Title

Evaluating new start transit program performance: Comparing rail and bus

Document Type

Report

Publication Date

9-2006

Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - rail

Abstract

This study by Lyndon Henry and Todd Litman compares public transit performance between U.S. cities that expanded rail systems and those that expanded bus systems. There is ongoing debate over the relative advantages of rail and bus transit investments. Rail critics assert that cities which expand their bus transit systems exhibit better performance than those that expand rail systems. This study examines those claims. This analysis indicates that cities that expanded their rail systems significantly outperformed cities that only expanded bus systems in terms of transit ridership, passenger-mileage, and operating cost efficiency. This indicates that rail transit investments are often economically justified due to benefits from improved transit performance and increased transit ridership.