A transit agency that wishes to introduce an LRT system with balanced total costs (capital and operating costs versus LRT performance) and aesthetic acceptability must make a number of significant decisions in determining the final type of system configurations to be used. These issues are addressed during the feasibility and conceptual engineering stages. The application of technology for the key LRT fixed systems has been summarized. Factors that affect the cost-effective design and specification of track and roadbed, traction power, signals, and fare collection have been stressed. Each is an important element of the overall LRT system, and each can be designed to enhance system economics by controlling capital and operating costs. An attempt has also been made to show that these total costs must be balanced against LRT system performance for a given induced ridership. For LRT, the balance is bounded on both the lower and the upper ends of its spectrum. An excursion either way removes the LRT right-to-be. In today's difficult financial environment for rail transit systems, designers are encouraged to seek out and apply balanced cost solutions such as those described in this paper. Only by planning and building cost-effective systems will most American cities be able to afford the benefits of modern rail transit service. (Author)

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board State-of-the-Art Report 2, Light Rail Transit: System Design for Cost-Effectiveness. Presented at the Conference on Light Rail Transit held May 8-10, 1985, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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.
  • Authors:
    • Schumann, J W
    • Addison, K
    • Furmaniak, Thomas B
    • Matoff, T
    • Otte, C W
    • Quintin Jr, W P
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1985

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: p. 26-33
  • Monograph Title: Light rail transit: system design for cost-effectiveness
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00457383
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309039177
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 10:01PM