LRT Around the World

While light rail is new to British Columbia, this form of transit has been transforming cities in Canada, the US and around the world for decades. These cities are choosing LRT to provide fast, reliable and accessible transit, reduce congestion, and help create connected and sustainable communities.

Cities in Canada that have chosen LRT:

Calgary’s long-running LRT, the C-Train, provided nearly 90 million trips in 2016. First built in 1981, it was extended to include two lines.

Today, 45% of all commuters working downtown take the C-Train. Calgary recently approved the $4.6 billion Green Line, which will connect 27 neighbourhoods and help shape 10 new transit-oriented communities. Learn more about the Green Line.

In service since 1978, Edmonton’s LRT has grown from a single line connecting downtown with the stadium district to a planned network connecting all corners of the City by 2040. Since approving the LRT Network Plan in 2009, the City is pursuing urban-style, street-running LRT as a transformative city-building project that will reduce congestion and shape sustainable communities. Edmonton has opened six new LRT stops since 2009 and is currently building the 27-kilometre Valley Line. Learn more about future Edmonton LRT projects.

The Region of Waterloo is building ION, a two-phase LRT network. Stage 1 is the 19-kilometre Waterloo-Kitchener LRT line that is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2018. Stage 2 is in the planning stage and will replace BRT between Cambridge and Kitchener, creating a continuous LRT system across the region's three urban centres. LRT was chosen to connect the region, encourage sustainable urban growth, provide low carbon transportation options, and preserve the countryside from urban sprawl. Learn more about Waterloo's ION light rail.

Construction of the first phase (14-kilometres) of Hamilton’s five phase LRT network is scheduled to take place between 2019 and 2024. The network will: help to provide high quality, safe, sustainable and affordable transportation options for citizens; stimulate economic growth and contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Hamilton; and reduce the amount of vehicle-kilometres travelled and associated vehicle emissions and greenhouse gases. Learn more about the Hamilton LRT Project.

A city-building and region-connecting project, the Hurontario LRT (HuLRT) will create almost 20 kilometres of fast and reliable rapid transit along the Hurontario corridor. Connecting Mississauga to Brampton and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, it will form part of a seamless, integrated regional transportation network that will accommodate projected population growth over the next 30 years, spur commercial development and employment opportunities along the line, and transform Hurontario Street into a vibrant people-oriented corridor that connects communities. Learn more about the Hurontario LRT Project.

As part of the Big Move Plan for Greater Toronto, Metrolinx, the region’s transit authority, is building several LRT lines in the City of Toronto. Currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2021, the 20-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown LRT will offer fast, reliable and convenient transit that will run 60 percent faster than the existing bus service on Eglinton Avenue.

The Finch West LRT, an 11-kilometre line scheduled to open in 2022, will serve commuters on one of Toronto’s busiest transit corridors, and run 20% faster than existing bus service. Both LRT projects connect to the larger regional transit network, including the existing TTC subway system, GO Rail, UP Express and the bus system. Learn more about Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

The Confederation Line, the first phase of a light rail transit plan that will transform commuting in the nation’s capital, is nearing completion. LRT will replace or convert much of the existing TransitWay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to reduce congestion, increase ridership and support transit-oriented development. Learn more about the Stage 2 LRT extension.

Cities in the US that have chosen LRT include:

Phoenix, Arizona’s 42-kilometre (26 miles) Valley Metro light rail system forms part of the region’s multi-modal transportation system. Constructed in three phases – the initial 32-kilometre (20-mile) line opened in late 2008 and two extensions opened in 2016. Another seven high-capacity extensions either planned or under construction will create a 106-kilometre (66-mile) system by 2034.

The fully-accessible, no-step level boarding LRT integrates with bus to provide customers with seamless transit network connections for work, education and entertainment. Built to increase regional mobility, provide travel options, create more walkable and sustainable communities, keep the region economically competitive, encourage development and redevelopment, and enhance quality of life, the LRT has helped transform the landscape across the region. Numerous sports, shopping, restaurants and arts and culture destinations are situated along the line. Learn more about Metro Valley's LRT Projects.

Transit Express, commonly known as TRAX, is the LRT system that serves Salt Lake City, Utah and the surrounding areas. The first of three lines, built in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics, opened in 1999. The system now covers almost 94-kilometres (58 miles). Learn more about Salt Lake City's TRAX.

Two LRT lines operate in Minneapolis and are helping to improve regional mobility and enhance economic development. The 19-kilometre (12-mile) Blue Line, which opened in 2004, runs from downtown to the southern suburbs, connecting residents and visitors to urban destination areas.

A 2014 customer survey found that 70% of customers rode the Blue Line for work or school trips, and 78% of riders opted to forgo an available car to travel by transit. The 18-kilometre (11-mile) Green Line, which opened in 2014, runs between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Other LRT projects, which will expand the system to better connect all parts of the region, are in construction or engineering-design phases. Learn more about Minneapolis' LRT projects.

The 33-kilometre (20-mile) Central Link light rail forms part of Seattle, Washington’s metropolitan transportation system. It supports the region’s approach to transit-oriented development to help manage population growth. Since opening in 2003, there have been two projects to extend the light rail network. Learn more about Seattle's Link Light Rail.

MAX Light Rail, or Metropolitan Area Express, consists of five lines – the first of which opened in 1986. Spanning almost 100 kilometres (60 miles), the lines connect Portland’s metropolitan area, serving 97 platforms and approximately 40 million boardings per year. Learn more about Portland's Max Light Rail.

Cities around the world that have chosen LRT include:

In service since 2004, Luas, which means speed in Gaelic, has two lines in operation and spans 42 kilometres with 67 stops. With an average daily ridership of 100,000 individuals, Luas is integrated with other modes of transportation in the city, and forms an essential part of Dublin’s effort to offer sustainable forms of transport. Learn more about Luas.

Midland Metro’s light rail system first began operations in 1999 and has since expanded, now carrying an average daily ridership of nearly 20,000 passengers on the 20.1 kilometre system. The Project helped create 1,300 sustainable jobs and boosts the regional economy by approximately $86 million annually. Construction is underway on a 1.3 kilometre extension that is expected to be operational in 2019. Learn more about Midland Metro.

Zaragoza’s 12.8-kilometre light rail carries an average of nearly 100,000 passengers a day in a city with a population of nearly 700,000. Introduced in 2013, light rail reduced traffic in the downtown core by 32% and significantly improved air quality. Learn more about Zaragoza Tram.

LRT was introduced in Montpellier after a period of rapid population and economic growth and increased demand for infrastructure and housing. In response to increased need, the city decided upon LRT as a means to provide reliable and sustainable transit connections into the city centre. The first of four lines opened in 2000 and subsequent ones in 2007, 2012 and 2016 that now have 84 stops and cover a total distance of 60 kilometres. The line has an average daily ridership of 282,000 passengers. Learn more about Montpellier’s LRT.

The G:link is Queensland’s first light rail system. It began operations in 2014 and represented one of the biggest transportation infrastructure projects in the country. Experiencing greater success than initially anticipated, it moves an average monthly ridership of 640,000 passengers. The G:link is credited with helping transform the city by increasing overall use of public transport and reducing vehicle traffic by 21 percent on the coast. Providing service that is consistently reliable and punctual with statistics ranging from 96 to 100 percent, the 13 kilometre route has been expanded by seven kilometres in early 2018 and planning is underway for another expansion. Learn more about the Gold Coast’s G:link.

Rio’s six-line 28-kilometre light rail transit system, known as VLT Carioca, opened in 2016 and was designed to revitalize neighborhoods and alleviate congestion by helping to reduce the number of busses and cars from roadways. Part of a multi-modal transportation network in Rio, the VLT Carioca has helped to increase the number of people using transit from 17 percent in 2009 to 52 percent in 2016. It integrates with other transportation modes and has the capacity to service 285,000 passengers daily.

Opened in 2012 as a part of the Casablanca’s urban development program, the 30.7-kilometre light rail system links city suburbs to the centre. With an average daily ridership of 250,000 passengers, it is key to the city’s goal of increasing public transit use while reducing congestion, sound and air pollution. The city anticipates a second line (T2) to be operational in late 2018, with T3 and T4 planned for 2021 and 2022, respectively.

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