Saturday, June 28, 2014
Trimet's argument that it is cheaper to run light rail than bus is flawed
Unfortunately, with few exceptions - including almost none of the cities shown in the accompanying table - American cities do not have bus corridors that have sufficient demand to operate buses every two minutes. Instead, cities are choosing to operate their light rail lines as often or more often than existing bus service. Replacing a bus route operating every fifteen minutes with even a two-car light rail train operating every fifteen minutes is the equivalent of increasing corridor capacity by three hundred percent (a two-car light rail train is the equivalent of three standard buses). While ridership is likely to increase due to the introduction of trains, it is unlikely to increase by three hundred percent.
Bus vs. Light Rail: Which Is Cheaper to Operate?