Urban Mobility Project Profiles


As the world’s populations swell, the need for efficient, cost effective and green forms of urban transport is a paramount requirement for the smooth running of cities. Below is a list of the 10 most innovative urban mobility projects as chosen by a panel of external and independent industry professionals for the Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.



Feature Project: East Side Access


In the United States, the US$8.24 billion East Side Access project in New York City was singled out by the judges as a project that will not only improve chaotic traffic into Manhattan but also benefit the lives of thousands of commuters as it will shave as much as 40 minutes off daily travel time. The project will route the MTA Long Island Rail Road through new track connections in Queens, new tunnels under Sunnyside Yard, and through the existing 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River to Second Avenue in Manhattan, where new tunnels will curve south under Park Avenue and enter a new eight-track LIRR terminal beneath Grand Central Terminal.




Bosphorus Tunnel


The US$1.1 billion Bosphorus Tunnel – or Eurasia Tunnel as it is also known – is an ambitious project being developed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to connect both sides of Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, via a 5.4 kilometer twin-deck tunnel beneath the seabed. What impressed judges most was the asset’s aims to ease congestion, cut journey times and stimulate economic growth in the dense environment of one of the world’s oldest cities. In addition, the historic project also brings Asia and Europe just a little bit closer together.




Mersey Gateway


The Mersey Gateway in the United Kingdom offers an impressive and desperately needed solution improving mobility and economic growth throughout the Liverpool city region, north Cheshire and the north west of the UK. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) comprises construction of a new 3x2 lane cable-stayed toll bridge with a one kilometer span over the River Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. The concession includes construction of associated link roads and the upgrading and tolling of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge.






Transolímpica is one of the key projects Rio de Janeiro is undertaking to improve the city’s public transportation for the Olympic Games. The project involves a 23 kilometer highway with six lanes – three in each direction – connecting the neighborhoods of Barra da Tijuca (home of the Olympic complex) to Deodoro. Two of the tracks will be used exclusively by buses through a Bus Rapid Transit scheme with 18 stations – an affordable transport solution which judges thought could be replicated in other parts of Latin America.




Line 4 of São Paulo’s Metro


Line 4 of São Paulo’s Metro was the first PPP signed by the state. The new Yellow Line will carry nearly one million people per day. The first section, with six stations, is already operating. When it is fully up and running, the line will be 12.8 kilometers long, with 11 stations connecting Luz downtown with Vila Sônia on the west side.




Blue Line of the Lagos Rail network


The Blue Line of the Lagos Rail network in Nigeria is another groundbreaking PPP. The project was chosen by judges as not only does it fill a serious gap in transportation infrastructure in the city, but it also displays innovation in its financing structure. Track and station infrastructure is being constructed under design-build contracts funded by the Lagos state government; while trains, control systems, and fare collection will be provided by Eko Rail under a 25-year equip-operate-maintain concession.




Kuwait Metro


Kuwait City has limited public transport and an overreliance on automobiles, leading to congestion. The first phase of the US$10 billion greenfield project includes 50 kilometers of track with 28 new stations. It will be procured in six packages (one for rolling stock, four for infrastructure and one for operations) and have a significant social impact by reducing air and noise pollution. Following subsequent phases, the completed project will traverse 160 kilometers through 69 stations.




Gold Coast Rapid Transit


In Australia, the US$1 billion Gold Coast Rapid Transit development in Queensland is being watched with great interest. Creatively financed, the scheme is a complex transport PPP that interlocks federal, state and local council funding. To maximize opportunities for local involvement, the project developed a two-stream delivery structure, providing the market with the big PPP it desired and a government-funded early works package underpinned by a series of smaller contracts that could be rolled out quickly to kick-start the struggling local construction industry and inject some much needed capital into the local economy. Stage one consists of 13 kilometers of light rail servicing 16 stations with 14 trams at peak hours.




Jakarta Rapid Mass Transit System


According to The Brookings Institution, Jakarta ranked 17th among the world’s 200 largest cities in 2011; a significant jump from 2007 when it was ranked 171st. The city has seen more rapid growth than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok. With this in mind the judges chose to support the Jakarta Rapid Mass Transit System in Indonesia, which is being funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Although there are several challenges yet to be overcome, the light rail project – being developed in two stages – is so badly needed that, if the current situation persists, the city will come to a standstill by 2020.




Port of Miami Tunnel


Congestion in the city of Miami, Florida helped spur the over 30-year development of the Port of Miami Tunnel. The US$607 million project was designed to alleviate pressure on the Port Boulevard Bridge, which was the only access route for heavy commercial vehicles using the container shipping terminal. The tunnel is a mixed-use facility, accommodating cruise and cargo traffic and provides a direct interstate connection to and from the Port, reducing travel times and alleviating congestion by diverting traffic away from city streets. The project’s construction and eventual delivery is being heralded as a triumph of engineering and city planning, as well as for the successful use of an availability payment PPP procurement model on such a technically complex project.




Information contained within the feature project articles and sector articles of the Infrastructure 100 Report are provided by Infrastructure Journal (IJ). Infrastructure Journal assisted with collating and analyzing projects to be considered by regional and global judging panels for the Infrastructure 100 Report, and conducted in-depth research which was used to develop the project profiles contained within the publication. While KPMG makes every attempt to provide accurate and timely information to readers, neither KPMG nor Infrastructure Journal guarantees its accuracy, timeliness, completeness or usefulness, and are not responsible or liable for any such content.

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