The projects each have a capital cost of between £150m and £230m and have been put forward by Transport for London, the Greater London Authority's transport arm.
Transport for London will use the consultation process to assess the feasibility of the schemes and their proposed funding. It will also decide which should be developed first, and what form of transport should be used – either tram, bus or trolly bus.
Transport for London has not ruled out using PFI funding for the projects. A spokesperson for the agency said it was looking at private sector grants and private finance.
Consultations will be carried out between May and July on three of the schemes. They are:
- The East London Transit, a 53 km long bus or trolly bus route from Gants Hill to Harold Hill
- Greenwich Waterfront Transit, a bus or tram route running through a 16 km corridor between Greenwich and Abbey Wood
- Uxbridge Road Transit, a bus or tram system in 20 km between Uxbridge and Shepherd's Bush.
This scheme, which is being developed in conjunction with the Cross River Partnership, would be a tram or bus route running the 15 km between Camden, King's Cross, Brixton and Peckham.
Construction is expected to start on at least one project by 2004 at the latest, with the aim of opening in 2007.
The proposals came as the government unveiled the first tranche of projects in its £180bn transport plan. Schemes include a £487m Leeds Supertram system and light rail systems in Bristol (£194m) and South Hampshire (£190m).