Light rail transit has attractive service characteristics that can be secured in most cities for modest investments. The relatively low construction costs of light rail transit are due primarily to avoiding large civil works by relying instead on reserved rights-of-way at grade. Many options are available for alignments at grade, and costs for way reservation can vary widely. This paper describes the construction costs for modern light rail transit; it takes into consideration way reservation and the more predictable costs for stations, street crossings, track, cars, electrification, signals, communications, and other requirements. The costs presented are estimates, based on the experience of the author in recent evaluations of light rail transit for several U.S. cities. Few new light rail facilities have been built in the United States in recent years; therefore, little opportunity exists for relating estimates of this type to actual construction. Figures discussed here range from high to low where convenient, and single estimates presented are conservative representations of the largest values likely to be experienced in most cities.

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    • This article is extracted from Light Rail Transit, Proceedings of a National Conference conducted by TRB and Sponsored by UMTA, Am Public Transit Assoc and U Penn, 23-25 June 1975. Payment in advance is requested. For handling charges add 5% for domestic and 10% for foreign orders. 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
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board (TRB)

    Washington, DC   
  • Authors:
    • Beetle, George R
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1975

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  • Accession Number: 00129818
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1981 12:00AM