The TRB discussion at the session on Rail Transit and New Technologies held during the 1985 TRB Annual Meeting and current developments in and deployment of guided transit systems lead to the following concluding observations. Light rail transit has a unique feature: it is the only guided mode that does not require a fully separated right-of-way. Its ability to utilize any right-of-way allows substantial investment savings, but also causes performance limitations and prevents full automation. This mode has the greatest diversity of applications and is adaptable to gradual upgrading of rights-of-way and operations. Unlike some AGT systems, LRT has no proprietary limitations; it is based on rails, the most conventional guided technology. The uniqueness of the AGT mode is its full automation, causing large investment requirements, but providing significant operating advantages of short headways at all times and flexibility of operations. AGT systems have proven that fully automated systems are not only acceptable to the public, but are quite attractive to it. AGT now dominates short shuttle services within major activity centers; but AGT applications for regular transit lines are still limited and prospects for this role depend on lowering the cost of these systems compared with that of conventional rapid transit. In other words, AGT is a "more luxurious"and "more expensive neighbor" of LRT; whether it can be a "mini-rapid transit" with corresponding lower costs remains to be seen.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 9-13
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 120
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00457150
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1988 12:00AM