Photo: Andrew Benton

CHINA: The government is considering lowering the threshold at which cities become eligible to develop urban rail projects from 3 million inhabitants to 1·5 million.

This could result in additional investment of 1tr yuan, according to China Academy of Urban Planning & Design Vice-President Li Xun. The government is already planning to spend 1·6tr yuan on urban rail projects over the next three years, which is expected to cover 2 000 route-km in 103 cities.

There are currently 24 operational metros in China, in addition to several tram and light rail networks. Many more cities are building or planning metros, with Fuzhou and Hefei due to open their first lines this year.

In late 2014 India’s Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu reduced the minimum population a city must have before the government supports the construction of a metro from 2 million to 1 million people.