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John Hennessy III,

Jumpstarting the Transportation Space Race: 2011

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, April 14th, 2011


A Catalog and Analysis of Planned and Proposed Transit Projects in the U.S.

Introduction and Top Line Takeaways
Since 2004, regions including Denver, Portland, Salt Lake City, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Charlotte and the Twin Cities have been planning large transit network expansions that would move forward faster than the one-line-at-a-time production schedule that in the past had been economically and politically feasible. At the same time, smaller regions have been inspired by the benefits that transit can bring to their communities and have proposed their first streetcars, light rail starter lines and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). However these places have to compete with each other for the approximately $1.6 billion annually available in the federal New Starts funding program to build out their multibillion-dollar networks. Reconnecting America spent several months in late 2010 gathering the most current transit plans available from the 100 largest regions around the country, as well as some known projects from smaller regions. Through this cataloging effort, Reconnecting America found 643 transit projects in 106 regions. Of these, cost estimates were available for 413 projects, 99 projects had detailed ridership and 121 had mileage information. For 143 projects, there was sufficient information about station locations for Reconnecting America staff to digitize station points and analyze demographic and employment conditions within a half-mile  of the stations. Because information on transit projects changes almost daily, this catalog and findings are a snapshot in time and will need to be updated periodically in order to remain current. It is also possible that some projects and plans were not discovered during the cataloging process.

The demand for new fixed-guideway transit is strong all across the country. In this research alone, we documented more than 640 fixed- guideway transit projects from around the country in various stages of the transit planning process. This is a huge number, especially when compared to the number of projects currently in the federal New/Small Starts process (45 in 2011.)

Table 1. Planned and Proposed Fixed-Guideway Transit Projects


Download full version (PDF): Jumpstarting the Transportation Space Race

About Reconnecting America
“Reconnecting America is a national non-profit organization that is working to integrate transportation systems and the communities they serve, with the goal of generating lasting public and private returns, improving economic and environmental efficiency, and giving consumers more housing and mobility choices.”


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