Capacity and Cost Comparisons of Rapid Transit Modes

Many new light rail transit (LRT) and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems and extensions have opened in the past decade, and more are being planned worldwide. Cities with heavy rail transit or commuter rail lines are also exploring expansions. Perhaps as a result of increased investment in public transportation, there is greater attention on the costs and benefits of each mode. A frequent concern has been the appropriateness of specific modes for different size travel markets. This paper assembles relevant data and considers the capacity and cost of various rapid transit modes, especially BRT and LRT. The factors that influence capacity of modes are explored, including the critical importance of station dwell time and exclusive right-of-way. The findings support the notion that determining the appropriateness of a particular mode to serving a particular market is best made on a case-by-case basis, specifically reflecting current and anticipated future ridership demand. While capital and operating cost differences are noted, the paper concludes that system “right sizing” should be the paramount consideration in mode selection.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: CD-ROM; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: ITE 2005 Annual Meeting and Exhibit Compendium of Technical Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01006823
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1933452080
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2005 4:47PM