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Chengdu Metro A Line 1

CHINA: Chengdu Metro Line 10, connecting Shuangliu International Airport with the city centre, has officially opened for passenger services on 6th of September.

The 10.9 km line runs underground with total of six stations – Taiping Park, Jin, Huaxing, Jinhua, Shuangliu Internatinal Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Journey between the airport and the city centre is 12 minutes, with trains running on 8 minute intervals during the peak times. Initially the trains will run from 6am in the morning until 11pm at night and, depending on the demand, the timetables might be adjusted in the future.

Chengdu Metro Line 10 will be the first one in the network to accept mobile payments on the automatic ticket machines via WeChat. It is expected to roll out this function on all Chengdu Metro lines by the end of the year.

The airport line trains are decorated with Chengdu’s iconic destinations, cultural and art symbols. The train cars are also equipped with large passenger information screens, displaying maps, transfer information, walking directions and station facilities. Airport stations have live train arrival and departure information screens.

Chengdu Metro A Line 2

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TransportingCitiesLHR web

UK based passenger experience consultancy Transporting Cities has released three case studies considering passenger journey experience on Heathrow Express, Sydney Airport Link and West Midlands/Birmingham Rail.

For the two air-rail links, Transporting Cities has focused on journey experience for arriving international passengers travelling through the airport onwards to the city rail link, identifying the escape points along the way.

“I would say that the biggest challenge in providing excellent journey experience is recognising that passengers’ assumptions on services are informed by their home systems. In the case of major airports, passengers are arriving from far flung destinations and will interpret rail services differently whereas the user experience has usually been designed by a local planner,” Liam Henderson, Founder of Transporting Cities said, “we come to a system fresh and provide this external viewpoint”.

The assessments assumed the role of a first-time user and were conducted as a walkthrough from plane to train. Beginning at the gate, the route proceeded through the arrivals process into the public arrivals area, before entering the rail station and boarding platform.

TransportingCitiesSYD web

“It was extremely helpful to have an external entity consider the plane to platform path, working with an objective perspective and providing invaluable insight. The report has served in identifying opportunities to test and improve the passenger journey, reaffirming the need to revisit and improve elements that had already been identified historically but had not received license to implement,” Gavin Clare-Campbell, Project Manager - Commercial Sales at Heathrow Express commented.

According to Liam, after receiving feedback from operators he sees that there is more work to be done to advocate for the needs of the passengers who are unfamiliar with the service.

“Making the system accessible for these passengers will increase the overall user experience. I think there is an opportunity for some level of standardisation in information provision across major airports so that a visitor to any global airport can expect to see a familiar guide through to the rail service.”

Liam will be presenting the findings at the annual Global AirRail Conference, taking place in Brussels on 13-14 November. 

GARA Brussels Logo

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Tallinn Tram

ESTONIA: Tallinna Linnatranspordi Aktsiaselts (TLT) will officially open the fourth Tallinn Tram line to the Airport on 1st of September.

Construction on the new link from the future Rail Baltica station at Ülemiste to Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport started in August and was carried out by AS Merko Ehitus Eesti and KMG Inseneriehituse AS.

“In addition to a quick connection between the city centre and the airport, the tram also gives new development opportunities in Ülemiste city,” said Taavi Aasa, Chairman of the Tallinn City Council and TLT Supervisory Board.

The tram extension was completed in cooperation with the city and the state.

“The new tram line, which links the airport, Rail Baltica’s future main passenger terminal in Ülemiste and the Tallinn city centre, is the first tangible result of Rail Baltica, a major infrastructure project in the region,” said Kristjan Kaunissaare, coordinator of the Rail Baltica project at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

The tram stop is located next to the airport terminal which will be connected by a glass gallery from October.

On Mondays through Saturdays, the first tram will arrive at the airport at 5.25 AM and at 5.45 on Sundays. The last tram from the airport to the city centre will leave at 0.45 AM.

Tram tickets cost 2 euros when buying from the driver, however registered Tallinners use public transport free of charge. The journey to the city centre takes approximately 15-17 minutes.

Work on upgrading the public space adjacent to the airport tram line will continue until November. Landscaping, pavement tile installation and parcel construction work will be performed according to the Keevis street design project. The work will continue on the city square on the airport's back-street and at the construction of the airport terminal building and the northern branch of the Airport. In addition, stationary traffic management and outdoor lighting will be built.

Opening of the 700-meter tram extension makes Tallinn Airport one of the most easily accessible capital airports in Europe. The total cost of the tram route to the airport is EUR 12.5 million, of which EUR 9.8 million was covered by CEF and the rest by the City of Tallinn.

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SMART Opening1

USA: The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District will begin full passenger train service on Friday 25th August.

SMART is the San Francisco Bay Area’s newest transportation option for travel, offering passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin counties. SMART’s initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael. Future extensions include: Larkspur, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019; Windsor; Healdsburg; and Cloverdale. The full project will provide 70 miles of passenger rail service, connecting SMART passengers with jobs, education centers, retail hubs and housing along the Sonoma-Marin corridor, and a bicycle-pedestrian pathway.

“We are proud to say that we are ready to roll,” said SMART Board of Directors Chairwoman Debora Fudge. “This is the result of years of hard work from SMART’s staff, its team of contractors and consultants, and Federal Railroad Administration Regional Administrator James Jordan and his team. Successfully opening a new transit system is a major accomplishment—and we will remember this day for generations to come.”

SMART train service will be free of charge on opening day, afterwards fares for everyone will be 50 percent off the regular price through Labor Day, 4th of September 2017. Regular fares will be in place on 5th of September. Under SMART’s fare structure, commuters can purchase 31-day passes at significant discounts. Seniors, youth and passengers with disabilities also receive 50 percent off fares. SMART uses Clipper® cards, the same payment system used by other Bay Area transit providers, for a seamless trip. SMART will run 34 trips each weekday, and 10 trips on weekends.

“This is truly historic. We want to thank the public for their support, and for providing the North Bay with a state-of-the-art transportation system. This system will bring relief to commuters stuck on Highway 101 and provide a stress-free way to travel. It will also provide a major economic boost for both Marin and Sonoma counties,” said SMART Board Vice Chairwoman Kathrin Sears.

SMART Opening2

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CANADA: The Board of Directors of Metrolinx, operator of North America’s first dedicated airport express rail service UP Express, appointed Phil Verster as its new President and CEO.

Over the last 12 years, Mr. Verster has overseen operations and major construction of some of the most complex and customer intensive rail services in England, Scotland and Ireland. Among his most recent assignments as a Managing Director of Britain’s Network Rail have been running Scotland’s railway operations, the ScotRail Alliance, and initiating work on the East West Railway, a new rail line between Oxford and Cambridge.

Mr. Verster was selected following an international search on behalf of Metrolinx. His start date is October 1, 2017.

“We’re implementing a $34-billion transit build – the biggest transit investment in Ontario’s history and one of the largest in the world today. We’re quadrupling the number of weekly GO Train trips - from 1,500 to 6,000. We’re electrifying key GO rail lines to provide 15-minute express service all day long throughout the region, and we’re building new LRT lines to tie the region together. We are delighted the Mr. Verster has chosen to join Metrolinx," Rob Prichard, Chairman of the Metrolinx Board said.

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NIGERIA: The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) said that the Phase1 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit project linking Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport will be ready for commercial operations by the end of the year.

The $823 million project consists of 45km rail track and 12 stations connecting the airport, Abuja and the Central Business District.

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INDIA: Lucknow Metro has received a clearance from the Comission of Metro Railway Safety to start its commercial operations.

According to the Managing Director of Lucknow Metro Railway Corporation Kumar Keshav, the metro will open to public use “at any convenient date”.

The work for the Lucknow Metro started in September 2014 and the trial run on its priority corridor was conducted on 1st of December 2016.

Metro services in Lucknow will start with the 8.5km-long ‘priority corridor’ on the North-South line connecting Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport to Munshipulia, which is also Phase-1A of the project.

The total distance of the North-South Corridor is 23km, consisting of 21 stations. The entire stretch of the Phase-1A of the Metro is expected to be completed by 2019.

The second phase of the project is the East-West Corridor, stretching from the Charbagh Railway station to Vasantkunj, a distance of 11km. Though included in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Metro, it is yet to get approval. There will be 12 stations on this stretch.

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ERL staff with KL TravelPass web

MALAYSIA: Public transport operator Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) and the operator of Kuala Lumpur’s airport rail link Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) have launched the enhanced KL TravelPass, an integrated transport ticket for rail travel network in Kuala Lumpur.

The KL TravelPass was developed to target the untapped inbound travellers visiting Kuala Lumpur, similar to the Oyster Card in London and Octopus Card in Hong Kong.

KL TravelPass is an integrated transport card that comes with a KLIA Ekspres airport transfer (available one-way or return) and 2-day unlimited rides on Rapid KL rail services (LRT, MRT and KL Monorail lines). The card is priced at RM70 for single trip and RM115 for return trips and is available for sale at KLIA Ekspres Ticket Counters in KLIA, KLIA2 and Departure Hall, KL Sentral.

Travelers also have the option to add cash value to the KL TravelPass to access extended benefits of travelling on Rapid KL buses and KTM Komuter rail services. ERL plans to further improve the KL TravelPass in the future by including other transport providers.

The collaboration between Prasarana and ERL was a result of a recent Ridership Workshop among rail operators to encourage the public to use the rail network and increase passenger ridership. The Government aims to achieve a 40% modal share on public transportation by 2030.

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CFN Final Map

NEW ZEALAND: Greater Auckland, an independent volunteer-run analysis and advocacy platform, has released a Congestion Free Network 2 (CFN2) plan to improve transport in Auckland.

“Auckland needs and deserves a bold transport vision. We need a realistic alternative to get around that is fast, reliable and attractive. We need a network free from congestion, a Congestion Free Network,” the group said in a press announcement.

The Congestion Free Network forms the backbone of Auckland’s future public transport network, supported by further bus and ferry networks. As the name suggests, the key purpose of this network is to provide a way of travelling that is free from congestion. This means rail, light-rail and bus services operating in their own right-of-way that are fast, frequent and reliable.

CFN2 builds on the original Congestion Free Network launched in July 2013, most of which has been adopted by both Auckland Council and Central Government, through the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.

CFN2 has seven key routes: two light-rail, two heavy-rail, three bus rapid transit (BRT), and three enhanced bus routes.

New and improved light rail lines connecting the North Shore, Northwest, the Isthmus and the airport have been identified as key strategic routes. A Central Line forms a spine for Auckland’s public transport system, running from Orewa in the north to the Airport in the south. The line would operate 66 meter long vehicles, carrying up to 500 people each and travelling at up to 110 km/h when possible. The cost for the light rail line (Isthmus - Airport) is estimated at $1.15 billion.

E. South-Eastern BRT line connects the Airport with Puhinui (to link with the rail network), Manukau, Flat Bush and Botany. It provides a fast route to the Airport for people living in south and southeast Auckland and supports the growing metropolitan centre of Manukau. The cost for this line (Airport - Botany - Howick) is estimated at $444 million.

According to the Greater Auckland, the focus now is to make CFN2 happen, which means working with the Central Government with the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport playing key roles in the decision making process.

 

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HONG KONG: MTR Corporation has released interim results for the half year ending 30 June 2017, showing a 2.7% patronage increase on the Airport Express Line.

HK Airport Express Line has carried 8 million passengers during the first half of this year, compared to 7.8 million passengers carried during the same period last year. Average daily ridership on the AEL is 44.2 thousand passengers.

MTR’s overall share of the franchised public transport market in Hong Kong in the first five months of 2017 was 48.8%, compared to 48.3% in the corresponding period of 2016. Competition from other modes of transport saw the market share to and from the airport declined from 21.4% to 21.3%.

The half year interim results also show fare revenue increase of 3.5% for HK Airport Express Line, earning the company $HK 503 million this year so far.

Fare revenue growth was supported by adjustments to fares, as well as patronage increase. Fares on the Airport Express were raised by an average of 9.6% commencing on 18th June 2017. This is the first adjustment to fares on the line since its opening in 1998.

Announced in 2016, Rail Gen 2.0 is a major programme to enhance the experience of travelling on MTR in the context of an extended “next generation” of railway services for Hong Kong. It comprises new rail projects, major upgrades and replacements to the existing rail network and an enhanced customer experience. Major upgrades and replacements of infrastructure and facilities include new trains and Light Rail vehicles, replacement of signalling systems and chiller systems, and major interfacing works at stations.

The existing signalling systems on the Island, Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung and Disneyland Resort lines, as well as the Airport Express are being replaced at a total cost of HK$3.3 billion.

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UK: Heathrow Express is the UK’s joint top performer in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey, achieving its best ever overall satisfaction score of 97%.

The National Rail Passenger Survey gathers the opinions of UK train passengers twice a year, and Heathrow Express has also outperformed other train companies in London and the South East, where the average overall satisfaction score was 82%.

The survey states that punctuality/reliability has the biggest impact on overall satisfaction, and Heathrow Express scored 96% in that category – 19% more than counterparts in London and the South East. The service, which carries 16,000 people a day between London and Heathrow with a journey time of 15 minutes, also scored 96% in length of time the journey was scheduled to take (speed). The attitudes and helpfulness of staff at the station has scored 90%, up 4% year-on-year, and availability of staff at the station has gone up 10% to 87%.

Heathrow Express has been scored 52% in the value for money category, an 11% improvement on the same period last year and 9% higher than any other operator in London and the South East. This reflects the views of customers who are taking advantage of the advanced purchase fares available online which were introduced last year (starting at £5.50) and a new £15 fare which customers can buy on the day, on Saturdays.

Heathrow Express Director, Fraser Brown, said: “It can be difficult to improve on scores that are already good, so I’m really pleased to see that the team’s hard work is paying off across the board. Our colleagues are renowned for their excellent customer service, but in the past it’s been less common for HEx to do well in a “value for money” context. Our advanced purchase and £15 weekend fares have seen passenger numbers increase by 9% so far this year, and it’s great to see that our passengers are valuing the price of their ticket more as a result.”

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AUSTRALIA: The Federal Government has approved Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2017 providing a guide to the development of airport facilities, infrastructure and land uses to meet the future requirements of the aviation industry.

Gold Coast Airport (GCA) is Australia’s fastest growing airport, forecasting to serve 16.6 million passengers by 2037.

By 2037, GCA is forecast to have 16.6 million passenger movements annually (13.5 million domestic and 3.1 million international passengers).

“The Master Plan is particularly focused on growth in new aviation infrastructure and commercial facilities over the next 5 years including the continued expansion of the terminal and additional aircraft parking stands,” GCA Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said. “Master planning for the airport has also taken into account the future introduction of heavy and light rail facilities. Whilst this is a medium to long term prospect, planning has occurred to ensure that future stations are highly accessible within the terminal precinct. The Master Plan also has provision for a high quality hotel development.

“In line with our previous Master Plans, we will continue to commit to preserving approximately 25 per cent of the airport lease area for conservation purposes through the Cobaki Environment Precinct.”

The approval of the GCA Master Plan does not authorise any major development on the airport. Such developments require additional community consultation and approval by the Federal Government through the Major Development Plan process.

Download the Master Plan here>>> 

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USA: JetBlue released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the development of a terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. In coordination with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s master plan process, JetBlue is seeking to lead the development of the former Terminal 6 site and potentially the Terminal 7 site.

JetBlue will identify innovative development opportunities that meet the needs of travellers in the New York region. The project would accommodate increases in customer traffic in the airline’s largest focus city, enhance and facilitate codesharing and interline agreements, and open the door to new value-enhancing partnership opportunities.

“Terminal 5 has been and will continue to be a key factor in our success in New York from a customer experience and revenue growth perspective,” said Lisa Reifer, vice president infrastructure, properties and development, JetBlue. “This project lays the groundwork for JetBlue’s future leadership in our largest focus city. We are seeking innovative, cost- and capital-efficient approaches to Governor Cuomo’s ambitious vision for JFK to deliver a world-class airport experience for our customers and crewmembers while allowing us to maximize the value of our strategic airport assets.”

The project, subject to approval from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will include:

  • Phased development on the Terminal 6 and potentially the Terminal 7 site
  • The addition of international gates for JetBlue and partner airlines
  • Seamless connection to Terminal T5 (T5) and throughout the new facilities, both on the landside and on the airside
  • New curb-frontage and roadways providing increased vehicle capacity and enhanced access to the terminals

JetBlue is opening this RFQ process to developers. After receiving submissions from the RFQ, JetBlue will identify a select pool of qualified bidders to participate in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process later this year. For a copy of the RFQ, please email 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.. Responses are due no later than 5:00 pm ET on August 11, 2017.

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CAMBODIA: Minister of Transport Sun Chanthol has announce that Phnom Penh Airport Rail Line is set to open in April 2018.

The project involved building a 1.5km extension to the airport from the existing railway track.

“Once operational, it’ll take 20 minutes to travel from within the city to the airport via the light train,” the Minister said. “It will reduce traffic congestion in the city, particularly for people living around the airport, and tourists can use the service into Phnom Penh from the airport to avoid traffic jams.”

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UK: The Government has published the consultation for the next East Midlands rail line franchise, will deliver reduced journey times for intercity services and more seats for long distance passengers at peak hours, as well as dedicated services and more capacity for commuters coming into London.

The East Midlands franchise serves the heart of England – linking cities and towns such as London, Luton Airport, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln and Derby. The franchise offers 470 services each weekday and provides 26 million passenger journeys each year.

Currently, East Midlands Trains provides one train an hour to and from London St Pancras that calls at Luton Airport Parkway. This is in addition to the six trains per hour provided by Thameslink. East Midlands services take 20 minutes to Luton Airport Parkway, while the fastest Thameslink service takes 33 minutes.

“Providing additional East Midlands fast trains to Luton Airport Parkway might only be possible by reducing the number of stops elsewhere, such as at Luton itself,” states the consultation document. “We understand that the connectivity and journey opportunities between the railway and the airports could be improved. For example, trains that serve some of these locations do not always have sufficient space for luggage.”

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, responded to the launch saying: “London Luton Airport is the fastest growing major airport in the UK, yet it is the only one without an Express-style train service with four fast trains per hour. The launch of the East Midlands Trains franchise consultation is an opportunity to change that.”

“Introducing four fast trains per hour would help ease the South East’s airport capacity crunch, improve the experience for the travelling public, and accelerate over £1billion in economic growth across the South East Midlands and wider UK.”

According to the consultation document, at the eastern end of the route, options might exist to provide direct services between Nottingham and a wider range of stations in East Anglia, such as Cambridge and Stansted Airport. Some options could also result in changes to the destinations served by the existing Birmingham to Stansted Airport service currently operated by the Cross Country franchise.

The responses should be submitted to the DfT by 11 October 2017.

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USA: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for preliminary engineering and design for the $10 billion redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"JFK International Airport is an international gateway to New York and a powerful economic engine with the potential to grow even stronger," NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "By enhancing capacity, improving access and creating a unified framework for one of the nation's largest international airports, the new JFK Airport will be a centre of economic activity and a world-class airport of the calibre that New York deserves."

The RFP is complemented by $1.5 billion in new State commitments for improvements to the Van Wyck Expressway and Kew Gardens Interchange that will improve access to the airport and reduce congestion. Phases I and II of the project at the Kew Gardens Interchange in central Queens are complete. These two critical steps will facilitate the transformation of JFK Airport into a unified, world-class airport to meet the demands of the 21st century and accommodate the dramatic growth expected in traveller demand.

The chosen firm will follow the blueprint laid out in the Governor's Vision Plan to reimagine the airport's terminals, roadways, AirTrain, parking, cargo facilities, airside and aeronautical improvements, and support infrastructure.

The Governor's plan will transform JFK into a unified, interconnected, world-class airport, improve road access to the airport and expand rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth, while providing world class customer service.

The Governor's vision plan calls for consideration of two ways to improve rail mass transit to JFK in response to the dramatic growth of the number of passengers at JFK.

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Step 1: Expand JFK AirTrain

Increase the capacity from two to four cars per train and increase its frequency. These changes would allow the AirTrain to roughly double its capacity and handle more than 40 million passengers annually.

Improve the east of connection from the Subway or LIRR by top-to-bottom rebuild of interconnections at Jamaica and Sutphin Blvd - Completely overhaul the subway and Long Island Railroad connection to the JFK AirTrain. These improvements would include essential modern amenities such as high-performance elevators and escalators, charging stations and expanded walkways. A modernized mezzanine will create simpler navigation and smoother transfers to the AirTrain including improved wayfinding and LED flight status screens.

Step 2: Explore the feasibility of one seat ride to JFK

JFK is one of the only major airports in the world that does not offer travellers a one seat ride from its city centre. Therefore, the panel recommends that the MTA and its partners jointly explore the feasibility of a one-seat ride to JFK.

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LAX APM

USA: The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) has authorized Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Automated People Mover (APM) train at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The RFP for the APM is one component of the larger $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), which is designed to reduce traffic at the airport by adding a train into the Central Terminal Area (CTA) that connects to Los Angeles Metro’s light rail system, a consolidated rental car (ConRAC) facility, and additional parking structures with new areas for picking up and dropping off passengers.

“We are excited to move forward with this essential component of the LAMP project,” said BOAC President Sean Burton. “One reason Los Angeles World Airports chose a Public Private Partnership for this project is to expedite the delivery of this critical improvement that will create a better experience for passengers at LAX.”

The LAMP project consists of five major components: the APM, the ConRAC, two Intermodal Transportation Facilities (ITF East and West), and roadway improvements throughout the LAX area.

  • The APM will be a be an elevated electric powered train with six stations along the 2.25 mile alignment (three inside the CTA and three outside the CTA), connecting travellers and employees to light rail, regional buses, parking and terminals. APM stations within the CTA will connect to the terminals via pedestrian bridges with moving walkways.
  • The ConRAC will eliminate the need for rental car shuttles/buses to enter the CTA. This will decrease traffic congestion and free up curb space by bringing 23 rental car companies, currently scattered across the airport area, in one facility. Passengers will be dropped off at the ConRAC by the APM.
  • Both the East and West ITFs will serve airport users with two locations outside the CTA. The ITFs will provide parking and curb space to pick-up and drop-off passengers and will connect passengers to the CTA via the APM. The ITF East station will connect to the Metro Green and Crenshaw Rail Lines via a new station being built by Metro.
  • Streets will be improved in and around the project area to provide access to the new facilities.

“The APM is a critical project for the future modernization of LAX and is the solution to providing reliable, time-certain access to airline terminals for passengers, employees and other users.” said LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint. “Today’s authorization of the RFP is an important step towards delivering on that promise. The RFP scoring process is designed to give us a qualified team that will deliver a high quality, reliable and beautifully designed system.”

The RFP is the last step in a three-part solicitation process. LAWA previously conducted two separate Request for Qualifications (RFQ) processes to identify firms capable of supplying both the APM operating systems and the fixed facilities. After the two lists were established, the eligible developers and operators were free to team up to jointly deliver the APM as an integrated team. Of the initial shortlisted developers and operators, three integrated teams remain.

Scoring for this project is based on technical qualifications, visual appeal, and user experience. The evaluation criteria were developed to ensure a fair and transparent procurement that maximizes private sector creativity and innovation.

Public agencies across the country are utilizing the P3 project delivery DBFOM model to build large infrastructure projects because it allows projects to benefit from the experience, efficiency, and resources of private sector partners. A private partner can accelerate project delivery with innovative ideas and by providing initial investment in exchange for annual payments for the contract duration.

The RFP is scheduled to be released to the integrated teams at the end of July. Technical bids for the APM will be due in November 2017 and proposers whose technical bids meet minimum criteria will submit financial proposals in December 2017. A contract is expected to be awarded by early 2018. The APM is anticipated to be operational in 2023. More information about LAMP is available by visiting www.connectinglax.com.

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UK: A planning permission was granted for a new fully automated £200 million mass passenger transit (MPT) linking London Luton Airport (LLA) terminal with Luton Airport Parkway station.

The 24-hour, 1.4-mile line will replace the existing shuttle bus service and is expected to enter operation in 2021.

To make the most of the MPT link, LLA is also calling on the government to introduce an express-style rail service offering at least four trains per hour to central London as part of the refranchising of the East Midlands rail line later this year.

Introducing an express-style service will not only dramatically improve the experience for passengers, but also contribute an additional £100 million in revenue to government and the rail franchisee. It is also expected to take over 70,000 cars per year off the M1 and reduce CO2 emissions by 500 tonnes per year by encouraging more people to travel to the airport by public transport.

“The new MPT rail link is a major milestone in the airport’s transformation. Passengers will soon enjoy a seamless transfer between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal. LLA will be faster to reach from central London than both Gatwick and Stansted. But we want to go further. LLA is the fastest growing major airport in the UK, yet it is the only London airport without an express-style service. An improved rail service, in conjunction with the new MPT link, will improve the experience for passengers, deliver significant environmental benefits for local communities and accelerate economic growth across the region,” Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said.

Over 1.5 million passengers chose to travel through London Luton Airport (LLA) last month, representing a 6.2% increase compared to June 2016 and LLA has now recorded 39 consecutive months of passenger growth. To meet rapidly rising demand, the airport is delivering the biggest investment programme in its history and increasing capacity by 50%.

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DSAstation1

UK: Doncaster Council, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Doncaster Sheffield Airport have taken the next step in exploring the potential of connecting the airport to the East Coast Mainline to provide a station.

A study has been commissioned to determine the feasibility and strategic business case for a potential rail link and will be awarded through a competitive bidding process. The study is hoped to be completed by the end of the year.

The airport has also unveiled early design concepts for the station which could serve the next major international airport for the UK in the North.

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An airport station off the East Coast Mainline could be a major economic boost for Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region, having a transformational effect beyond the airport site as a catalyst for encouraging investment, providing new jobs and support the growing innovation district at the airport’s 1,600 acre site, known as Aero Centre Yorkshire.

The station could also serve local communities and businesses in the vicinity such as the rapidly expanding Yorkshire Wildlife Park and other forthcoming new leisure attractions such as the European Tour backed golf course at Rossington.

Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a huge asset for Doncaster, the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the North and we are committed to making it a big success.

“The opening of Great Yorkshire Way created exceptional links between the airport and the motorway network and has helped them achieve incredible growth. This shows if you have a forward thinking vision to deliver important infrastructure projects they can have a real economic impact.

“We are ambitious for the future and our concept to provide an East Coast Mainline station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport could certainly release its immense untapped potential and bring significant benefits to Doncaster and the wider region.”

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Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is one of few regional airport sites in the UK which offers unconstrained physical and airspace capacity with the existing runway able to accommodate a throughput of 25 million passengers per annum, providing an international gateway serving the east side of the country. An airport station could mean London is less than 80 minutes train travel away, and in many places quicker than travelling across to Heathrow or Gatwick on already congested routes. The proposal could also support boosting international trade, deliver improved regional connectivity and contribute towards government strategy to rebalance the economy.

“The proposal for the airport station shows how a quicker, more affordable and sustainable solution in the North can deliver much needed future UK aviation capacity for passengers and cargo, complementing planned investment in South East airports.

“These aspirational designs we’ve released aim to show the scale of our ambition for the station and we hope they inspire people to get behind this proposal.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The success of Aero Centre Yorkshire is a key part of our strategic plan to build a truly competitive centre of business excellence in Sheffield City Region. The airport’s new link road illustrates our simple and straightforward approach to doing business. In Sheffield City Region we just get things done and we look forward to working in partnership to deliver a new rail connection and station providing a connection from the airport to the East Coast Mainline. Through pulling together to achieve transformational change we are building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy.”