Federally-Mandated Evaluation of New Starts Transit Projects

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus rapid transit, economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - benefits, ridership - modelling, mode - tram/light rail, mode - rail


New Starts, evaluations, transit, before and after study


the last 20 years, numerous metropolitan regions in the U.S. have implemented new, and upgraded existing, rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) fixed guideway systems funded by the federal “New Starts” program. Now, one condition of receipt of federal New Starts funds is that the project sponsor conduct an evaluation, called a Before and After Study, to determine the cost and ridership impacts of the transit project. Upon completion of this study, it must be submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is mandated to summarize these reports and submit them as an annual New Starts Before and After Studies Report to Congress. Based on a review of the annual New Starts reports that have been conducted to date, this paper describes the key findings of these Before and After Studies and analyzes their implications for mandated program evaluation research in the transit field.


Permission to publish abstract given by Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remainsl with them.