Great Rail Disasters

Randal O'Toole publishes a report showing the harmful effects of light rail on 23 major metropolitan centers across the U.S.
July 19, 2004, 7am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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From the introduction of the report: "The stampede to plan and build rail transit lines in American cities has led to a series offinancial and mobility disasters. They are financial disasters because rail projects spend billionsof taxpayers’ dollars and produce little in return. They are mobility disasters because rail transitalmost always increases regional congestion and usually reduces transit's share of commutingand general travel."

"...Rail transit is expensive. It usually costs more to build and often costs more to operate thanoriginally projected. To pay for cost overruns, transit agencies often must boost transit fares orcut transit service outside of rail corridors. Thus, rail transit tends to harm most transit users.Rail transit also harms most auto drivers. Most regions building rail transit expect to spend halfto four-fifths of their transportation capital budgets on transit systems that carry 0.5 to 4 percentof passenger travel. This imbalanced funding makes it impossible to remove highwaybottlenecks and leads to growing congestion." [Editor's note: the link below is to a 900KB PDF document.]

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, July 18, 2004 in Texas Public Policy Foundation
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