Wednesday, May 20, 2009

News Updates

Good morning, I thought I would update you on some of the light rail stories that I have been following on this blog. The first article is from the Ottawa Citizen which talks about how light rail can be used as a development tool (which we’ve blogged about in the past), and how it makes more sense to put it on the street instead of underground or on a freeway (Ottawa River Parkway in their case) if you want to attract development around light rail stations.

In Houston for example, Reliant Energy built a 36-storey building next to the surface light-rail line down that city's main street, a road that had seen better times. Reliant's construction of the tower was a testimony to its commitment to the light-rail line and to the neighbourhood. In fact, businesses contributed to a nearby fountain that the trains travel through on that same main street.

Meanwhile Phoenix, where their first light rail line opened just 5 month ago, is adding another 5km to the line:

Construction for the extension up to Mesa Drive is still tentatively scheduled to begin in 2012, but because of the economic downturn, and a dramatic sales tax revenue shortfall, the opening date might be pushed back about a year. The extended portion was previously estimated to start running late 2015.

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