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General Infrastructure

Transit Project Openings in 2024: A Global Review

Despite the ridership struggles facing transit systems in the United States, nations and cities around the world are investing dramatically in new lines. In this annual post, I review what projects were completed in 2023—and what’s coming over the next year.

Data for this compilation can be viewed freely on Transit Explorer or purchased for use in Shapefile, GeoJSON, and CSV formats. Transit Explorer has been dramatically expanded since last year, now covering metros—as well as many other types of lines—around the world. In addition, the interactive website for the first time allows users to “turn back the time” by seeing what transit in each city looked like in the past.

Previous compilations of new and planned transit projects on The Transport Politic can be found here: 2009 | 2010 | 2011  | 2012  | 2013  | 2014  | 2015  | 2016  | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023

New transit investments completed in 2023

In 2023, 1,760 kilometers of urban transit—meaning fixed-guideway rail and bus projects within metropolitan areas—opened for service around the world. 1,100 new stations opened along those lines, although many other already existing stations got new service, too. The trends in 2023 represented a continuation of recent trends; in 2022, 1,819 kilometers opened, and in 2021 1,795 kilometers opened.

The majority of the new service came in the form of metro lines, including subway, elevated, and monorail services, which accounted for 64 percent of the total new route mileage. New light rail options added another 10 percent; commuter rail and regional rail another 16 percent; and bus rapid transit routes about 6 percent.

The new lines were concentrated in China, where 45 percent of new route kilometers opened, almost all of which were in the form of metros. That said, Russia (11 percent), the United States (5 percent), Thailand (4 percent), and India (3 percent) also added substantial new transit options. Overall, European Union countries added about 5 percent of new routes.

Major projects that opened included:

  • Bangkok Pink and Yellow Line monorail lines;
  • Beijing Subway Line 17;
  • Chengdu Metro Line 19;
  • Chongqing Metro Line 18;
  • Dalian Metro Line 5;
  • Delhi-Meerut RRTS regional rail (first phase);
  • Edmonton Valley Line Southeast light rail;
  • Fuzhou Metro Line 4;
  • Guiyang Metro Line 3;
  • Helsinki Line 15 light rail;
  • Honolulu Skyline automated metro (first phase);
  • Istanbul Line 11 metro;
  • Greater Jakara LRT (metro) extensions;
  • Kuala Lumpur light metro Line 12;
  • Lagos Blue Line metro first phase;
  • Montréal REM automated metro (first phase);
  • Moscow D3 and D4 regional rail projects;
  • Nanjing Metro Line S4;
  • New York East Side Access commuter rail subway;
  • Shenyang Metro Line 4;
  • Suzhou Metro Line 11;
  • Tel Aviv Red Line light rail;
  • Wenzhou Metro Line S2;
  • Zhengzhou Metro Zhengxu Line;
Rapid transit line openings in 2023

Below, I list the new transit projects that opened in 2023, with the United States listed first, followed by other countries in alphabetical order. Projects are listed by metropolitan area.

United States

  • Albany, New York: Washington-Western (Purple Line) BRT 13.6 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. Project links downtown Albany with the city’s west side, including the University at Albany and Crossgates Mall.
  • Chicago, Illinois: Pace Pulse Dempster 25.1 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This line runs from downtown Evanston west to O’Hare Airport.
  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: Skyline East Kapolei–Aloha Stadium 17.3 km (Heavy Rail) Link. This is the first phase of the city’s elevated automated metro. The line, which will connect to the airport and downtown, will be completed in phases in 2025 and 2031.
  • Los Angeles, California: Regional Connector 3 km (Light Rail) Link. This project created a new cross-downtown subway that allows the Metro A line to run north-south from Azusa to Long Beach and the E line to run east-west from East L.A. to Santa Monica.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Lakefront Line 1.2 km (Streetcar) Link. This is a short downtown loop that adds to existing service.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: East-West BRT 15.2 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This is the region’s first BRT line, running east-west from downtown to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • New York, New York: East Side Access 5.3 km (Commuter Rail) Link. This tunneled extension of the Long Island Railroad brings that service to a new station under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: RAPID NW 16 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This route connects downtown with the Baptist Medical Center in the northwest part of the city.
  • Portland, Oregon (Vancouver, Washington): The Vine Mill Plain 16.2 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This is an east-west improved bus route north of the Columbia River.
  • Salt Lake, Utah: Ogden/Weber State University BRT 9 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This project connects downtown Ogden (north of Salt Lake City) to the university.
  • San Diego, California: Iris Rapid 20.3 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This is an east-west route near the city’s southern boundary.
  • Seattle, Washington: Line T Hilltop Extension 3.8 km (Streetcar) Link. This extended this short route to the hill above downtown Tacoma.
  • Seattle, Washington: Delridge/East Marginal RapidRide H 12.7 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This line offered new service to Delridge and Burien on the region’s west side.
  • Spokane, Washington: City Line 9.2 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This is an east-west route offering all-electric bus service through the city center.
  • Florida: Brightline Phase 2 West Palm Beach-Orlando 268.1 km (Intercity Rail) Link. This line connects Orlando International Airport with Miami.

Algeria

  • Mostaganem: Line 1 12 km (Tramway)
  • Mostaganem: Line 2 1.9 km (Tramway)

Bangladesh

  • Dhaka: MRT Line 6 Agargaon–Motijheel 8.5 km (Heavy Rail)

Bolivia

  • Cochabamba: Red Line Estación Cochabamba 0.7 km (Light Rail)
  • Cochabamba: Green Line Quillacollo–Suticollo 12.7 km (Light Rail)

Canada

  • Edmonton, Alberta: Valley Line Stage 1 Southeast 13.2 km (Light Rail) Link
  • London, Ontario: Downtown Loop BRT 2.2 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Ottawa, Ontario: Rapibus Lorrain Extension 2.8 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Montréal, Québec: REM South Shore 16.7 km (Light Metro) Link

Chile

  • Santiago: Linea 2 La Cisterna-El Pino 5.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Santiago: Linea 3 Los Libertadores-Plaza de Quilicura 3.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Temuco: Tren Temuco-Pitrufquen 29.4 km (Commuter Rail)

China

  • Beijing: Line 11 Jin’anqiao–Moshikou 1.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 16 Yushuzhuang–Wanpingcheng 3.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 17 Workers’ Stadium–Future Science Park North 25.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Changping Line Qinghe Railway Station–Xitucheng 9.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Changchun: Line 4 Tiangong Road–Hejiatun 4.5 km (Light Rail)
  • Changsha: Xihuan Line Xiangtan North Railway Station–Shantang 18 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Changsha: Dawangshan Yunba 8.4 km (Light Metro)
  • Chengdu: Line 19 Jiujiang North–Hejiang 42.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 5 EXPO Garden Center–Yuegangbeilu 8.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 5 Dashiba–Shiqiaopu 5.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 9 Xingke Avenue–Huashigou 8.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 10 Liyuchi–Houbao 4.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 10 Houbao–Lanhualu 4.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chongqing: Line 18 Fuhualu–Tiaodengnan 28.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Dalian: Line 5 Hutan Xinqu–Houguan 24.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Fuzhou: Line 4 Difengjiang–Fenghuangchi 23.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Fuzhou: Line 5 Ancient Luozhou Town–Fuzhou South Railway Station 5.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Guiyang: Line 3 Tongmu Ridge–Luo Bay 42.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Harbin: Line 3 Taipingqiao–Sports Park 3.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 1 Hefei Railway Station–Zhangwa 5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 2 Sanshibu–Cuozhen 14.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 3 Xingfuba–Guyanyi 11.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Jinhua: Yidong Line Sports Center–Ming and Qing Dynasty Palaces 16.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Lanzhou: Line 2 Yanbai Bridge–Dongfanghong Square 8.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line S4 Chuzhou–Chahe 45 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line 7 Yingtiandaji–Xishanqiao 12.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nantong: Line 2 Happiness–Pioneer 20.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 5 Wenchong–Huangpu New Port 9.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 7 Higher Education Mega Center South–Yanshan 21.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Qingdao: Line 13 Jialingjiang Road–Jinggangshan Road 3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shaoxing: Line 2 Chengxi Road–Yuexing Road 10.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shenyang: Line 2 Quanyunlu–Taoxianjichang 14.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shenyang: Line 4 Zhengxin Road–Innovation Road 34.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Suzhou: Line 11 Weiting–Huaqiao 40.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Line 11 Dongjiangdao–Donglilujinglu 12.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wenzhou: Line S2 Qingdong Road–Dongshan 64.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuhan: Line 5 Hubei University of Chinese Medicine–Hongxiacun 2.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuhan: Line 19 Wuhan Railway Station West Square–Xinyuexi Park 25.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuhan: Optics Valley Air Rail 10.4 km (Monorail)
  • Xian: Line 1 Fenghesenlingongyuan–Xianyangxizhan 10.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xian: Line 2 Xi’an Beizhan–Caotan 3.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xian: Line 2 Weiqunan–Changninggong 3.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xian: Line 16 Qinchuangyuanzhongxin–Shijingli 15.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 3 Yinggang–Binhe Xincheng Nan 5.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 14 Olympic Sports Center–Lianhu 1.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 10 Zhengzhou Railway Station–Zhengzhou West Railway Station 21.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Zhengxu Line Xuchang East Railway Station–Chang’an Road North 68.3 km (Heavy Rail)

Costa Rica

  • San Jose: Interurbano Cartago–Oreamuno 2 km (Interurban)

Egypt

  • Cairo: Line 3 Extension to Cairo University 6.1 km (Heavy Rail)

Finland

  • Helsinki: Line 15 24.5 km (Light Rail)

France

  • Angers: Tramway B/C 8.4 km (Tramway) Link
  • Bordeaux: Tramway A Extension 4.7 km (Tramway) Link
  • Lyon: Metro B Extension 2.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Paris: Tramway 10 Jardin Parisien–La Croix de Berny 6.7 km (Tramway) Link
  • Paris: Tramway 12 Express 20.5 km (Tramway) Link
  • Strasbourg: BHNS G Gare Centrale–Rotterdam 5.3 km (Bus Rapid Transit)

Germany

  • Hanover: 17 Wallensteinstrasse–Hemmingen 3.1 km (Light Rail)

Indonesia

  • Jakarta: Greater Jakarta LRT Dukuh Atas–Cawang 10.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Jakarta: Greater Jakarta LRT Cawang–Bekasi Timur 17.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Jakarta: Cibubur Line Cawang–Baranangsiang 14.9 km (Heavy Rail)

India

  • Bengaluru: Purple Line Baiyappanahalli–Whitefield 15.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Bengaluru: Purple Line Kengeri–Challaghatta 1.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Delhi: Airport Express Dwarka Sector 21–ECC Centre 1.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Delhi: Delhi–Meerut RRTS Sahibabad–Duhai 14 km (Regional Rail)
  • Mumbai: Line 2 Dahanukarwadi–Andheri West 9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Mumbai: Line 7 Aarey–Gundavali 6.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Mumbai: Navi Mumbai Line 1 CBD Belapur–Central Park 6.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Mumbai: Navi Mumbai Line 1 Central Park–Pendhar 4.4 km (Heavy Rail)

Iran

  • Tehran: Line 7 Sanat–Meydan Kitab 4.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tehran: Line 6 Imam Hossein–Trabiat Modares University 8.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shiraz: Line 2 Imam Hossein–Shokoufeh 8.6 km (Heavy Rail)

Israel

  • Tel Aviv: Red Line 24.4 km (Light Rail)

Italy

  • Milano: M4 (Dateo-San Babila) 1.8 km (Light Metro) Link

Japan

  • Fukuoka: Nanakuma Line Tenjin-Minami–Hakata 1.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Utsunomiya: Utsunomiya Light Rail Utsunomiya Station East–Haga Takanezawa Industrial Park 14.5 km (Light Rail)

Malaysia

  • Kuala Lumpur: 12 Putrajaya Line Kampung Batu–Putrajaya Sentral 40.6 km (Heavy Rail)

Mexico

  • Mexico: Mexicable Linea 2 8.2 km (Aerial Tram)
  • Mexico: Tren Interurbano Lerma–Zinacantepec 20.4 km (Commuter Rail) Link
  • Yucatan: Tren Maya Cancun–Campeche 470.2 km (Intercity Rail)

Morocco

  • Casablanca: Casabusway 1 12.6 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Casablanca: Casabusway 2 11.9 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link

Netherlands

  • Rotterdam: B Extension to Hoek van Holland 2 km (Heavy Rail)

Nigeria

  • Lagos: Blue Line Marina–Mile 2 12.6 km (Heavy Rail)

Panama

  • Panama: Linea 2 Airport Extension 2 km (Heavy Rail) Link

Portugal

  • Lisboa: Funicular da Graca 0.1 km (Cable Rail)

Qatar

  • Doha: Green Line 4.2 km (Tramway)

Russia

  • Moscow: 8A Rasskazovka–Vnukovo 4.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Moscow: 10 Seligerskaya–Fiztekh 6.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Moscow: 11 Elektrozavodskaya–Savyolovskaya 7.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Moscow: 11 Kashirskaya–Nizhegorodskaya 11.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Moscow: D3 Zelenograd-Kryukovo–Ippodrom 84.4 km (Regional Rail)
  • Moscow: D4 Aprelevka–Zheleznodorozhnaya 80.5 km (Regional Rail)

Senegal

  • Dakar: Train express régional Dakar-AIBD 19.9 km (Commuter Rail)

South Korea

  • Seoul: Line 1 Soyosan–Yeoncheon 18.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Seoul: Seohae Line Sosa–Neunggok 16.8 km (Regional Rail)

Spain

  • Malaga: Metro Malaga Extension L1/L2 1.2 km (Tramway)
  • Vitoria: Tranvía extension to Salburua 2.5 km (Tramway)

Thailand

  • Bangkok: Pink Line Nonthaburi Civic Center–Min Buri 34.4 km (Monorail) Link
  • Bangkok: Yellow Line Lat Samrong–Hua Mak 16.5 km (Monorail)
  • Bangkok: Yellow Line Lat Phrao–Hua Mak 12.3 km (Monorail)
  • Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport Automated People Mover 1.1 km (Light Metro)

Turkey

  • Ankara: M4 Ataturk Kultur Merkezi–15 Temmuz Kizilay Milli Irade 3.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: M3 Basaksehir/MetroKent–Kayasehir Merkez 5.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: M8 Bostanci–Parseller 14.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: M11 Kargo Terminali–Gayrettepe 36.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: T5 Cibali–Eminonu 1.1 km (Tramway)

Taiwan

  • Taipei: Ankeng Light Rail Shisizhang–Shuangcheng 7.6 km (Light Rail)
  • Taipei: Taoyuan Airport MRT Huanbei–Laojie River 0.9 km (Heavy Rail)

United Kingdom

  • Birmingham: West Midlands Metro Wolverhampton City Centre Loop 0.6 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Edinburgh: Edinburgh Trams Newhaven Extension 4.5 km (Tramway) Link
  • London: Luton DART 2 km (Cable Rail) Link

Planned 2024 openings

Cities around the world expect to complete far more projects in 2024 than in 2023—with 3,014 kilometers of new urban transit planned for completion. That said, large projects of this sort have a history of being delayed. So we’ll see.

Among those countries with projects planned to open in 2024, China represents 50 percent of planned route kilometers, the U.S. 10 percent, India 7 percent, Saudia Arabia 6 percent, and Turkey 4 percent. Together, the E.U. will add 4 percent of new route kilometers.

Major projects planned for opening in 2024 include:

  • Agra Lines 1 and 2;
  • Beijing Line 12;
  • Bengaluru Yellow Line;
  • Cairo Monorail (two lines);
  • Casablanca T3 and T4 tramway;
  • Changchun Line 6;
  • Chengdu Lines 13, 17, 27, and S3;
  • Fuzhou Binhai Express;
  • Hefei Line 6;
  • Ho Chi Minh City metro opening
  • Istanbul Metro 11;
  • Kolkata Line 6;
  • Milano M4 completion;
  • Montréal REM (two branches and central segment);
  • Mumbai Line 2 extension;
  • Nanjing Line 5 and 6 extensions;
  • Paris Metro 11 and 14 extensions, plus RER E regional rail subway to La Défense;
  • Patna Lines 1 and 2;
  • Pearl River Delta Guangzhou Metro Lines 11 and 12;
  • Riyadh metro opening;
  • Seattle East Link (first phase) and Lynnwood Link light rail;
  • Seoul GTX A regional rail;
  • Shanghai Airport Link Line regional rail;
  • Suzhou Lines 6, 8, and 8;
  • Sydney Metro City and Southwest line;
  • Taiyuan Line 1;
  • Tianjin Line 7, Z4, and B1;
  • Toronto Eglinton Crosstown;
  • Wuhan Lines 12 and S1;
  • Xiamen Line 6;
  • Xi’an Line 8;
  • Zhengzhou Lines 7 and 8;
Planned 2024 rapid transit line openings

Below, I list the transit projects that are planned for opening in 2024, with the United States listed first, followed by other countries in alphabetical order. Projects are listed by metropolitan area.

United States

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 15.5 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This north-south route will criss-cross the city center.
  • Boston, Massachusetts: South Coast Rail Phase 1 60.4 km (Commuter Rail) Link. This line will add new commuter rail service from Boston to Fall River and New Bedford.
  • Chicago, Illinois: Northwest Indiana Double Track Project (existing corridor) 41.5 km (Commuter Rail) Link. This project will add a second track to improve service between Chicago and South Bend.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Purple Line 15.8 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This is the city’s second BRT route, connecting downtown with Fort Harrison.
  • Los Angeles, California: Crenshaw Line Phase 2 Westchester/Veterans–Aviation 3.9 km (Light Rail) Link. This will extend the recently opened K Line to the LAX airport.
  • Miami, Florida: South Dade TransitWay Corridor 31.2 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This is an improvement on the existing corridor.
  • Miami, Florida: Downtown Miami Link 14.3 km (Commuter Rail) Link. This repeatedly delayed project will bring Tri-Rail service to downtown for the first time, courtesy of Brightline’s tracks.
  • Monterey, California: Monterey County Rail Extension 60.4 km (Commuter Rail) Link. This will extend Caltrain service from Gilroy to Salinas.
  • Orlando, Florida: SunRail Phase 2 (North) 19 km (Regional Rail) Link. This will extend the existing line from DeBary to DeLand.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: Northwest Phase 2 2.5 km (Light Rail) Link. This will extend the existing line to the Metrocenter Mall.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: South Central Corridor 9.4 km (Light Rail) Link. This route will connect downtown with Baseline route.
  • Seattle, Washington: Lynnwood Link 13.7 km (Light Rail) Link. This will extend the city’s light rail north of the city.
  • Seattle, Washington: Madison St RapidRide G 4.6 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link. This line will run northeast from the city center.
  • Seattle, Washington: Swift Orange Line 16.6 km (Arterial Rapid Transit) Link. This suburban route will connect Mill Creek and Edmonds.
  • Seattle, Washington: East Link Blue Line South Bellevue–Redmond Technology 10.1 km (Light Rail) Link. This is the first phase in a line that will eventually connect downtown Seattle with Bellevue.

Australia

  • Sydney: Metro City and Southwest Chatswood–Bankstown 30.2 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Sydney: Parramatta Light Rail Phase 1 Westmead–Carlingford 10.9 km (Light Rail) Link

Belarus

  • Minsk: Zelenaluzhskaya Line Slutsk Gastinets 4.2 km (Heavy Rail)

Brazil

  • Rio de Janeiro: TransBrasil 31.7 km (Bus Rapid Transit)
  • São Paulo: GRU Airport People Mover 2.5 km (Light Metro)

Canada

  • Montréal, Québec: REM Central Segment 10.1 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Montréal, Québec: REM Deux Montagnes Branch 19.6 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Montréal, Québec: REM Western Branch 15.5 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Ottawa, Ontario: O-Train Trillium Line South 14.3 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Toronto, Ontario: Line 5 Eglinton Crosstown 18.9 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Toronto, Ontario: Line 6 Finch West LRT 10.5 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Toronto, Ontario: Hurontario LRT 17.9 km (Light Rail) Link

China

  • Beijing: Line 1 Pingguoyuan–Fushouling 3.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 3 Dongsi Shitiao–Dongbabei 15 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 12 Sijiqing–Dongbabei 29.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 13A Dazhongsi–Chegongzhuang 3.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Line 17 Workers’ Stadium–Shilihe 7.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Beijing: Changping Line Xitucheng–Jimenqiao 0.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Changchun: Line 6 Shuangfeng–Changchun Movie Wonderland 28.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Changsha: Line 6 Huanghua Airport T1–Huanghua Airport T3 4.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Changsha: Line 1 Kaifu District Government–Jinpenqiu 10.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 8 Lianhua–Longgang 1.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 8 Shilidian–Guilong Road 6.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 10 Taipingyuan–Luomashi 7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 13 Longan–Wayaotan 30.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 17 Jitouqiao–Gao Hong 24.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 18 South Railway Station–North Railway Station 10.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: Line 27 Stone Buddha–Shuxin Road 25.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Chengdu: S3 Ziyang North Railway Station–Futian 38.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Fuzhou: Line 4 Fenghuangchi–Banzhou 5.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Fuzhou: Binhai Express 62.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Harbin: Line 3 Taipingqiao–Sports Park 9.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 6 Longtang–Xiaoshu Mountain 29.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 7 Songlin Lu–Chaohu Nanlu 20.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 8 Hefei Beicheng Railway Station–Yilijing 23 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hefei: Line 4 Longtang–Xiaoshu Mountain 13.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Hong Kong: Extension to T2 3 km (Light Metro)
  • Jinan: Line 3 Tantou–Yaoqiang Airport 12.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Kunming: Line 2 South Ring Road–Haidong Park 13 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Liuzhou: Line 2 Xianglanxincun–Bailian Airport 19.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Macau: Taipa Line Taipa–Barra 3 km (Light Metro)
  • Macau: Seac Pai Van Line 1.1 km (Light Metro)
  • Nanjing: Line 10 Andemen–Shiyangdonglu 12.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line 3 Mozhoudonglu–Molingjiedao 3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line 5 Fangjiaying–Jiyindadao 37.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line 6 Qixiashan–Nanjing South Railway Station 32.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Nanjing: Line 7 Mufuxilu–Yingtiandaji 10.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Ningbo: Line 5 Buzheng–Camel Bridge 10.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 3 Panyu Square–Haibang 8.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 10 Xilang–Shipaiqiao 18.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 11 Huajing Lu–Pazhou 42.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangzhou Metro Line 12 Xunfenggang–Higher Education Mega Center South 38.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Shenzhen Metro Line 7 Xili Lake–Xuefu Hospital 2.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Shenzhen Metro Line 8 Yantian Road–Xiaomeisha 8.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Pearl River Delta: Guangqing Intercity Railway Qingcheng–Provincial Vocational Education City 19.6 km (Regional Rail)
  • Shanghai: Line 2 East Xujing–Panxiang Road 1.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shanghai: Line 17 Oriental Land–Xicen 8.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shanghai: Airport Link Line Hongqiao–Shanghai East Railway Station 70.3 km (Regional Rail)
  • Shaoxing: Line 1 Branch Huangjiu Town–Exhibition and Convention Center 7.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shenyang: Line 3 BMW New Factory–Xintai Street 41.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Shijiazhuang: Line 1 Fuze–Dongyang 4.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Suzhou: Line 6 Suzhou Xinqu Railway Station–Xinqing Lu 35.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Suzhou: Line 7 Moyang–Hongzhuang 31.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Suzhou: Line 8 Xijinqiao–Chefeng 35.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Taiyuan: Line 1 Xishan Mining Bureau–Wusu Airport 27.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Line 4 Hebeidajie–Xiaojie 21.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Line 8 Lushuidao–Lushuigongyuan 19 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Line 7 Saidalu–Xifengdao 25.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Line 11 Dongjiangdao–Wenjielu 14.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: Z4 Yincheng Street–Metro Six 43 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Tianjin: B1 Xinjia Garden East–Metro Four 33 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Urumqi: Line 2 Nanmen–Huashan Street 13.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuhan: Line 11 Wuhandong Railway Station–Jiang’an Road 17.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuhan: Line 12 Science Park–Qingling 21.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Wuxi: Line S1 Yanqiao–Jiangyin Waitan 31.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xiamen: Line 6 Longjiangmingzhu–Dong’an 31 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xian: Line 8 loop 49.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Xiongan: R1 Daxing Airport-Xiongan Terminal 86.7 km (Regional Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 6 Changzhuang–Tsinghua High School 32.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 7 Eastern Zhao–Houzhai 29.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Zhengzhou: Line 8 Green Expo Garden–Tianjian Lake 58.5 km (Heavy Rail)

Denmark

  • Copenhagen: M4 Kobenhavn H-Ny Ellebjerg 5.2 km (Light Metro) Link

Egypt

  • Cairo: Cairo Monorail – New Administrative Capital Line 58 km (Monorail)
  • Cairo: Cairo Monorail – 6th of October City Line 43.1 km (Monorail)
  • Cairo: Line 3 Extension to Rod el-Farag 6.8 km (Heavy Rail)

France

  • Bordeaux: Bordeaux-St-Aubin-Medoc BHNS 22.3 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Paris: M11 Est Phase 6.0 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Paris: M14 Sud 12.7 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Paris: M14 Nord Phase 2 2.1 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Paris: T Zen 4 14.7 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Paris: RER E Haussmann–Nanterre La Folie 8.6 km (Regional Rail) Link
  • Paris: Tram 3b Porte Dauphine Extension 3.2 km (Tramway) Link

Greece

  • Thessaloniki: Line 1/2 9.6 km (Light Metro) Link

Indonesia

  • Jakarta: Southern Line Velodrome–Pramuka 2.5 km (Heavy Rail)

India

  • Agra: Line 1 Sikandra–Taj East Gate 13.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Agra: Line 2 Kalindi Vihar–Agra Cantt 16.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Ahmedabad: Line GIFT City Branch 14.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Bengaluru: Green Line Nagasandra–Madavara 3.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Bengaluru: Yellow Line Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road–Bommasandra 19.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Bhopal: Red Line Bhadbhada Square–Ratnagiri Tiraha 13.1 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Bhopal: Blue Line Karond Circle–AIIMS 14.7 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Chennai: MRTS Velachery–St. Thomas Mount 4.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Kolkata: Line 4 Noapara–Biman Bandar 7.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Kolkata: Line 6 Biman Bandar–Kavi Subhash 29.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Mumbai: Line 2 ESIC Nagar–Mandala 23.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Mumbai: Line 3 Aarey Colony–Bandra Kurla Complex 11.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Patna: Line 1 Khemni Chak–Danapur Cantonment 16.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Patna: Line 2 New ISBT–Patna Junction 13.8 km (Heavy Rail)

Italy

  • Cagliari: L1 – FS 2.4 km (Tramway)
  • Catania: Metropolitana Nesima-Monte Po 1.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Genova: Metropolitana Brin-Canepari 0.9 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Milano: M4 (San Babila-San Cristoforo) 7.4 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Napoli: Linea 6 Mergellina–Municipio 3.4 km (Light Metro) Link
  • Napoli: Linea 1 Tribunale–Piazza Garibaldi 2.3 km (Heavy Rail) Link

Japan

  • Osaka: Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway Senri-Chuo–Mino-Kayano 2.5 km (Heavy Rail)

Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg: Tramway T1 Phase D (Stadion) 3.6 km (Tramway) Link

Mexico

  • Guadalajara: Linea 4 20.5 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Mexico City: Linea 12 Extension 3.9 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Mexico City: Tren Interurbano Lerma–Observatorio 39 km (Commuter Rail) Link
  • Mexico City: Lechería-AIFA Suburban Line Extension 22.1 km (Commuter Rail) Link
  • Mexico City: Cablebus Linea 3 4.9 km (Aerial Tram) Link
  • Yucatan: Tren Maya Cancun–Escarcega 619.8 km (Intercity Rail)

Morocco

  • Agadir: Agadir BRT 15.5 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link
  • Casablanca: T3 13.7 km (Tramway) Link
  • Casablanca: T4 12.4 km (Tramway) Link

Nigeria

  • Lagos: Red Line 32.4 km (Heavy Rail)

Philippines

  • Manila: LRT Line 1 Baclaran–Dr. Santos 6.6 km (Light Metro)

Portugal

  • Lisboa: Linha Verde Extension Rato–Cais do Sodre 2.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Porto: Linha D (Amarela) Extension – Vila d’Este 3 km (Tramway) Link

Russia

  • Moscow: 1 Kommunarka–Potapovo 2.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Saint Petersburg: M4 Spasskaya–Gorny Institut 4.3 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Saint Petersburg: M6 Putilovskaya–Yugo-Zapadnaya 3.4 km (Heavy Rail)

Saudi Arabia

  • Riyadh: Line 1 – Blue 39.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Line 2 – Red 25.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Line 3 – Orange 41.5 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Line 4 – Yellow 20.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Lines 4/6 – Yellow/Purple 9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Line 5 – Green 12.4 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Riyadh: Line 6 – Purple 20.7 km (Heavy Rail)

Singapore

  • Singapore: North East Line Punggol–Punggol Coast 1.3 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Singapore: Thomson-East Coast Line Gardens by the Bay–Bayshore 10.6 km (Heavy Rail) Link

South Africa

  • Johannesburg: Rea Vaya Phase 1C 15.9 km (Bus Rapid Transit) Link

South Korea

  • Daegu: Line 1 Ansim–Hayang 9.2 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Seoul: Line 8 Amsa–Byeollae 12.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Seoul: Incheon Subway Line 1 Gyeyang–Geomdan 4.8 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Seoul: GTX A Suseo–Dongtan 33.4 km (Regional Rail)
  • Seoul: Sinansan Line Yeouido–Hanyang University 30.7 km (Regional Rail)

Spain

  • Barcelona: Conexión Trambaix-Trambesòs 1.8 km (Tramway) Link
  • Madrid: L3 to El Casar 3.8 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Palma: M1 UIB–Parc Bit 1.4 km (Light Metro)

Taiwan

  • Kaohsiung: Circular Light Rail Heart of Love River–Kaisyuan Park 4.9 km (Tramway)

Turkey

  • Bursa: BursaRay Emek–Sehir Hastanesi 4.6 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Gebze: M1 15.9 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: M1B Kirazli–Halkali 9.1 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Istanbul: M3 Kirazli–Barkirkoy IDO 8.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Istanbul: M5 Cekmekoy–Sancaktepe Sehir Hastanesi 3.2 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Istanbul: M7 Yildiz–Kabatas 3.5 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Istanbul: M9 Bahariye–Atakoy 11.4 km (Heavy Rail) Link
  • Istanbul: M11 Kargo Terminali–Halkali 32.7 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: M14 Altunizade–Bosna Bulvari 4.6 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Istanbul: T6 8.4 km (Tramway) Link
  • Izmir: M1 Fahrettin Altay–Kaymakamlik hatti 7.1 km (Heavy Rail)
  • Izmir: T1 Atasehir–Mavisehir IZBAN 1.6 km (Tramway)
  • Izmir: T3 10.1 km (Tramway)

Ukraine

  • Dnipro: Dnipro Metro Vokzalna–Dnipro 4.3 km (Heavy Rail)

United Kingdom

  • Birmingham: West Midlands Metro Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Extension 10.9 km (Light Rail) Link
  • Blackpool: Blackpool Tramway Extension 0.5 km (Tramway) Link

Vietnam

  • Ho Chi Minh: Line 1 Ben Thanh–New Eastern Bus Station 19.2 km (Heavy Rail)
Categories
General General Infrastructure Light Rail Metro Rail

Historical Trends Show a Decline in Investment in High–Quality Transit in the US—And an Uptick Elsewhere

Using the data embedded in the Transit Explorer database, I calculated key statistics on how transit investment has changed over time in the United States and a number of other countries. These data point to some intriguing trends, notably a decline in investment stateside combined with significant expansion in countries like Canada, Egypt, France, Israel, and Turkiye (I have not yet assembled data for countries in south and east Asia, where transit expansion is proceeding even more quickly).

(Relatedly, for the Urban Institute’s Urban Wire, I calculated key trends in housing adjacency to rail and bus rapid transit stations in the US, as well as Canada, England, and France.)

Over the past century, transit construction in the US waxed and waned. Overall, the number of kilometers of rail transit systems added reached its apex (at least since the 1920s) in the 1990s, when about 1,000 kilometers of new commuter rail lines were opened. During the first decade of the 2000s, the country added the most heavy rail (subway/metro) and light rail lines, generating more than 500 new kilometers over ten years, a record.

Since 2010, however, rail transit construction has lost steam in the US. The number of kilometers opened declined by about 30 percent between the 2000s and 2010s, and the first few years of the 2020s suggest further decline by 2030. At the current rate, less than 500 new kilometers of rail transit will open by then—the lowest figure since the 1970s.

Nevertheless, among the countries in the Transit Explorer database (meaning, excluding Australia, plus south and east Asian countries), the US now has the most kilometers of metro rail (heavy rail or light metro). As of 2023, it has about 1,350 kilometers in operation, of which about a third are in the New York region.

But the growth rate of active metro lines in the US has been slower than in other countries since 2000, increasing by only about 10 percent in route length (the US population grew by 18 percent over the same period). The length of metro systems more than doubled in Brazil and increased by 45 percent in Spain, by contrast.

And there are about 1,700 kilometers of metro in operation in the European Union’s seven most populous countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands), whose collective population is almost identical to that of the United States. Their metro route length has increased by 30 percent overall since 2000—three times as fast as the US. (Those countries’ populations collectively grew by only about 4.5 percent between 2000 and 2021.) It is worth noting that Russia’s urban metro rail systems have also expanded tremendously since 2000, outpacing Spain as of 2022.

We can see similar trends when examining the number of light rail, tramway, or streetcar stations in operation across the countries in the database. Since 1980, US cities have invested heavily in light rail, adding about 1,370 stations nationwide. That’s a lot, but it is less than in those seven EU countries combined (2,100 stations), and even just in France (1,450 stations).

And some countries, like Italy, are planning very large investments in new tramways in the coming year.

Transit expansion plans, of course, vary by metropolitan area. Among regions in the US and Canada, New York has by far the largest number of line kilometers of light or heavy rail, followed by the Bay Area, Mexico City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

But New York actually has fewer active heavy rail lines in service than it did in 1950. And neither it nor Chicago has added much light rail or subway service since the turn of the millennium. Neither has any major expansion plans actually funded for completion over the next five years, either.

Los Angeles, Montreal, Seattle, and Toronto, on the other hand, stand out as having the largest transit expansion plans in terms of new route kilometers that are currently under construction or planned, meaning projects are funded and almost ready for construction.

And when controlling for urban area population, New York is arguably an under-performer when it comes to overall transit route length. The New York urban area currently has fewer light or heavy rail kilometers per capita than the Baltimore, Bay Area, Denver, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis, and Washington, DC regions. It goes to show that having the maximum amount of transit route length isn’t necessarily directly correlated with having the most transit ridership; the New York area carries more people on transit than all those regions combined.

But New York, as noted, also stands out for having no light rail or subway projects that are either under construction or funded. This situation contrasts strongly with the Minneapolis and Seattle urban areas, whose rail transit expansion plans are the largest in the US on a per-capita basis.

New York’s limited transit expansion prospects are particularly remarkable when compared to the plans of many other world regions. Cairo, Istanbul, Paris, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and Toronto each have many light rail or metro lines under construction today—and many more kilometers planned (Paris is likely to soon overtake London and New York in terms of total kilometers of such routes). London, on the other hand, has none.

Different regions are investing in different ways. Among routes that are currently under construction, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Seattle, Tel Aviv, and Toronto have focused heavily on light rail projects. Cairo, Istanbul, Lagos, Montreal, Paris, and Riyadh are building at least 50 kilometers of metro rail each. And Bogota, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro are building many kilometers of bus rapid transit.

The result of all this expansion is that New York’s once-dominant position as having the world’s longest metro network—a position it claimed from London in the 1910s—has eroded. New York pulled down many of its elevated lines and didn’t do much to expand its Subway network. Meanwhile, London took on the mantle in the 1980s through its expansion with the Docklands Light Railway, and, through systematic, relentless expansion, Moscow took the crown from London in the 2010s. Systems in East Asia are even larger. At the same time, Paris, Cairo, and Istanbul have massive expansion plans with many new lines opening over the next five years.

These conditions overall tell a story of declining US commitment to transit expansion in the context of large growth in other countries around the world. There are some exceptions—Seattle, in particular, has a big investment in new lines planned. But while the world is building out ever more accessible transit systems, the US appears to be falling behind.

Categories
Aerial Bus Commuter Rail General General Infrastructure Light Rail Metro Rail Stations Streetcar

Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2023

Last year, three lines Americans have been waiting on for decades—the Green Line extension in Boston, the Crenshaw Line in Los Angeles, and the Silver Line to Dulles Airport outside Washington—finally opened. Though they took years to be completed, they were greeted enthusiastically by riders and political officials content to bring better service to more people.

Similar reception greeted new rail and bus lines opening in Athens, Cairo, Guadalajara, Helsinki, Paris, and dozens of other cities around the world. And much more is planned for 2023: Finally, Long Island Rail Road service will reach the sub-sub-sub-basement of Grand Central Terminal. Toronto’s Eglinton light rail line will connect the city crosstown. And Honolulu, Gebze, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and Thessaloniki will get their first metro services.

This year, I leveraged data assembled in the Transit Explorer database to identify which projects opened in 2022, which are planned for opening in 2023, and which will be under construction this year—for a later opening date.

On separate posts, I analyzed trends in transit investments around the world and examined accessibility to transit stations in the US versus Canada, England, and France.

London’s Crossrail project opened in 2022, providing new cross-city connections across the capital. Credit: Geoff Henson on Flickr (cc).

The Transit Explorer database now includes all fixed–guideway urban transit systems (meaning rail and bus rapid transit) across North America, South America, Africa, and nine Western European countries, plus metro systems throughout Europe and in parts of the Middle East. Transit Explorer now includes about 29,200 urban transit stations and about 6,700 urban transit lines (covering 78,000 kilometers). (It also includes some intercity rail systems.) These are the geographies for which I provide details about transit line openings below.

Istanbul’s metro network—spanning continents—is becoming one of the world’s largest.
Bogota is a bus rapid transit haven—but a new metro system is planned.

Data can be viewed freely on Transit Explorer 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 can be found here: 2009 | 2010 | 2011  | 2012  | 2013  | 2014  | 2015  | 2016  | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022


New transit investments completed in 2022

Overall, 517 kilometers of new fixed-guideway urban transit services opened in 2022 across the countries covered by the Transit Explorer database. Of these, the countries with the largest increases in kilometers were the United States (196 kilometers); Egypt (77 kilometers); Mexico (60 kilometers); France (39 kilometers); and the United Kingdom (34 kilometers).

Azerbaijan

  • Baku: 2 km Purple Line metro extension from Avtovagzal to Khojasan

Canada

  • Montreal: Creation of 11 km SRB Pie-IX bus rapid transit route through the east side of the city

Denmark

Egypt

  • Cairo:
    • Line 3 metro extension west to Kit Kat (4 km)
    • Creation of 72 km Cairo Light Rail system (really a metro system) heading east into the new capital area

Finland

  • Helsinki: 7 km extension of the M1 metro line

France

  • Paris:
  • Rennes: Creation of new 13 km Line B automated light metro
  • Toulouse: Creation of 3 km Teleo aerial tram line

Greece

Italy

  • Milan: Opening of the first phase of automated M4 light metro, 5.5 km from the airport into the city

Israel

  • Haifa: Creation of Rakavlit aerial tram line (4 km)

Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg: Extension of T1 tramway by 1.2 km to the south

Mauritius

  • Port Louis: 10 km extension of the Metro Express light rail system to the south

Mexico

  • Guadalajara: Creation of 41.5 km Mi Macro Periferico bus rapid transit line, a circumferential route around the city
  • Mexico: 18 km extension of Mexibus Linea 1 bus rapid transit line in the northern suburbs

Poland

  • Warsaw: Extension of M2 metro line west and east, totaling 6 km

Spain

Turkiye

  • Bursa: Creation of 8 km T2 tramway line
  • Istanbul:
    • 8 km extension of M4 to Asian-side airport
    • 1.5 km extension of M7
    • Creation of F4 funicular system, a 1 km line

United Kingdom

United States


Planned 2023 openings

Almost 1,100 kilometers of fixed-guideway urban transit is planned to open in 2023 in the parts of the world covered by Transit Explorer. Of these, about half will be in the form of metro rail services. The countries with the largest expansions planned for opening are the United States (242 kilometers); Saudi Arabia (169 kilometers); Turkiye (127 kilometers); Mexico (98 kilometers); and Canada (78 kilometers). That said, all investments aren’t equal: 57 percent of new US route kilometers will be bus rapid transit or arterial rapid transit. In many other countries, new kilometers are much more likely to be metro rail or light rail services: Saudi Arabia (100 percent); Turkiye (83 percent); and Canada (93 percent).

Brasil

  • Rio de Janeiro: TransBrasil, 32 km bus rapid transit route

Canada

Chile

  • Santiago:
    • Line 2, extension to El Pino, 5 km
    • Line 3, extension to Plaza de Quilicura, 3 km
    • Creation of Teleferico Bicentenario, 3 km aerial tram

Egypt

  • Cairo
    • Line 3, 6 km extension to Cairo University
    • Line 3, 7 km extension to Rod el-Farag

France

Greece

Israel

  • Tel Aviv: Creation of 24 km Red Line light rail corridor, which includes some subway segments through the city

Italy

  • Catania: 3 km extensions of the Metropolitana system
  • Genova: 0.9 km extension of the automated light metro Metropolitana to Canepari
  • Milan: Extension of M4 9 km into the city center
  • Naples: 3.5 km extension of Line 6 light metro line

Mexico

Netherlands

  • Rotterdam: Extension of Line B metro to Hoek van Holland, 2 km

Nigeria

Panama

  • Panama: Line 2, 2 km extension to the airport

Russia

  • Moscow
    • Extension of metro line 8A, 5 km
    • Extension of metro line 10, 6 km
    • Extensions of metro line 11, 19 km
    • Creation of metro line 16, 15 km line

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

  • Dakar: Extension of the Train express régional commuter rail to AIBD, 19 km

Spain

Turkiye

  • Ankara: 3.5 km extension of M4 metro to 15 Temmuz Kizilay Milli Irade
  • Gebze: Creation of 16 km M1 metro
  • Istanbul:
    • M3 extensions to Barkirkoy IDO (8.5 km) and Kayasehir Merkez (6 km)
    • M5 extension to Sancaktepe Sehir Hastanesi (3 km)
    • Creation of M8 metro, 14 km
    • M9 extension to Atakoy, 11 km
    • M11 extensions to Gayrettepe (3 km) and Halkali (33 km)
    • Tramway T5 extension to Eminonu, 1 km
    • Creation of T6 tramway, 8.5 km
  • Izmir:
    • M1 metro extension to Kaymakamlik hatti, 7 km
    • T1 tramway extension, 1.5 km
    • Creation of T3 tramway, 10 km

United Kingdom

United States


Under construction in 2023

Among the countries in the Transit Explorer database, there will be roughly 1,900 kilometers of new fixed–guideway urban transit projects under construction in 2023, but planned to be opened after 2023. About 43 percent of those kilometers will be in the form of metro services. 554 kilometers will be under construction in the United States, 305 kilometers in France, and 172 kilometers in Canada.

Algeria

Argentina

  • Buenos Aires: Belgrano Sur commuter rail line, 4 km extension

Austria

Azerbaijan

  • Baku:
    • Green Line metro extension to Mohammed Hadi, 10 km
    • Purple Line metro extension to B-4 station, 1 km

Belarus

  • Minsk: Zelenaluzhskaya Line metro extension to Slutsk Gastinets, 4 km, opening 2024

Belgium

  • Antwerpen: Antwerpse premetro Kerkstraat route, 2 km, opening 2026
  • Brussels: T10 tram, linking Rogier to Neder-Over-Heembeek, opening 2024
  • Charleroi: Metro Châtelet Branch (light rail), 4 km, opening 2026
  • Liège: New tramway, 12 km, opening 2024

Brasil

  • Curitiba: Linha Verde bus rapid transit, 5.5 km
  • Fortaleza: Linha Leste metro, 6 km, opening 2024
  • Rio de Janeiro: Line 4 extensions, 3 km
  • Salvador:
  • Sao Paulo:
    • Line 2 metro extension, 9 km, opening 2026
    • Line 6 metro new line creation, 16 km, opening 2026
    • Line 17 monorail project, 8.5 km, opening 2024
    • Line 9 Mendes-Varginha commuter rail line extension, 2.5 km

Bulgaria

  • Sofia: M3 metro extension to Vladimir Vazov, 4 km

Canada

Chile

  • Santiago:
    • Line 6 metro extension to Isidora Goyenechea, 1 km, opening 2027
    • Line 7 creation of new metro line, 29 km, opening 2027

Colombia

  • Bogota:
    • Line 1 metro new line, 24 km, opening 2028
    • RegioTram de Occidente new regional rail line, 40 km, opening 2024
    • Avenida 68 bus rapid transit route, 17 km, opening 2026
    • NQS Sur bus rapid transit extension, 4.5 km
  • Medellin: Calle 12 Sur bus rapid transit extension, 1.5 km

Czechia

  • Prague: Line D metro extension, 1.5 km, opening 2029

Denmark

Egypt

  • Cairo: Cairo Light Rail Transit (metro) extensions, 22 km

France

Germany

Greece

Israel

  • Jerusalem:
    • Red Line tramway extensions to Neve Yaakov and Hadassah, 7 km, opening 2025
    • Green Line new tramway line, 22 km, opening 2025
  • Tel Aviv:
    • Purple Line new light rail line, 30 km, opening 2028
    • Green Line new light rail line, 40 km, opening 2028

Italy

  • Bologna: Line 1 tramway new line, 23 km, opening 2026
  • Cagliari: Line 1 tramway extension to FS station, 3 km, opening 2024
  • Florence: T2 tramway extension, 3 km
  • Genova: Metropolitana automated light metro extension to Martinez, 1 km, opening 2024
  • Milan: M1 metro extension to Monza Bettola, 2 km, opening 2024
  • Naples:
    • Line 1 metro extensions, 10.5 km, opening 2024
    • Line 7 metro, 6 km
    • Line 10 automated light metro, 14 km
    • Linea 11 metro to Giugliano-Aversa, 15 km
  • Rome: C automated light metro extension to Fori Imperiali, 4 km, opening 2024
  • Turin
    • Line 1 automated light metro extension to Cascine Vica, 5 km, opening 2024
    • Line 3 commuter rail connection to Caselle Aeroporto, 2 km
    • Alba-Ceres commuter rail connection, 4 km

Ivory Coast

  • Abidjan: Metro, 36 km, opening 2025

Luxembourg

Mexico

Morocco

Netherlands

  • Amsterdam: Tramway extension, 1 km

Norway

Panama

Peru

  • Lima:
    • Line 2 new line, 27 km, opening 2024
    • Line 4 metro to Gambetta, 8 km

Portugal

Romania

  • Bucarest: M2 metro extension to Tudor Arghezi, 2 km

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Turkiye

  • Ankara: Ankaray metro extension to Sogutozu, 1 km
  • Bursa: BursaRay light rail extension to Sehir Hastanesi, 5.5 km, opening 2024
  • Istanbul:
    • M1B metro extension to Halkali, 11 km, opening 2024
    • M4 metro extension to Icemeler, 9 km
    • M5 metro extension to Sultanbeyli, 9 km, opening 2024
    • M7 metro extension to Kabatas, 4 km, opening 2024
    • M7 metro extension to Hastane, 9 km, opening 2025
    • M7 metro extension to Esenyurt Meydan, 14 km, opening 2029
    • M10 metro extension to Pendik Center, 5 km
    • M12 metro new line, 15 km, opening 2024
  • Izmir: M2 metro new line, 15 km, opening 2026
  • Mersin: M1 metro new line, 15.5 km, opening 2026

Ukraine

  • Dnipro: Dnipro Metro extension, 6 km, opening 2024
  • Kyiv: M3 metro extension to Marshala Hrechka, 6.5 km

United Kingdom

United States

Venezuela

  • Caracas:
    • Line 5 metro, 9.5 km
    • MetroCable La Dolorita aerial tram, 4 km
    • Metro de Los Teques Line 2 extension, 10 km
  • Valencia: Line 2 light rail extension, 2.5 km
Categories
DOT Elections Infrastructure United States

The path to a better transport system runs through progressive states and cities

We’re two weeks out from the 2020 United States presidential election, and the winner will undoubtedly play an important role in directing American urban policy. Given the importance of the presidency and the high stakes of the position on every policy area, it is hard not to focalize on this electoral race as key in establishing what sort of future the United States will have.

Hoping to respond to the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 and the prospect of Democratic control over both houses of Congress and the White House, Senate Democrats have begun preparations for a $1 trillion infrastructure package. If the legislation pulls from this year’s House-passed H.R. 2 and from Joe Biden’s presidential platform, the legislation could include new funding for electrification; increased support for transit and intercity railways; and requirements that states “fix it first” before expanding highways. These are good concepts, and indeed, there is a lot of room for federal intervention, especially when it comes to filling the gaps left by declining tax revenues over the past several months, particularly when Americans support a potential big federal stimulus by an enormous margin.

Yet the key questions regarding transportation in the United States—whether the country is able to truly adapt its mobility system to mitigate the devastation wrought by climate change; whether we integrate transportation and land-use planning so as to reduce exurban expansion and automobile dependency; whether we harness access as a tool to reduce inequality, rather than as a mechanism to further empower and enrich a lucky few—are in fact more often than not in the hands not of the federal government, but rather in those of elected officials at the state and municipal levels.

This reality of the U.S. federal system will continue to be the case no matter which presidential candidate wins the election, and no matter how exciting their proposed policies may be.

States and cities make most choices on transportation infrastructure—and their choices have been regressive

The federal transportation legislation authorizing expenditures on transportation—reauthorized every five years or so, and known by such acronyms as FAST, MAP-21, and SAFETEA-LU—is typically the big story when it comes to transportation (though it may not be next year, depending on the scale and inclusiveness of a new infrastructure-focused stimulus). It’s essential for members of Congress, who can advertise it as meaningfully contributing to their respective district’s surface transportation infrastructure needs, to the tune of an average of more than $60 billion annually nationwide. It’s important in defining the overall patterns of spending, such as the share of funds to be distributed to road projects versus transit investments.

Despite this avalanche of funding from Washington, the administrators at the U.S. Department of Transportation are not the primary decisionmakers when it comes to what actual planning choices are made about new transportation projects.

The failure of the Obama Administration to make good on its proposed intercity rail plan is a case in point. After convincing Congress to devote billions of dollars to a national network, high-speed rail became a policy against which to rally among conservatives. Several states run by Republican governors simply sent back grants (free money!) the administration had allocated to them.

The result, then, was that a theoretically national plan for investment became a series of planning choices made state-by-state, each picking whether or not they wanted to engage in the overall program. One can imagine a similar outcome if a future administration makes a similar push for new rail investment.

Moreover, the U.S. government distributes transportation funds primarily by pre-determined formula to states, cities, and transportation agencies. For example, in 2020, of federal highway funds more than 90 percent is distributed directly to state governments to do, largely, what they wish.

It is true that certain programs, like the New Starts transit capital program, are more discretionary in that they give the U.S. Secretary of Transportation more oversight over what projects to advance. But, for the most part, even programs like that are largely formulaic; if you follow the rules for developing a transit project, and it scores well enough based on standardized criteria, you can get it in line on the federal list.

Those lower levels of the public sector, in fact, are those that make most of the choices related to what roads should be built or expanded, and what transit lines to promote.

Indeed, consider how different levels of government have distributed funds to transportation. Between 1956 and 2017, the federal government allocated a total of about $3.1 trillion in 2017 dollars to highways, transit, and rail investments around the country (most of which was simply sent down to lower levels of government to spend). During the same period, states and localities spent way more of their own funds: $8.9 trillion.

Since 2000 alone, the story is similar: The federal government has devoted roughly $1.2 trillion to surface transportation, while states and localities have spent $3.4 trillion raised by their own sales taxes, gas taxes, and the like.

In other words, not only does the federal government largely allocate decision making about what transportation projects to build to states and localities, while handing them control of most of the money that it raises, but also states and localities raise way more money that they use to spend on their own objectives.

U.S. governments at all levels have contributed to an infrastructure system that prioritizes road-based travel above all else. Transport Databook.

Unfortunately, neither the federal government nor lower levels of government have been particularly effective custodians of their massive expenditures on transportation—at least when it comes to achieving more sustainable and equitable outcomes. Since 1956, the federal government has devoted just 21 percent of its surface-transportation expenditures on transit or rail investments; states and localities, just 22 percent.

In other words, both have participated in the creation of an American society dependent on the private automobile for most of its function.

An infrastructure stimulus won’t be equitable or sustainable without buy-in from states and cities

If Democrats take the presidency, retain control of the House, and inherit the Senate, they are likely to push a new federal stimulus bill. It may well offer billions of dollars for improved transportation infrastructure, and if you take what Democrats have said over the past year seriously, it will include a vast expansion in support for transit, new climate-focused policies, and a renewed national rail program.

Yet the role of states, municipalities, and other public-sector entities will only be heightened if a stimulus is passed. States will be the entities deciding whether to participate in bringing improved inter-city rail to their communities. Cities will have to determine whether they want to use federal funds to renovate streetscapes to prioritize pedestrians and bicyclists. Transit agencies will have to identify new bus and rail projects that serve the most passengers.

In other words, even with new federal funds, lower levels of government are ultimately those entities making choices about what kinds of projects they want to build. And there’s little stopping states and cities from spending their own money on new highway expansions that encourage pollution, sprawl, and further exacerbate inequality. Because of the focus on what happens in Washington, however, the actions those entities take is typically less visible. Road projects continue at a reckless pace throughout much of the country despite what we know about climate change.

Fortunately, some states have made progress. California, for example, has altered its system of measuring street performance away from prioritizing moving cars. Yet localities in that state continue to push destructive road investments.

Along with a federal stimulus, then, we need action for change within lower levels of government.

Categories
General Infrastructure

Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2020

20 new transit lines will open in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 2020.

These new transit lines won’t be adequate alone to counter the large-scale investment in highway construction that dominates most metropolitan regions. But they will significantly improve public transportation for thousands of riders in many large cities.

There’s also a lot more on the way. About 60 more major transit projects will be under construction in 2020 and are expected to open by 2026. Some cities, like Montréal and Seattle, will essentially double the size of their urban rail systems during that time.

Transit Explorer
Use Transit Explorer 2 to examine current, under construction, and proposed transit projects throughout North America.

This compilation of new transit projects is based on The Transport Politic’s transit database, Transit Explorer 2. This database is frequently updated and provides information about existing, under construction, proposed, and cancelled fixed-route transit throughout North America.

Thanks to support from Chicago Cityscape, Transit Explorer 2 is much faster and more usable for people accessing the site than previous versions.

In addition, the data it includes has been improved and expanded dramatically compared to the past. It includes almost 7000 transit stations (including for commuter rail, not previously included), and almost 1000 transit lines. Now additional information, such as the year that stations were opened and their grade—e.g. subway or elevated—is also available.

Data can be viewed freely on Transit Explorer 2 or purchased for $25 in Shapefile or GeoJSON formats for those who would like to use the data for research or other uses, such as using ArcGIS or QGIS.

This is the 12th year of my compilation of new transit projects on The Transport Politic. Find previous years here: 20092010 | 2011  | 2012  | 2013  | 2014  | 2015  | 2016  | 20172018 | 2019


New transit investments completed in 2019

In 2019, roughly 200 miles of new fixed-guideway transit service was opened throughout North America; these projects cost a total of roughly $7 billion to complete.

In Canada, the most exciting intervention was the opening of the Confederation Line in Ottawa, which includes a new downtown tunnel and a light rail network that replaces an oversubscribed busway; it is designed to eventually carry about 240,000 daily riders. The Confederation Line’s benefits will be magnified by several extensions planned for the next few years.

In the U.S., the opening of a new busway on 14th Street in Manhattan attracted considerable attention, as the project immediately increased transit ridership but did not ramp-up surrounding traffic. It may be a model for other American cities looking to improve their bus options—demonstrating that giving bus services dedicated lanes and freeing them from being stuck behind cars is an effective way to get people to ride.

Throughout this article click on to explore the line on Transit Explorer 2.

Regional rail (Relatively frequent service on mainline rail tracks) opened in 2019

  • Denver Gold Line—11.2 miles, part of an overall $2.1 billion project including other lines
  • SMART Train Phase 2—2.1 miles, $43 million
Denver Gold Line station at 41st and Fox. Credit: RTD.

Commuter rail opened in 2019

  • Fort Worth TexRail—27.2 miles, $1 billion

Metro rail opened in 2019

  • Panama Linea 2—13.1 miles

Light rail opened in 2019

  • Denver Southeast Rail Extension—2.3 miles, $233 million
  • Ottawa Confederation Line—7.7 miles, C$2.1 billion
  • Phoenix Gilbert Road Extension—1.9 miles, $184 million
  • Waterloo Ion Light Rail—11.8 miles, C$770 million

Bus rapid transit (Improved bus service with dedicated lanes) opened in 2019

Indianapolis Red Line. Credit: IndyGo.
  • Albuquerque ABQ Rapid Transit—14 miles, $133 million
  • Calgary Southwest Transitway—13.7 miles, C$304 million
  • Indianapolis Red Line—13.1 miles, $96 million
  • New York City M14 SBS
  • San Diego South Bay Rapid—26 miles, $126 million
  • Seattle Swift 2 Green Line—12.4 miles, $67 million

Arterial rapid transit (Improved bus service, but no dedicated lanes) opened in 2019

  • Chicago Pace Pulse Milwaukee—7.6 miles, $14 million
  • El Paso Brio Alameda—12.2 miles, $36 million
  • El Paso Brio Dyer—10.2 miles, $36 million
  • Kansas City Prospect MAX—10 miles, $56 million
  • Minneapolis C Line—$30 million
  • Tulsa Aero—18 miles

Planned openings in 2020

In 2020, several long-awaited projects will open across the continent, including three heavy-rail routes, two new light rail lines, two commuter or regional rail extensions, and 13 improved bus projects.

In Vancouver, the metropolitan region has already opened four RapidBus bus rapid transit routes, which include dedicated bus lanes, queue jumps, all-door boarding, and relatively high levels of frequencies. A fifth new line is planned for opening in April.

Miami’s new downtown station, to serve Tri-Rail trains. Credit: Tri-Rail.

In Miami, a new downtown rail link will leverage the infrastructure built by Virgin Trains to extend the region’s Tri-Rail commuter rail system into the center of the city for the first time.

But the largest investments by far are being completed in the Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington regions. In Hawaii, the first phase of that state’s first rail line—an elevated route—will open. In Los Angeles, the Crenshaw Line, a $2.1 billion light-rail route that includes a subway portion and a new station near LAX Airport, will be completed. In the Bay Area, the BART rapid transit system will continue its slow path toward downtown San Jose with a $2.4 billion extension to Berryessa station. And outside of Washington, the Silver Line will finally reach Dulles Airport, thanks to a $2.8 billion extension

L.A.’s Crenshaw Line tunnel at Martin Luther King Jr. station. Credit: L.A. Metro.

Each of these projects is considerably delayed compared to original projections. Honolulu’s rail transit first phase was supposed to open in 2012; the Crenshaw corridor was supposed to open in 2016. BART’s extension all the way into central San Jose—now put off for many years into the future, was supposed to open in 2018. And Metro service to Dulles was originally planned for 2016.

Regional Rail opening in 2020

Commuter rail opening in 2020

Metro rail opening in 2020

  • Honolulu: Rail Transit Phase 1—10 miles (East Kopolei to Aloha Stadium; remainder of project should open by 2025)
  • San Francisco Bay Area: BART to Berryessa—10 miles, $2.4 billion (first phase of project that will eventually extend to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara)
  • Washington: Silver Line Phase 2—11.4 miles, $2.8 billion (to Dulles and Loudoun County)

Light rail opening in 2020

Winnipeg’s Southwest Transitway, under construction. Credit: Winnipeg Transit.

Bus rapid transit opening in 2020

Arterial rapid transit opening in 2020


A busy decade to come

Despite the relatively limited investments made in transit improvements in the 2010s, cities throughout North America will expand their fixed-guideway transit networks substantially beyond 2020.

In this final section, I document all of the transit projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that are already under construction or will enter construction in 2020 (at least preliminary work will be underway), and thus that are highly likely to be completed. The same cannot be said for the dozens of other proposed projects on Transit Explorer 2, many of which will fall to the wayside thanks to funding crises, political backlash, and other problems.

Four metropolitan regions will see extensive improvements to their transit systems in the coming years if projects under construction this year are completed.

Montréal will open the new REM automated heavy rail system in phases, roughly doubling the scale of its current metro network and creating new transit links throughout the metropolitan area.

A rendering of a future Montréal REM station. Credit: REM.

Thanks to referenda passed in 2016, both Los Angeles and Seattle will open large new extensions to their rail networks. In L.A., a new subway line will open to the west side, making travel to UCLA far less burdensome, and a light-rail subway downtown will allow commuters to travel from the west to the east side of the region without having to change trains. In Seattle, meanwhile, new light-rail extensions will open south, east, and north of the existing route, creating a regional transit network out of what is now a relatively limited service.

And in New York, the opening of the East Side Access project—which will bring Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal—and the Penn Station Access project—which will bring Metro-North trains to Penn Station—will radically improve the accessibility of the region’s central business district. The two projects will make it possible for people commuting from Connecticut and Long Island to have direct access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan’s central business district, saving hundreds of thousands of people each up to an hour a day in travel time.

The new terminal station under Grand Central for the East-Side Access Project. Credit: MTA.

In addition, Vancouver is expected to complete the first phase of its subway underneath Broadway—now the heaviest-used bus corridor in North America. Honolulu will complete its rail project. Boston will expand its urban rail transit system for the first time since the 1980s. San Francisco will get a new subway downtown for light-rail trains. And Washington will get the U.S.’ first true circumferential transit line with the Purple Line light-rail project.

Transit projects expected to open in 2021

Transit projects expected to open in 2022

Trans it projects expected to open in 2023

Transit projects expected to open in 2024

Transit projects expected to open in 2025

Transit projects expected to open in 2026


Despite the massive investments planned throughout North America in the coming years, cities throughout the U.S. and Canada should be investing considerably more in improved transit—especially through better buses. These countries continue to under-allocate street space for buses compared to much of the rest of the developed world, and the result is that most cities are failing to take advantage of the lowest-cost mechanism to improve public transportation options and reduce automobile dependency.

We can only hope that, as we move into the 2020s, more cities will learn from New York’s success on 14th Street and find the political means and financial capacity to dedicate more space on their streets to people, rather than to cars.


Image at top: Based on “Public Roads of the contiguous United States,” by WClarke (CC BY-SA 4.0).