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Metro is a new transport system that will transform the way we travel around the Cardiff Capital Region. It will provide faster, more frequent and joined-up services using trains, buses and light rail.

Metro will bring benefits to passengers, link communities together and help transform the economy. It will have a positive social, economic and environmental effect. It will also shape our region's identity.

High frequency

Metro will run at least four services an hour across the whole network when needed and even more on busy sections. This gives a 'turn up and go' experience for passengers using vehicles designed for speed and capacity.


Metro combines heavy rail, light rail and buses to deliver a seamless network. With just one ticket, people will be able to move quickly and easily across the region. It also links with active travel – cycling and walking – to create a completely integrated network.


Metro is designed so it can grow to make it even more accessible. New stations, new routes, increased frequencies – in future, the network can bring better public transport to more communities and economic centres.


Metro will deliver better passenger facilities and community focal points around key stations, and stimulate opportunities for more strategic development and regeneration across the region.


Objectives and Outcomes

South East Wales Metro
Potential Newport Bus Rapid Transit Stop

The following objectives and outcomes have been established for Metro:

Metro transport objectives

  • Deliver a high-quality, reliable, efficient, economically sustainable transport network
  • Improve connectivity, linking communities with all major commercial, social and leisure attractors, enabling the region to function as a single coherent economic entity
  • Improve accessibility to public transport within city and town centres
  • Provide comparable journey times across public and private transport modes, offering realistic travel choices
  • Cater for increasing demand for public transport
  • Reduce the impact of transport on the environment
  • Encourage active travel and social inclusion initiatives

Metro transport outcomes

  • Reduced generalised journey times through faster, more frequent services and better interchange
  • Increased public transport patronage through provision of more attractive services
  • Reduced operating and maintenance costs through greater efficiencies and higher demand
  • Capacity to meet demand during peak periods and special events
  • Accessibility improvements through coordination of services, Disability Discrimination Act compliance and station design
  • Reduced emissions through lower car use and more efficient, cleaner transit vehicles
  • Direct services between main residential areas and economic centres to improve connectivity
  • Improved quality of service through newer vehicles, better integration and enhanced services
  • Better reliability in terms of availability and punctuality of services

Modes of Transport

Potential Light Rail vehicle
Potential rail vehicle

Public transport comes in many forms, but these are the three main options that are likely to form the backbone of Metro. We think that light rail, especially, could play an important part - but it's up to the transport industry to suggest the best possible solutions.

Heavy Rail

We will upgrade our rail network using modern diesel and electric rolling stock. The newest train designs offer an improved passenger experience, faster boarding and more efficient operations.

Light Rail

Light rail vehicles (or trams) are ideal for urban and suburban transport, allowing more frequent and faster services. They can carry large numbers of people and move easily, either on traditional railway track or on rails placed in streets.

Bus Rapid Transit

This bus-based system is popular around the world, and feels more like a train than a traditional bus. Passengers buy tickets at special stations, so boarding is quick and easy, and buses usually run in exclusive lanes to avoid traffic. Services are frequent, fast and efficient.


Metro is a long-term programme. It is being developed so that it can be incrementally extended.

Metro Phase 1

Metro Phase 1 is in progress. The extension to Ebbw Vale town and further capacity enhancement on that line, as well as other station enhancements across the network, are already complete or in progress.

Metro Phase 2 (2017-2023)

Metro Phase 2 will focus on modernising the core Valley Lines and the wider South Wales rail network. This infrastructure work will be integrated with the programme to procure the next Wales and Borders franchise.

This will result in a network that enables high-quality and reliable services which can deliver four vehicles per hour across the entire network when needed, with reduced journey times, and the capacity for additional stations and network extensions.

Future Phases (beyond 2023)

If Phase 2 contains some form of light rail, then a range of rail based extensions will be easier to accommodate. This could form the basis of a long term incremental programme of expansion.


PDF Document (MFS)
Metro brochure (File size: 1.88MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Metro summary brochure (File size: 468KB)

Previous studies

PDF Document (MFS)
Impact study October 2013 (File size: 9.2MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Executive Summary (File size: 5.6MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Regeneration and The Metro (File size: 9.4MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Metro Economic Impacts (File size: 833KB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Metro Modal Study (File size: 3.4MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Metro Spatial Map (File size: 7.4MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Appendices (File size: 8.3MB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Governing the Metro (File size: 160KB)
PDF Document (MFS)
Update report August 2014 (File size: 338KB)