2021 was theoretically going to be a big year for transit projects across the United States. Boston’s Green Line Extension, Honolulu’s Rail Transit, Los Angeles’ Crenshaw Line, Miami’s Downtown Commuter Line, and Washington’s Silver Line Phase II were all supposed to open.
None of them did.
The Covid-19 pandemic, difficulties keeping workers on the job, and failure in acquiring affordable materials all got in the way. But in a year of difficulties getting people to ride transit, perhaps the delays weren’t as problematic as they could have been.
2022, we can hope, will be different. According to transit agencies, 22 new fixed-guideway transit projects are expected to open this year across the United States. And many more are planned elsewhere around the globe.
In this post, as in every year for the past 13, I catalogue all of the fixed-guideway transit projects opening and under construction in the United States, plus in many other countries.
This post builds off the Transit Explorer 2 database, which is frequently updated and provides information about existing, under construction, proposed, and cancelled fixed-route transit.
The database includes transit systems across North America and Africa, plus eight countries in Western Europe. It also for the first time this year incorporates the United Kingdom. Transit Explorer 2 now includes more than 21,300 transit stations and about 5,500 transit lines.
Data can be viewed freely on Transit Explorer 2 or purchased for non-commercial use in Shapefile, GeoJSON, and CSV formats for those who would like to use the data for research or other uses, such as in Excel, R, ArcGIS, or QGIS.
Previous compilations of new and planned transit projects on The Transport Politic (including the many that have been delayed) can be found here: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021
New transit investments completed in 2021
Though a smaller-than-expected cohort of new transit lines opened in 2021, cities across the United States, Canada, and several other countries brought rail and high-quality bus services into operation last year.
Long-planned light-rail expansions opened north of the San Diego and Seattle. Charlotte extended its streetcar line in two directions, creating a now-four-mile corridor through the city’s center. And Boston and Minneapolis took opposing approaches to improving their bus networks; the first installed center-running, dedicated bus lanes along a major urban street, while the second created a highway-running corridor designed primarily to serve the suburbs.
Both Brussels and Paris opened new or expanded tramways labeled number 9–and London constructed an extension of its Underground network for the first time in decades. Each of these projects is catalogued below. Click on the icon to locate the project on Transit Explorer 2.
Openings in the US, Canada, and Mexico in 2021
- Boston’s Columbus Avenue Busway, a 0.7 mile, center-running bus route on one of the city’s most-used corridors.
- Charlotte’s CityLYNX Gold Line Phase II, extending the city’s fledging downtown streetcar in both directions into the surrounding neighborhoods—2.5 miles for $150 million.
- Las Vegas’ Convention Center Loop, a short tunnel designed for Tesla cars that Elon Musk has promoted as the future of public transit—with little evidence to support that contention.
- Mexico City’s Metrobus Linea 5 BRT, creating a long north-south corridor on the east side of the city.
- Minneapolis’ Orange Line, taking advantage of the renovation of the I-35W highway to create new dedicated bus runningways and special stations from downtown Minneapolis to the south suburbs—17 miles for $151 million.
- Monterrey’s Linea 3, expected to serve 280,000 riders a day—4.7 miles for about $440 million.
- Reno’s Virginia Street BRT—1.8 miles for $80 million.
- San Diego’s Mid Coast Corridor Blue Line, linking the central city with University of California at San Diego along a route mostly parallel to commuter rail services—10.9 miles for $2.1 billion.
- Seattle’s Northgate Link Line 1 Extension, extending the region’s north-south light rail corridor north from the University of Washington, partly in a subway—4.3 miles for $2.1 billion.
- Toronto’s Richmond Hill Metrolinx Extension to Bloomington—an $80 million project that will eventually form part of the GO RER regional rail network.
Openings in Africa and Western Europe in 2021
- Brussels’ Tramway 9 Extension, adding a mile of service north of the city.
- Dakar’s regional commuter train, running east from the Atlantic coast
- London’s Northern Line extension to Battersea, the city’s first Underground extension in the 21st century, connecting to a new development zone.
- Paris’ Tramway 9, a new 6.4-mile line linking the city limits with the suburbs of Ivry, Vitry, and Orly, and the most recent addition to a regional tramway network that now serves more than one million daily riders.
Planned 2022 openings
2022 will be a blockbuster year for transit expansion if the projects currently announced come to fruition.
The next 11 months are expected to bring the first phase of Honolulu’s rail line, the second phase of Washington’s Silver Line, an extension of Boston’s Green Line, and new light-rail subways through the downtowns of both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Three US cities–Milwaukee, Seattle, and Tempe–will activate new streetcar corridors. And bus rapid transit lines of varying quality will come online, some little different than a normal bus (like Birmingham’s Xpress BRT), some involving considerable dedicated right-of-way (like San Francisco’s Van Ness BRT).
The biggest US project opening this year, or at least the most expensive, is the East Side Access project, a new tunnel for Long Island Rail Road trains to journey from Queens into Grand Central Terminal. The more than $11 billion project, expected to open in December, will save commuters to East Midtown from Nassau and Suffolk Counties huge amounts of time–if they ever make their way back to the office.
Outside the US, Montreal is planning to open the first phase of its automated rail system, and Edmonton and Toronto will add new light-rail corridors. In Africa, new metro extensions are planned for Alger, Cairo, and Lagos. And new subway extensions are expected in London (the long-anticipated Elizabeth Line), Milano (the first phase of the automated M4 metro route), Paris (expansions of the M4 and M12 lines) and Rennes (a second automated line).
Planned US heavy rail openings in 2022
- Honolulu’s Rail Transit Phase I, connecting Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, not yet making it to the airport or downtown. The remainder of the line may take until 2031 to open, despite the project being originally scheduled for completion in 2020—at half the cost.
- Washington’s Silver Line Phase II, providing new service west from the current terminus at Reston, and providing a new elevated station at Dulles Airport—11.4 miles for $2.8 billon. This project has been delayed repeatedly; it was originally supposed to open in 2016.
Planned US light rail openings in 2022
- Boston’s Green Line Extension, providing service west of Lechmere into Somerville and Medford on two branches, the first Boston-region rapid transit expansion in decades—4.7 miles for $2.3 billion.
- Los Angeles’ Crenshaw Line, running from the Expo Line to the Green Line, designed to allow a future connection to the LAX airport people mover (which is also under construction)—8.5 miles for $2.1 billion. This project was delayed from a 2020 opening.
- Los Angeles’ Regional Connector LRT, a new downtown subway for light rail lines, allowing through running between Santa Monica and East L.A., and between Long Beach and the San Gabriel Valley—1.9 miles for $1.8 billion.
- San Francisco’s Central Subway LRT, creating a second, perpendicular subway downtown for light rail routes—1.7 miles for $1.6 billion.
Planned US streetcar openings in 2022
- Milwaukee’s Lakefront streetcar extension, adding a small portion to the city’s downtown service—0.4 miles for $29 million.
- Seattle’s Line T Hilltop extension, extending Tacoma’s streetcar service in anticipation of future light rail connections—2.4 miles for $166 million.
- Tempe’s Streetcar, an C-shaped in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix, connected to that region’s light rail system—3 miles for $200 million.
Planned US bus rapid transit openings in 2022
- Birmingham’s Xpress BRT, an arterial rapid transit line running 10 miles east-west through Alabama’s largest city.
- Chicago’s Pace Pulse Dempster, a new arterial rapid transit route from Evanston to the city’s northwestern suburbs—15 miles for $10 million.
- El Paso’s Brio Montana BRT—19 miles for $49 million.
- Milwaukee’s East-West BRT—9 miles for $54 million.
- Minneapolis’ D Line, an arterial rapid transit line from North Minneapolis to Bloomington via downtown–$75 million.
- Portland’s Division Transit BRT, creating dedicated lanes and flow improvements on the city’s most-used bus route—15 miles for $175 million.
- San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue BRT, creating a new north-south corridor on one of the city’s most-used bus routes—2 miles for $170 million.
- Seattle’s RapidRide H BRT—7.3 miles, expected to carry 7,000 daily riders into West Seattle.
- St. Petersburg’s SunRunner BRT, a dedicated-lane bus service along Central Avenue to the beach—11 miles for $44 million.
Planned US commuter rail openings in 2022
- Marin County’s SMART Train Extension to Windsor, adding a few miles to the line—3 miles for $65 million.
- Miami’s Downtown Link, taking advantage of the construction of Brightline’s intercity rail terminus to bring commuter trains to the city center for the first time—9 miles for $69 million. This project has continued to be delayed from a 2020 opening.
- New York’s East Side Access, the commuter rail link for Long Island Rail Road Access to Grand Central Terminal—roughly 3 miles for $11.1 billion. This project has been delayed repeatedly; it was originally supposed to open in 2015.
- San Bernardino’s Arrow Redlands commuter rail extension—9 miles for $360 million.
Planned 2022 openings in Canada
- Edmonton’s Valley Line Stage I Southeast—8.1 miles for about $1.8 billion.
- Montreal’s SRB Pie-IX BRT, dedicated lanes for buses along a major north-south corridor on the city’s east side—6.8 miles for about $400 million.
- Montreal’s REM Phase I, new automated rail service to the south shore of the city. More extensions coming in the next few years.
- Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT, an east-west light rail project with a subway section through the city’s midtown—11.8 miles for around $6.4 billion.
Planned 2022 openings in Africa
- Alger’s Line 1 extension to Baraki, a short expansion of the recently opened metro system in this coastal city.
- Cairo’s 41-mile interurban line linking Cairo with the new capital city at 10th of Ramadan.
- Cairo’s Metro Line 3 extension, crossing the Nile to the west of the center city.
- Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya Phase IC bus rapid transit line, building up a network of effective local public transportation routes.
- Lagos’ Blue Line, a 16.8 mile rapid transit system that will ensure speedy travel in this sprawling megalopolis.
Planned 2022 openings in France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom
- Birmingham’s West Midlands Metro light rail extensions to Wolverhampton and the west side of the city.
- Blackpool’s Tramway extension, adding a short link to the rail station.
- Catania’s Metropolitana, a 1.1-mile extension of the city’s metro system through the historic center.
- London’s Elizabeth Line central section, a new subway tunnel creating an east-west regional link through the UK capital, extending services that currently terminate at Liverpool Street and Paddington.
- London’s Overground Extension to Barking Riverside, connecting the regional rail system to a far eastern neighborhood.
- London’s Luton DART, an automated people mover connecting the regional rail system with the airport.
- Luxembourg’s Tramway T1 extension, extending the service south of the main rail station.
- Malaga’s Metro lines 1 and 2 extensions, bringing the service into the center of the city.
- Milano’s M4 metro first phase, a new automated, east-west, cross-city link.
- Paris’ M4 metro extension to Bagneux (already opened in January 2022), a 1.7-mile extension of the city’s second-most frequently line south to the suburb of Bagneux and a future link to M15.
- Paris’ M12 metro extension north to Aubervilliers, where the metro will also link to the future M15.
- Paris’ Tramway 13 Express, a north-south tram-train line running 11.7 miles in the city’s western suburbs.
- Rennes’ Metro B, an 8.8-mile second heavy rail route for this medium-sized city in western France. The line will be fully automated.
- Rotterdam’s Line B extension, connecting the line to the North Sea.
- Toulouse’s Teleo Aerial Tramway, crossing the city’s south side and linking with medical complexes.
- Valencia’s Line 10 tramway line, a new route from the center to the southeast.
Under construction, with planned opening in 2023
Undoubtedly some of the projects planned for opening this year will be delayed for 2023. But there are dozens of additional projects already under construction and planned for 2023 openings. Some of the most transformative will be a new light rail line connecting Seattle with its suburb Bellevue; a second metro rail line in Lagos; a new regional rail tunnel in Paris; and two light rail expansions in Porto.
Planned US openings in 2023
- Albany’s Purple Line/Washington-Western BRT, the third in the region’s improved bus network—8.5 miles for $81 million.
- Boston’s South Coast Rail Phase 1, an extension to MBTA commuter rail promised for decades–$1 billion.
- Los Angeles’ LAX Airport Connector, a 2.3-mile automated people mover linking the airport with light rail service.
- Miami’s South Dade TransitWay Corridor, the conversion of an existing busway with additional stations and better service—20 miles for $368 million.
- Monterey County Rail Extension, adding 38 miles of new rail service, linked to the Bay Area.
- Orange County’s OC Streetcar, connecting to Metrolink commuter rail service—4.1 miles for $408 million.
- Salt Lake City’s Ogden/Weber State University BRT, adding dedicated lanes and a high-quality bus route to light rail service—5.3 miles for $100 million.
- San Francisco’s Geary Boulevard BRT, offering new connections from downtown to the west side of the city after decades of planning—6.6 miles for $300 million (this is phase 1, just the eastern section of the project).
- Seattle’s East Link Blue Line, new light rail service for Bellevue and other eastern suburbs—14 miles for $2.8 billion.
- Spokane’s City Line BRT, creating improved bus service in the largest city in eastern Washington—6 miles for $72 million.
- Vancouver, Washington’s the Vine Mill Plain BRT—$50 million for better service north of Portland.
- Washington, DC’s Pentagon City Transitway Extension, a short BRT connector through Amazon’s second headquarters.
Planned 2023 openings elsewhere in North America
- Gatineau’s Rapibus Lorraine Extension.
- London, Ontario’s Downtown Loop BRT, creating new dedicated lanes for buses through downtown.
- Mexico City’s Linea 12 extension, the latest expansion to North America’s second-most-used metro system—2.9 miles for about $150 million.
- Mexico City’s AIFA Line Extension, connecting the commuter rail system to the airport on the city’s north side.
- Mexico City’s Tren Interurbano de Pasajeros Toluca, a modern commuter rail service for the city’s southwest—35.9 miles for about $2 billion.
- Montreal’s REM central segment, linking the south shore branch with future northern branches through the reuse of a tunnel under Mount Royal.
- Ottawa’s Trillium Line South, adding new service to a light rail line integrated into a broader regional system—9.9 miles for about $1.7 billion.
- Panama City’s Linea 2 extension to the airport, a 1.2-mile elevated addition to the city’s fledging metro system.
- Toronto’s Line 6 Finch West, a new east-west light rail service northwest of downtown—6.8 miles for about $1.2 billion.
Planned 2023 openings in Africa
- Cairo’s Line 3 extension.
- Lagos’ Red Line, a 23-mile heavy-rail line that will build on the new Blue Line Corridor.
Planned 2023 openings in France, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom
- Angers’ Tramway B and C project, creating an east-west link across the community.
- Bordeaux’s 3.1-mile Tramway A extension to the airport.
- Cagliari’s tramway extension to the rail station.
- Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven.
- Lyon’s Metro B extension—1.5 miles of new service to the southwest.
- Milano’s M4 metro full line.
- Napoli’s Line 6, connecting the city center to the west side.
- Paris’ M11 metro eastern extension, running from Les Lilas to a future connection with M15—3.4 miles.
- Paris’ RER E central section, adding a new regional rail tunnel through the city center and providing better access to La Defense.
- Paris Tramway 3b Extension, adding to the city’s circumferential tramway route with a new connection through Porte Maillot—2 miles.
- Paris Tramway 10, building a connection in the south suburbs—5.1 miles.
- Paris’ Tramway 12 Express, running 12.4 miles of tram-train service east-west across the south suburbs.
- Porto’s Linha Rosa/G, creating a new cross-city subway from the rail station.
- Porto’s Linha D, extending the light rail network to the south.
Other projects under construction, with future openings
There are at least 70 other major projects in the countries covered by Transit Explorer 2 that are already under construction (or expected to begin construction in 2022), and that will open between 2024 and 2031.
This list will expand, particularly in the US, as more projects are funded through the federal government’s additional support for infrastructure projects.
Projects expected to open in 2024
- Antwerpen’s Premetro, adding a short new underground link through the city center.
- Atlanta’s Summerhill BRT, a 2.4 mile line extending south from downtown.
- Birmingham’s Brierley Hill Extension, adding 6.8 miles to the West Midlands Metro.
- Bordeaux’s St-Aubin-Medoc BRT—13.1 miles for about $200 million.
- Casablanca’s T3 and T4 tramway lines, adding 8.7 miles to the system.
- Dallas’ Silver Line, new rail service along the Cotton Belt corridor—26 miles for $1.1 billion.
- Indianapolis’ Purple Line BRT, a full-featured route that doubles the extent of the city’s electric bus rapid transit system—15.2 miles for $155 million.
- Guadalajara’s Linea 4, 13 miles of new light rail service.
- Jersey City’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Bayfront extension.
- Kansas City’s Riverfront streetcar extension, a 0.55-mile addition to the successful streetcar line, for about $22.2 million.
- Lisboa’s metro green line extension, allowing the creation of a circular metro corridor through the city.
- Los Angeles’ D Line (Purple) extension Phase I, more subway for the city’s west side—3.9 miles for $2.8 billion.
- Madrid’s L5, 0.9-mile extension to Barajas Airport.
- Milano’s M1 extension, providing two new stations north of the city.
- Minneapolis’ Southwest Corridor Green Line, a light rail line from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie—14.5 miles, $1.9 billion.
- Montreal’s REM extensions to the west, north, and airport.
- Napoli’s Linea 1 extension, completing the circular route through the city.
- Ottawa’s Confederation Line east, the latest extension of that city’s light rail system—7.5 miles for about $1.3 billion.
- Paris’ M14 south—8.7 miles linking central Paris with Orly Airport.
- Paris’ M14 north to St. Denis-Pleyel—1.1 miles of automated rail connecting St. Denis with a major new intermodal center in time for the Olympics.
- Paris’ RER E western extension, providing service west of La Defense and doubling the length of the line.
- Paris’ T Zen 3 BRT, extending 5.8 miles northeast from the city center.
- Paris’ T Zen 4 BRT, running through the southeastern suburbs.
- Phoenix’s Northwest Phase II light rail—1.6 miles of new service.
- Phoenix’s South Central corridor light rail—5.5 miles for $1.3 billion.
- Roma’s Metro C extension, a new subway extension through the forum.
- San Sebastian’s Metro Donostialdea/Topo E2 extension.
- Seattle’s Federal Way Line 1 Link extension—7.8 miles.
- Seattle’s Lynnwood Line 1 Link, a new light rail extension north of the Northgate line—8.5 miles for $3.1 billion.
- Seattle’s Madison Street RapidRide G BRT—2.4 miles for $120 million.
- Seattle’s Downtown Redmond Line 2 Link extension light rail—3.4 miles.
- Torino’s Linea 1 extension, automated service west of the city.
- Toronto’s Hurontario LRT, north-south light rail in the city’s western suburbs—11.6 miles for about $1 billion.
Projects expected to open in 2025
- Abidjan’s Metro, a 23.2-mile new line running north-south through the metropolitan area.
- Birmingham, UK’s Eastside Metro Extension, adding 1.1 miles of light rail service.
- Edmonton’s Metro Line Northwest extension phase I.
- Kansas City’s Main Street streetcar extension to UMO-KC—3.6 miles for $263 million.
- Los Angeles D Line (Purple) extension Phase 2—2.6 miles for $2.5 billion.
- Los Angeles’ Gold Line Phase 2B to Pomona.
- Montpellier’s Tramway 5 line.
- Ottawa’s Confederation Line west—9.3 miles for about $1.6 billion.
- Panama City’s Linea 3 monorail, running west of the city center.
- Paris’ M15 south—20.5 miles.
- Seattle’s Center City Connector streetcar—1.3 miles for $286 million (though the future of this project is unclear because of funding constraints).
- Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown Line 5 West, extending the line 5.7 miles toward, but not to, the airport.
- Vancouver’s Broadway subway Skytrain—3.5 miles for about $2.8 billion.
Projects expected to open in 2026
- Alger’s Metro 1 extension to the airport.
- Bologna’s Linea 1 Rossa, a new east-west line across the city.
- Charleroi’s Chatelet Branch, mostly completed in the 1980s, but now being opened to the public.
- Chicago’s West Lake South Shore Line Extension
- Montreal’s Blue Line metro extension—3.6 miles for about $3.9 billion.
- Paris’ Tramway 1 eastern extension to Val-de-Fontenay—4.8 miles.
- Paris’ M16/M17 first phase—the first of Paris’ four new metro lines, forming part of the Grand Paris Express metro expansion program.
- Paris’ M16 extension to the eastern suburbs.
- Paris’ M17 Phase I north.
- Washington’s Purple Line light rail, a circumferential link in the Maryland suburbs—16.2 miles for $2.1 billion. Delayed from a 2024 opening because of problems related to PPP contract in 2020.
Projects expected to open in 2027
- Calgary’s Green Line Phase 1—12.4 miles for about $3.9 billion.
- Edmonton’s Valley Line Stage 2 West—8.7 miles for about $2 billion.
- Los Angeles’ D Line (Purple) extension Phase 3—2.6 miles for $3.6 billion.
- New York’s Penn Station Access, offering new Metro-North commuter rail service to Penn Station.
- Paris’ M18 Phase I.
- San Jose’s Eastridge to BART Regional Connector light rail—2.4 miles for $453 million.
Projects expected to open in 2028
- Los Angeles’ Gold Line Phase 2B to Montclair, full extension to Montclair.
- Paris’ M16 Phase II.
- Paris’ M17 Phase II.
- Toulouse’s M3 metro line—16.8 miles, creating an automated link through the city center.
Projects expected to open in 2030
- Toronto’s Line 2 Scarborough Subway extension, adding three stations and 4.8 miles to the city’s east side.
- Toronto’s Ontario Line, a new east-west subway through the city.
Projects expected to open in 2031
- Honolulu’s Rail Transit Phase 2, completing the line to the airport and downtown.
Have fun exploring these projects throughout Transit Explorer 2!
Note: Updated with corrections as of January 24, 2022 1 pm ET.