains at resorts like the Waiakaloa Resort on Hawaii Island.

Oh. New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail is under construction (and will be under construction for years to come).

I know you don’t usually include intercity transit projects, but that one is just on the “commuter” side of the divide.

Unless we can quickly bounce the Tea Party out of Washington, we’re very quickly headed toward a situation where the ONLY funding for transit capital is at the state level. Transit funding isn’t tenable when you have a majority in one house of Congress that is adhering — for whatever reason — to a platform of ideological opposition to almost any form of domestic spending. That, in effect, means reversal of almost all new innovations in federal policy since the 1929 crash, something the Democrats will never agree to, and so we have impasse.

But it’s worth looking at how transit was funded back then if there’s even a slight possibility of us having to revert to that approach. Basically, local governments took out bond issues and took on the responsibility for capital and then franchised out the lines to private operators. The problem with that today is that, between the enormous increase in costs and the enormous reduction in local government bonding capacity, you’d never get anything done were the funding effectively reset to that era.

It may be that the Tea Party caucus in the House overplayed their hand in the shutdown fight, since it seems as if more moderate Republicans are engaged in more conventional logrolling in the transport funding in the omnibus funding bill. Transportation for America reports that the deal includes $600m for TIGER grants and an increase in New Starts funding.

I’m not even sure if you can call them “moderate” Republicans. Non-insane Republicans?

They can be extremist in many ways and still think that federal spending on infrastructure — or “internal improvements”, as they called them in the 18th and 19th century — is a good idea.

It’s actually pretty crazy for someone elected to the US Congress to oppose spending money on anything domestic — getting stuff done for your constituents is most of the job of the US Congress, and your constituents will start saying “What have you done for me lately?”

$600 million in in TIGER grants spread across the nation as cause for celebration? At best, thats enough to for good Light Rail lines. That’s how low the House of Representatives have allowed our nation to sink.

With being on Allegheny County Transit Council with all I have heard from SPC and webmaster of this site, I find BRT to be in waste of money planning BRT for the Oakland areas of Pittsburgh PA. Port Authority of Allegheny of Allegheny County with the groups above wants to turn PAT’s 61ABCD and 71ABCD routes into BRT. my concerns with BRT is that the stops will only be in areas with high waiting groups waiting for buses and will leave the lower ends of stops with out service for passengers to board and exit buses except to the 67 Monroeville, and 69 Trafford between those certain areas like between say downtown and Craft Street. These buses are loaded with standing loads and the homes and businesses in between will be with limited service for those who need them. The BRT stops are to only be where those involved with BRT like those going to Hospitals, CMU Pitt can use BRT, other than that the public will not have service as it is needed. The BRT stops would be for the most part in middle of streets like PCC islands used to be. Of which is not bad if Bike riders would pay attn. to stop signs, traffic lights and road roles of which they don’t follow DOT’s bike laws. They run traffic patterns all the time and when they are told about they are defiant and curse at people on streets sidewalks and to motor vehicle drivers. I know a friend who knows people with cameras on there helmets that are used to fault and turn in vehicle owners who cut them off. However at the same time they edit the videos of what they do wrong on the roads like when they take up whole lanes for miles on end and they come down the middle part of the road without concern of safety where they are in blind spots of vehicles of all makes. This is a major concern seeing that some of the BRT plans being drawn up have it from right to left as follows that ( I don’t know how to do certain things like maps so I’m doing my best to explain where I’m coming from so please try and focus? Thank You.), Say your outbound at 5th Avenue @ Craft Street. The sidewalks on the right, then the bike lane would be beside the curb side with the BRT Island being to the left of the bike lane. We need to as a community make certain everyone get there voices heard on how dangerous the bike riders are with bike riders are within the County before anymore of the planning moves on anymore. Also Concerns for BRT is that college students refuse to move to the rear of the bus in high ridership that like from Forbes and Murray down into Oakland the Student refuse to obey operators who need the room for other passengers to board the buses. This is to be BRT in the Squirrel Hill areas to Downtown and from Point Breeze areas down to Downtown areas. BRT would need to be able to pick up wheelchairs and handicapped passengers easily, however the College Students don’t have respect for other students or other passengers. The public for the most part have not been educated as they need to be seeing the only people involved with BRT planning are those of Transit groups, bike Pittsburgh College Students who are pushing for this plan to be adopted and put into place. While others who will suffer dearly are not aware of the full extent of what would be when final drafts and work is put into place. We need to get serious about making certain that BRT is put on sidelines until everyone is aware of what we will be dealing with outside of what has been put into the media which is not letting the full impact of the damage to all passengers and others be truly widespread known. Everyone needs to be aware of these plans. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Allegheny Conference, Port Authority, Bike Pittsburgh and other groups are pushing for this to happen along with the newer transit center that just started to be built along between East Bus Way’s Negley Station and Penn Mall Station are.

Houston MetroRail is more like souped-up streetcar lines than other light rail under construction. The Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority’s policy appears to be: identify heavy bus lines and replace them with reserved-lane light rail. The new Northline (named after a 1950’s shopping mall at I-45 and Crosstimbers Street) has cut time in half from that of the 15 Fulton bus it replaced. There are two towering elevated sections crossing the Union Pacific main line and the Houston Belt & Terminal RR/BNSF RR. Daytime service is every 12 minutes seven days a week, which is fairly good. Nighttime service is 18-20 minutes. MetroRail’s on-time performance is practically impeccable.

If interested, here are links to jpeg’s I’ve taken since the line opened in late December:

Northline December 24, 2013
Northline February 13, 2014

The east end and southeast lines will open later this year. For construction updates, go to the Houston Rapid Transit, Inc. website.

“The Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority’s policy appears to be: identify heavy bus lines and replace them with reserved-lane light rail.”

This is a pretty good strategy. One can tweak such a strategy, but honestly, you can easily do a lot worse than that strategy.

Its a particularly good strategy to continuously execute until 2030. If they do, Houston (like Dallas) will be in good shape when gasoline prices go through the roof.

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