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North American light rail expansion

This month sees the inauguration of new light rail service in several North American cities. On the 11th June Sacramento (California) opened its 4.5-km light rail extension from Watt/I-80 east to Sunrise, built at a cost of USD 76 million.

Opening ceremonies were due to be held today (Wednesday 23 June) in San Jose (California) for the opening of the 10km Tasman East light rail extension past the Great Mall and onto Capitol Avenue to East San Jose.

For the remainder of the day, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will provide free light rail rides between the Alum Rock and I-880/Milpitas Stations. Revenue service will begin the next day, June 24, 2004 with the start of service that morning.

As well as the USD448 million extension (which is opening on schedule and USD14m below budget) VTA is also adding three new bus lines and rerouting current bus lines to integrate light rail and bus service in the East Valley from July 5th.

On 26 June Minneapolis (Minnesota) will inaugurate the first 12.9-km section of its Hiawatha light rail line from the city centre to Fort Snelling; the remaining 6.4 km of the USD 715 million project, to Mall of the Americas, should open in December.

28 June sees Calgary (Alberta, Canada) open the 3-km extension of its South light rail line, to Somerset-Bridlewood.

23 June 2004

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