USA: Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund has committed to provide below-market financing to support the transit-oriented development of affordable housing in Seattle and Washington DC, with the aim of ensuring that moderate to low-income families can afford to live in areas with easy access to employment, schools, healthcare and education.
UK: Transport for London has awarded telecoms infrastructure provider BAI Communications a 20-year concession to provide mobile coverage on the whole London Underground network, with all stations and tunnels to be covered by the end of 2024.
GERMANY: Essen and Mülheim transport operator Ruhrbahn has awarded CAF a €150m contract to supply 51 light rail vehicles, which will enable the complete replacement of its Stadtbahn-B cars as well as the P86/P89 sets which were acquired second-hand from London’s Docklands Light Railway.
POLAND: Two of the 40 Variotrams which have been withdrawn from service in Helsinki are to be tested in Łódź this summer, with the city’s transport operator potentially looking to acquire further vehicles if the trials prove successful.
SWITZERLAND: Zürich public transport operator VBZ has awarded Stadler Bussnang a SFr10·6m + VAT contract to supply two rack railcars for the metre-gauge Dolderbahn, which starts at Römerhof in the city suburbs and climbs 162 m in 1 328 m.
ITALY: Three trams and three tram stops in Firenze have been equipped with sensing, computation and communication capabilities as part of the Software Architecture for Extreme-ScaLe Big-Data AnalyticS in Fog CompuTIng ECosystems project to develop autonomous tram technology.
TURKEY: Tunnelling for the 14·6 km Gebze metro was officially launched by Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu on June 14. The first section of the line is scheduled to open by the end of 2023.
AUSTRALIA: The Australasian Railway Association has published a report highlighting the social benefits of light rail and making recommendations to help support future development, and also cautioning against ‘gambling’ with what ARA describes as unproven and untested ‘trackless tram’ technology-guided bus systems.
DENMARK: ICM Mobility Group has acquired mobile ticketing and payment specialist Unwire, which offers a white label platform aggregating services ranging from traditional public transport to micromobility, paratransit, rideshare and other options. Features include multimodal trip planning and on-demand microtransit booking and scheduling.
POLAND: After more than year of appeals against the planned contract award, in early June the city of Olsztyn was finally cleared to award a consortium of Polimex and Trakcja a 403m złoty contract to build a 6 km extension of the tram network.
BELGIUM: Brussels metro operator STIB has officially launched its M7 series trainsets into operation, with CEO Brieuc Meeûs d’Argenteuil and the capital region’s Minister of Mobility Elke van den Brandt taking invited guests for a short ride on the first unit from Erasmus station on Line 1.
UAE: The 9 km extension of Dubai’s automated metro network from Al Furjan to the Expo 2020 fairground was opened for revenue service on June 1, in preparation for the delayed start of the world fair being hosted by the emirate.