News Archive

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AUSTRALIA: The ACT Government has launched a public consultation for Canberra’s light rail network. The network shows how proposed future routes for light rail will link to stage one, which will begin construction next year.

Stage 1 of the Capital Metro network will run between Gungahlin and the city, and the government is now asking the community to tell their views on where future stages should go and how it can best integrate a public transport system with Canberra’s current infrastructure.

“The public consultation for the draft light rail network is an opportunity for the community to have their say on the future proposed corridors as this document will work for to direct the long term strategy and vision for Canberra’s light rail network”, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

Easter connections - Fyshwick and Airport - has been identified as a high priority corridor in the Light Rail Network report.

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The draft report envisions mostly employees using the light rail line to travel to/from the airport but sees a potential to capture a significant traffic of air passengers as well.

“Although the major driver of demand on the airport corridor is likely to be employment rather than air passengers, Canberra Airport data shows strong demand for travel between the airport and Parliamentary Triangle, with 65% of all airline passenger arrivals destined for the City or Parliamentary Triangle,” says the report.

According to the report, the airport light rail could also bring a significant transit oriented development with residential and commercial capacity along the line.

Public consultation is open until 11 December 2015. Find more information here http://haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au/Light-rail-network

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USA: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) received official notice from the project concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners, that the University of Colorado A Line commuter rail service from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport will be ready for service on April 22, 2016.

The RTD University of Colorado A Line takes its name as a result of the first sponsorship through RTD’s naming rights programme. The line is 23 miles of new electric commuter rail, which is part of the Eagle P3 project, the nation’s first full public-private partnership for transit. Local RTD taxes combined with a $1.03 billion federal grant and $450 million from Denver Transit Partners, the 34-year concessionaire that will build, operate and maintain the trains, make up the $2.2 billion project.

“This project has been made possible through regional collaboration. None of this could have happened without the cooperation and teamwork from our partners who have worked tirelessly to deliver a quality project that will take public transit in the Denver metro area to the next level,” said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. “We are also very proud of our naming rights partnership with the University of Colorado.”

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“The opening of the University of Colorado A Line is a historic milestone towards the completion of RTD’s FasTracks programme and continues our success rate of opening major infrastructure projects,” said Dave Genova, Interim General Manager and CEO of RTD.

“In just a few short months, our entire region will begin to experience the true unbridled potential of connecting FasTracks and Denver International Airport with the opening of the A Line,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The corridor of opportunity between downtown and the airport will connect us to the world, and the world to us, and I couldn’t be more proud or excited to realize the great opportunities that come with it.”

The University of Colorado A Line is a commuter rail line, which will use new rail cars that will be the first of their kind in Denver. They are faster than light rail, with a top speed of 79 mph versus 55 mph, are larger, and carry more people than light rail vehicles—200 people at maximum. The vehicles will offer level boarding to better accommodate travellers with luggage and accessibility needs.

The rail line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the new Denver Airport Station located at the south terminal at DIA serving airport travellers and guests of the new Westin Denver International Airport Hotel. A single ride to Denver Airport will be $9.

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“The start of RTD’s commuter rail service to DIA is a game changer for the airport,” said Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport. “This will put us on par with the world’s leading airports as many of our international passengers are used to access to the world’s great cities via rail. This easy connection to the city centre and region will elevate the Denver metro travel experience.”

FasTracks is RTD’s 2004 voter-approved transit expansion plan to build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District.

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NORWAY: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR 200 million long-term loan to Norwegian airport operator Avinor AS for the expansion and upgrade of Bergen airport to cater for growing traffic demand and improve passenger services at Norway’s second busiest airport.

Located 19km south of Bergen city centre, the airport handles more than 6 million passengers each year. The existing facilities are operating above capacity and many of the airport’s subsystems are heavily congested during peak periods.

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The bank of the European Union will finance the construction of a new Terminal 3 and its associated airside and landside facilities. This includes a light rail station, which will improve public transport links between the airport and the city centre.

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Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for lending in Norway, said: “The EIB has made supporting strategic transport infrastructure one of its priorities. Bergen airport is the key international gateway in western Norway and part of the extended trans-European transport network (TEN-T). We are therefore pleased to support Avinor’s investment, as it will enhance capacity and improve the operational efficiency of Norway’s second busiest airport whilst also increasing its environmental performance.”

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Dag Falk-Petersen, Chief Executive Officer at Avinor AS, commented: "Avinor evaluates the different capital markets to secure competitive financing and ensure a solid and robust financial position. Avinor is highly appreciative of the EIB as a sound partner for financing this important project for Avinor at Bergen airport. With today's transaction, we reap the benefits of a favourable market and further enhance our financial flexibility."

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USA: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $7 million in funding is available for airport improvement projects across New York State. These grants, coming from the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grants Program, will go toward supporting airport infrastructure and economic development projects across the state.

“For many, our airports are the gateways to New York and a significant part of economic growth and job creation,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help ensure that our airports remain more accessible and convenient for travellers and remain key economic drivers for years to come.”

Funding will be made available through a competitive process aimed at enhancing safety as well as the operational and economic health of the State’s commercial and general aviation airports. This investment will also leverage additional federal, state and local funding and will be used for projects that improve terminals and hangars, address safety conditions, and provide income-generating opportunities.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “The grants we are making available to airports under Governor Cuomo’s leadership will help ensure our facilities are safer and more secure. Infrastructure improvements also will boost efficiency, reliability and generate economic activity.”

The 2015 Airport Capital Grant Program is open to public-use airports that are part of the State Airport System Plan. All grants are subject to availability of programme funds at the time of grant award.

This announcement comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo's plan to transform LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The airport will be modernised into a single, structurally unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities. Construction on the first half of the new unified terminal is expected to be a $4 billion project.

Applications for this new funding must be submitted by email by 8 p.m. on November 3 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Applications and instruction materials are available on Department of Transportation’s website at https://www.dot.ny.gov/aviationgrants.

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IRELAND: The National Transport Authority has released details of its new draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035, setting out a cohesive and integrated transport framework to support and sustain the region’s development.

The draft strategy is subject to a statutory public consultation; members of the public and all interested parties are invited to review the proposals, and the supporting documentation, on the Authority’s website (www.nationaltransport.ie) and to make submissions to the Authority, until the deadline of 5:00pm on Friday November 13th 2015.

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The purpose of our draft transport strategy is to contribute to the economic, social and cultural progress of the GreaterDublin Area by providing for the efficient, effective and sustainable movement of people and goods. The long-term success of the country’s capital region depends on sound and considered long-term strategic planning. We are therefore encouraging as many people as possible to read our proposals, and the background documentation, and to let us know their views by taking part in our consultation, before November 13th.”

One of the key proposals set out in the strategy is the New Metro North – Metro link serving Dublin Airport.

New Metro North is a modified version of the original Metro North proposal which proposes providing a similar service at significantly reduced costs. This new metro line will provide a high-speed, high-capacity, high-frequency public transport link from the city centre to Dublin Airport and Swords. New Metro North will serve a large number of significant destinations, including Ballymun, Dublin City University and the Mater Hospital, and will interchange with other rail and bus services at Drumcondra, O’Connell Street and St. Stephens Green.