The central government approved a revised budget on April 20 for the planned Taichung Mass Rapid Transit system in central Taiwan, increasing funding to NT$51·4bn from the previous NT$28·8bn. The 16·7 km 18 station project will link Taichung City’s Beitun district to Taichung County’s Wuri, based on an amended plan. Construction will begin in October this year, and completion is envisaged in 2015.
An initial 8 km mostly elevated section of the Adana light rail line between Hastane and Vilayet entered service on March 18. Work on the 13·5 km line with 13 stations started in 1992; the remaining 5·5 km five-station underground section is still under construction.
April 6 marked the start of construction on Manchester Metrolink’s 6·4 km line to Droylsden, when a piling rig commenced work on an underpass beneath Great Ancoats Street. The route will have eight stops and is due to open in spring 2012. It is the first step in Metrolink’s £600m project to extend tram services to south Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, and MediaCity:UK in Salford (MR 3.09 p8).
Jaen’s €78m tram project got underway when the first stone was laid on April 14. A 20-month construction contract has been awarded to a joint venture of Alstom, Gea 21, Inabensa, Mipelsa and Pavimentaciones Morales (RG 3.09 p16).
Keolis has been confirmed as the new public transport operator in Bordeaux with effect from May 1. The five-year contract signed between Keolis and the Bordeaux council at the beginning of April is worth €750m. Outgoing operator Veolia Transport planned to contest the handover date.
The European Commission has approved a modernisation and 2·8 km extension of the tram line in the Hungarian city of Miskolc by the end of 2011, and will provide HF34bn for the HF38bn project. Tenders have been called for the supply of 31 low-floor trams to replace the 40-year old fleet.
A C$100m plan to introduce smart-card ticketing and install gates at all SkyTrain stations was announced by Vancouver’s TransLink on April 9. The purchase is part of a wider project to enlarge older Expo Line stations to handle longer trains and a planned doubling of ridership.