THE PROSPECTS FOR PRIVATE RAIL TRANSIT: LESSONS FROM THREE CASE STUDIES

This report examines the experience of the most promising private rail transit proposals advanced in the 1980s to see why private rail has proven so difficult. The three case studies - in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Orlando - suggest a powerful economic and political dynamic that makes rail transit an unpromising candidate for privatization. The essential problem is that rail transit is seldom profitable from farebox revenues alone, which forces promoters to search for assistance from private real estate developments or state and local governments. This need for assistance makes the projects much more complex and controversial, and has often proved their undoing.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Harvard University

    Taubman Center for State and Local Government, 79 John F Kennedy Street
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02138-5801
  • Authors:
    • Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A
    • Howitt, A M
    • Meyer, J R
    • Wallis, A D
  • Publication Date: 1991-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 192 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00622032
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Transit Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FTA-MA-06-0188-91-1
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 31 1992 12:00AM