Although rail transit modes have, for several decades, been considered applicable mainly for larger, high-density conurbations, a number of North American cities of lower density and population have begun implementation or serious consideration of light rail as a feasible component of their urban transit networks. This is due primarily to the typically lower capital characteristics of light rail transit (LRT) and the lower patronage levels that are therefore required for feasibility. Austin, Texas, is one such smaller city in which, after more than a decade of evaluating LRT, actual implementation at last appears to be nearing reality because of the availability of a newly instituted dedicated funding base. The process through which these developments have occurred, and the factors involved in determining feasibility, provide some insight into the LRT planning process that may be relevant to other medium-sized urban areas. This discussion will deal with these issues, focusing on the specifics of the Austin case but with some view to general applicability. Also of interest is the degree to which private citizens and their organizations have initiated new concepts, maintained public interest in light rail, and interacted with official staff and decision makers in the planning process. (Author)

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    • 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:
    • Wulkan, A
    • Henry, L
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  • Publication Date: 1985

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 82-90
  • Monograph Title: Light rail transit: system design for cost-effectiveness
  • Serial:

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  • Accession Number: 00457390
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309039177
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 10:01PM