The new Transit Explorer tool offers a new way to visualize the scale of the country's transit infrastructure investments. Spoiler alert: 2016 will be a big year.
Yonah Freemark of The Transport Politic has released a new tool for visualizing the progress and promise of transit projects around the country. The value of Transit Explorer, as the new tool is called, is on display in a recent blog post by Freemark that performs an inventory of the transit openings and construction starts planned for 2016.
Freemark sums up the evidence visible on Transit Explorer:
"Cities across the country are waking up to new bus and rail lines in droves. In 2016, North American transit agencies are expected to open 245 miles of new fixed-guideway transit lines, including 89 miles of bus rapid transit, 93 miles of commuter rail, 7 miles of heavy rail, 39 miles of light rail, and 18 miles of streetcars. This is more than triple the new mileage of such lines opened in 2015."
Freemark has been doing inventories of expected transit projects since 2009, but this is the first time the effort is supplemented by Transit Explorer. The article also includes a lot of political context on the "long road to 2016" that enabled all of these projects. Freemark is offering a big, ambitious effort to make sense of the country's progress in transit.
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