Bus vs. Rail: An Oversimplified Comparison

Most comparisons of bus and rail systems assume a classic city with a central business district that commuters need to reach, and that each serve a single function, say Jeffrey R. Brown and Gregory R. Thompson of Florida State.

Read Time: 1 minute

December 12, 2009, 11:00 AM PST

By Tim Halbur


Brown and Thompson compared data from San Diego, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Pittsburg, and concluded that a combined rail/bus system is the most effective.

"The debate generally overlooks the several other functions that express bus and rail transit modes might serve, and thus it ignores the fact that the two modes perform differently depending upon the regional transit service mission that they are assigned. Transit planners and policymakers who are considering whether to invest in one mode or the other cannot make an informed decision without simultaneously considering the mission to which one mode or the other will be assigned."

The PDF is only available for purchase or in the printed Transportation Research Record.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 in Journal of the Transportation Research Board

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