In recent years, many cities have begun to question the universal application of conventional rapid transit (CRT) systems but have indicated a need for a fixed-guideway solution to their problems. During this period of technological reexamination, light-rail transit (LRT) systems are being evaluated in greater detail to determine their capacity to meet operational specifications. This paper isolates for discussion the potential of LRT systems to inspire joint-development opportunities like those that have been attributed to CRT systems. Current incentives are evaluated in terms of the similarities that exist between the development of CRT and LRT systems. LRT's operational flexibility is widely recognized. This flexibility also provides new dimensions for station-area development; the small scale (compared with CRT stations) provides opportunities for initiating development potential. The barriers to joint development for LRT systems are essentially the same as those for CRT systems. The most significant barrier to a full realization of joint-development potential is the lack of adequate private capital to realize the full opportunity of the public investment. Under the new policy directives for urban revitalization, several new financial assistance programs have been developed. The urban design action grants appear to have a significant potential for use in expanding the joint-development potential of LRT systems. Value-capture options for stimulating private investment in joint development are currently being given considerable attention in demonstrations of LRT and downtown people movers. Each rapid transit system currently under consideration must conduct an assessment of the value-capture potential as part of the requirements for federal funding. Implementation techniques are discussed in terms of development incentives and the control mechanisms that are necessary to guide development along the lines of community objectives. /Author/

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. This paper appeared in TRB Special Report No. 182, Light-Rail Transit: Planning and Technology.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board (TRB)

    Washington, DC   
  • Authors:
    • Carter, Stephen A
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 82-88
  • Monograph Title: Light rail transit: planning and technology
  • Serial:

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  • Accession Number: 00301312
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 1981 12:00AM