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Title:Light Rail Now > light rail transit (LRT), trams, tramways, streetcars, rail transit
Description:Professional guidance, strategic insight, technical expertise, and professional, personal networking in support of worldwide light rail transit and public transport development.
Keywords:light rail, light rail transit, light rail now, lightrail, tram, streetcar, LRT, tramway, urban transit, mass transit, metro, commuter rail, regional rail, regional passenger rail, Amtrak, intercity rail, railway, public transit, public transport, urban policy, transport policy, railroad, light rail now, railroading, train, rail, bus, mass transit, mass transport, mass transportation, mass transport, buses, subway, trolley
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Light Rail Now  light rail transit (LRT), trams, tramways, streetcars, rail transit
Latest Update:
28 May 2014
SPECIAL NOTE:Formatting alterations on many of our previously published webpages are currently under way, causing some inconsistency in appearance.
Please bear with us until this work is completed. mdash; LRN Project Team
FOCUS TOPICS
Public Transport Industry Issues (Articles Index)
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FEATURES
Additional feature stories relevant to public transport, light rail transit, and rail transit generally...
NEWS
LRT and related issues in the news ...
EVENTS
Upcoming events relevant to light rail transit, public transport, and rail transit generally ...
MYTHS
Analysis and debunking of myths and propaganda spread by opponents of mass transit and particularly rail systems.
FACTS
Useful and crucial facts and statistics helpful to advancing public transport and light rail transit.
LINKS
Useful links to key organizations and agencies involved with public transport, light rail transit, and other rail transit issues ...
RECENT BLOG POSTS
(For Austin, Texas issues 聴 visit the Austin Rail Now Blog)strong

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Light Rail Now Blog
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Cases where voters okayed rail transit after first rejecting
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23 March 2014


New subway (metro) systems cost nearly 9 times as much as light rail
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13 February 2014


How Portland's light rail trains and buses share a transit mall
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7 October 2013


How rail public transportation has been a leader in the Analytics and Big Data revolution
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3 September 2013


Bus operations as precursors of light rail transit
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19 August 2013


Ed Tennyson: Streetcars use streets more efficiently
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28 June 2013


Providence streetcar plan hinges on federal funding
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28 June 2013


Alstom takes the leap into North American light rail market
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16 June 2013


Kansas City 聴 Another new downtown streetcar project starts to take shape
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6 May 2013


Austin Rail Now Blog
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[Austin] Project Connect's wasteful plan - Ultra-pricey urban rail "decoration" in the wrong route
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26 March 2014


[Austin] Project Connect's Austin urban rail would be 3rd-most-pricey LRT starter line in U.S. history
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26 March 2014


[Austin] Austin's 2000 light rail plan - Key documents detail costs, ridership of Lamar-Guadalupe-SoCo route
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26 March 2014


[Austin] Project Connect's urban rail plan "costs way too much to do too little"
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26 March 2014


[Austin] Austin urban rail: Unfortunate revelations from Project Connect's April 12th "workshop"
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26 March 2014


[Austin] Average time for rail transit vote to succeed after first failing: 3.8 years
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26 March 2014


[Austin] West Campus is where the students are!
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26 March 2014


[Austin] SXSW transit - MetroRail trains attracted crowds, excitement! MetroRapid buses? Nyah聟
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18 March 2014


[Austin] Contradicting local official claims, FTA says it "would consider request" for urban rail on North Lamar
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1 February 2014


[Austin] Baker: What's behind the switch from urban rail to "BRT"?
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24 January 2014


[Austin] City-funded 2008 Downtown Austin Plan explained why urban rail better choice than bus
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23 January 2014


[Austin] Kyle Keahey, Urban Rail Lead, hypes "BRT" as "more affordable聟more flexible investment" than rail
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20 January 2014


[Austin] University Area Partners' endorsement of Guadalupe-Lamar corridor underscores West Campus support for "backbone" urban rail
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13 January 2014


[Minneapolis] Here's what a REAL urban rail public involvement planning meeting looks like
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10 January 2014


[Austin] Dobbs: "Why are we squandering our best asset?"
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22 December 2013


[Austin] Will Project Connect continue to gag the public?
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20 December 2013


[Austin] Bus paveways on Guadalupe-Lamar - Project Connect's "elephant in the room"
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17 December 2013


[Austin] What's with Project Connect's "2.9 million daily ridership" projection?
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16 December 2013


[Austin] City Council to Central Austin: Drop Dead
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16 December 2013


[Austin] Project Connect Needs an Overhaul
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7 December 2013


[Austin] Memo to CCAG: "Pause" study or include "Lamar" sector
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5 December 2013


[Austin] Questions for Project Connect
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3 December 2013


[Austin] From community participation then 聟 to community exclusion today
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1 December 2013


[Austin] TILT! Project Connect's gerrymandering and data fiddling ignite public skepticism, pushback
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30 November 2013


[Austin] City's 2010 urban rail study actually examined corridors! But botched the analysis聟
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26 November 2013


[Austin] Project Connect Reality Check: "Lamar" vs. "Highland" sector ridership comparison FAILS
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24 November 2013


[Austin] Crestview Neighborhood Association endorses Guadalupe-Lamar for urban rail
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20 November 2013


[Austin] "Highland" sector favored by Project Connect - but where's the travel demand?
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19 November 2013


[Austin] Surprise! Mayor and Project Connect select same routes they wanted in the first place
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17 November 2013


[Austin] Highland Neighborhood Association endorses Guadalupe-Lamar for urban rail
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15 November 2013


[Austin] Project Connect's "corridor" study - without corridors!
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11 November 2013


[Austin] Guadalupe-Lamar is highest-density corridor in Austin - according to Project Connect's own data!
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9 November 2013


Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods Planning Team endorses Guadalupe-Lamar for urban rail
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3 November 2013


[Austin] Huge problems cited with Project Connect's urban rail study data
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3 November 2013


Houston's MetroRail shows the way - How to fit urban rail into Austin's Guadalupe and Lamar
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30 October 2013


[Austin] Project Connect admits major data error in Guadalupe-Lamar corridor study
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27 October 2013


[Austin] Guadalupe-Lamar urban rail line would serve 31% of all Austin jobs
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24 October 2013


[Austin] Why the MetroRapid bus project currently is NOT an obstacle to urban rail in Guadalupe-Lamar
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19 October 2013


[Austin] Petition - "I want to ride LIGHT RAIL on Guadalupe/North Lamar!"
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18 October 2013


[Austin] Here's what a real public meeting on rail transit looks like 聟 in San Antonio
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18 October 2013


[Austin] No urban rail on Guadalupe-Lamar? Then get ready for bus lanes聟
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18 October 2013


Amsterdam's Leidsestraat shows how interlaced (gauntlet) track can help squeeze light rail into a narrow alignment
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13 October 2013


[Austin] UT Student Government backs West Campus, Guadalupe-Lamar route for first phase of urban rail
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12 October 2013


Strasbourg's tram-pedestrian mall: How "transit priority" and "pedestrian-friendly" are blended in Europe
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11 October 2013


[Austin] How urban rail can be installed in the Guadalupe-Lamar corridor
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10 October 2013


Portland - Light rail in East Burnside Street
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9 October 2013


[Austin] Meetings, "open houses", workshops 聟 and democratic process
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1 October 2013


[Austin] Back to "art galleries"! Project Connect reneges on community meetings
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25 September 2013


[Austin] Why MetroRapid bus service is NOT "bus rapid transit"
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22 September 2013


[Austin] MetroRapid bus service should be a precursor to urban rail, not an obstacle!
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18 September 2013


[Austin] If you support urban rail for Guadalupe-Lamar, attend these community meetings!
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17 September 2013


[Austin] Another alternative urban rail plan for Guadalupe-Lamar corridor
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9 September 2013


Advantages of Light Rail in Street Alignments
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22 April 2013


[Austin] Demographic maps show Lamar-Guadalupe trumps Mueller route for Urban Rail
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30 March 2013


[Austin] Limitations of RapidBus (and "BRT")
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30 March 2013


[Austin] Why abandon Austin's major corridor and congestion problem?
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30 March 2013


[Austin] Give priority to "Missing Link"
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29 March 2013


[Austin] City of Austin's Urban Rail (and "BRT") plan
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29 March 2013


[Austin] An alternative Urban Rail plan
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29 March 2013




NEWSLOG
Los Angeles:Crenshaw light rail project gets federal OK
Also ...
#149; Mitt Romney vows to eliminate Amtrak funding ...
#149; Portland: Cost for Lake Oswego streetcar project drops in revised estimate ...
#149; Norfolk, Virginia: 80% of public support extension of The Tide light rail system ...
#149; Detroit: Light rail project funding gets boost with new federal legislation ...
Go to Current NewsLog...
Go to Previous NewsLog...
NewsLog Archives...
USA:Toward a 21st-Century "New Deal" for Public Transport
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As the USA faces massive economic crisis, leading mainstream economists as well as many public transport advocates are strongly recommending various alternatives for economic stimulus and stabilization.
Calls have become more urgent for a major public works initiative ndash; in effect, a 21st-century version of the 1930s-era "New Deal" ndash; with particular emphasis on addressing America's dire infrastructure crisis involving bridges, urban utilities, railways, public transit, transportation electrification, and other aspects of critical infrastructure.
Proponents of such a program argue it can bring jobs and economic uplift ndash; as well as providing crucial alternatives to petroleum dependency ndash; but it must include public transportation investment at its core.
This webpage provides a listing of recent articles on the Light Rail Now! website that address some of the most critical issues involved. ...
More...
Light Rail Now creates two new blogs
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As an adjunct to the Lightrailnow.org website, the LRN Project team has created two blogs to provide more timely updates on important developments to readers: .
The Light Rail Now blog features international news, information, analysis, and other material...
The Austin Rail Now blog represents the views of Austin-area public transportation advocates and professionals who envision better mobility choices for urban rail and rail passenger service in Central Texas.
More...
Austin, Texas: City's Urban Rail Plan Needs Major Overhaul
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The City of Austin is proposing a 16.5-mile Urban Rail plan, based on light rail transit.
But a group of pro-rail critics argue that the plan fails to serve the central city's heaviest traffic corridor, instead focusing much of its service (and expense) on a development area with no perceptible congestion.
And there are other problems with the plan.....
More...
Cincinnati Does It Again! Rail Transit Wins a Second Time, Clearing Way for Light Rail Streetcar Project
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Once again, rail transit has prevailed in Cincinnati.
In a second public referendum on whether the city should permit any kind of rail public transport at all, forced by opponents on 8 November 2011, voters approved rail by 52%, thus clearing the way for the current light rail streetcar project to continue....
More...
With "Overwhelming" Ridership, Norfolk, Virginia Opens The Tide #151; America's Latest Interurban-Type Light Rail Line
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On 19 August 2011 this urban area near Virginia's Atlantic coast finally opened its first light rail transit starter line,
branded as The Tide, that runs eastward from the city's Medical Center area, through the CBD,
and on to its eastern terminus at Newtown Road.
It's America's latest interurban-type light rail system, and from all available reports, public response to the launch of The Tide has been overwhelmingly positive...
More...
Denton, Texas Rolls Out Its A-train Regional Passenger Rail Service
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On 20 June 2011, the small city of Denton north of Dallas became the fifth Texas city to sponsor its own local-area rail transit service,
when the A-train regional passenger rail ("commuter rail") line of Denton County Transportation Authority officially opened to the public for revenue operation...
More...
Beijing:China's Massive Rail Transport Boom Continues As City Adds Five New Rail Transit Lines
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Continuing China's amazing expansion of all forms of rail public transport, on a single day this past December,
Beijing opened five new suburban subway and light rail lines in an effort to address the city's chronic traffic congestion problem
through the development of its rapid mass transit network.....
More...
Los Angeles Undertakes "Biggest Expansion of its Mass Transit System in Decades"
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LA's vigorous rail transit installation program has been accelerated with a broad array of major new projects,
including totally new lines, extensions of existing lines,
and facilities and rolling stock upgrades to both rapid rail and LRT systems and to the Metrolink regional passenger rail ("commuter") system ...
plus extensions and upgrades to the transit system's bus service infrastructure....
More...
St. Louis:Victory in the Battle for Public Transportation #151;"Confessions of a Front Line Warrior for Transit"
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St. Louis-area public transport advocate Bill Heger explains how mass transit supporters recently succeeded in persuading St. Louis County voters to pass a major new tax to support public transportation....
More...
Projects on 5 Continents Highlight Continuing World Rail Transit Boom
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Urban rail transit continues its vigorous expansion and upgrade in cities around the globe,
as this round-up of an array of recent rail transit developments in North America, Australia, Africa, Europe, and Asia attests...
More...
Austin's Capital MetroRail Returns Rail Transit to Central Texas
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On 22 March 2010 Capital Metro's new MetroRail system was officially launched,
representing a triumph of several decades of struggle by local rail transit advocates.
However, as a "bare bones" system intended as a "demonstration" line, it faces serious challenges.....
More...
Minneapolis Area:Northstar Regional Rail Links Northwest Communities With Central City
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On 16 November 2009, high-quality rail transit service, free of traffic congestion, at last arrived to connect Minneapolis with exurban communities to its northwest,
as the Northstar regional passenger rail line began revenue service....
More...
Honolulu's Elevated Rail Rapid Transit Project Moves Forward
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Honolulu is moving ahead with design work for a 20-mile (32-km) elevated rail rapid transit (metro) line.
However, the project has been delayed because of controversy over whether the project team has properly considered a partially surface-level (at-grade) light rail-type alternative, and instead has proceeded to embrace a proprietary elevated technology, such as the Skytrain marketed by Bombardier....
More...
East Los Angeles Goes for the Gold...With Opening of "La Linea de Oro"
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Los Angeles's light rail transit Gold Line Eastside Extension ndash; La L铆nea de Oro ndash; began revenue service on 15 November 2009, with more than 50,000 people riding the trains for free on opening day...
More...
Portland and Dallas Go Green!New "Green Lines" Extend the Reach of Light Rail in Both Cities
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Illustrating the whopping success of new light rail transit (LRT) systems, two of America's most celebrated modern-era
LRT systems ndash; Portland's MAX and Dallas's DART ndash; have recently opened ambitious new extensions...
More...
Tucson's Light Rail Streetcar Project Making Progress
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Tucson's project to install a modern light rail streetcar system and extend and upgrade the city's existing heritage streetcar operation (Old Pueblo Trolley) continues to make significant progress.
On August 20th, a major new section along Fourth Avenue, with an underpass beneath the city's main railroad artery, was opened, implementing the essential link between the University of Arizona
and the northeast central city and tthe city's downtown and other areas served by the planned streetcar.....
More...
Seattle's New Link Light Rail System Brings Rapid Transit to Puget Sound Region
FONT
On July 18th the initial segment of Seattle's 13.9-mile (22-km) Central Link Light Rail line opened,
bringing a semi-metro-type of rapid transit service to the Puget Sound region....
More...
Seattle's Arduous Political Trek to Its New Link Light Rail Transit System
FONT
The Seattle area's exhaustive trek toward installing an urban rapid transit-type system ndash;
culminating in the completion and opening of the new Link light rail transit system in the summer of
2009 ndash; has been lengthy and fraught with difficulties.....
More...
Cincinnati:Rail Transit Wins at Last!
FONT
On 3 November 2009, Cincinnati voters affirmed the city's need for rail transit by defeating a referendum that would have stymied further rail passenger service development.
The first phase of the project, about 6 track-miles, is now under way, and it represents the revival of at least a small segment of the extensive electric rail system the city had in the past.
Envisioned as the core of an eventual citywide light rail streetcar system, the streetcar starter line would function as the urban component of an ultimately much larger rail transit network...
More...
Busting "BRT" Mythology
Bogot谩's TransMilenio "BRT":Mythology About Traffic Impacts, Carbon Credits, and Costs
Bogot谩, Colombia' s TransMilenio "bus rapid transit" system is increasingly being promoted as a preferred model for
higher-performance transit in other cities ndash; particularly in the developing Third World ndash; and its status has been elevated with its approval by the United Nations to sell "carbon credits".
But "BRT" promoters are omitting critical details, and TransMilenio's "carbon credits" award actually raises troubling questions about the UN's Clean Development Mechanism program. ...
More...
Tipping the Playing Field:How America's Federal Funding Policy Heavily Favors Roads Over Transit
FONT
Not only does the federal government gives substantially more financial support to roads than to
transit, but, in addition to much lower authorizations for transit, the federal match (percentage of
project cost covered) for transit grants has in practice been considerably less than for highway grants....
More...
Charlotte's New Lynx Light Rail:Ridership, Development, and Energy Benefits = Huge Success
FONT
Charlotte's new Lynx light rail transit Blue Line has chalked up success after success, with ridership soaring
toward a 2025 projection, transit-oriented development thriving, and electric propulsion helping save
the cost of diesel fuel for what would otherwise be bus operations.
Even a leader of the 2007 anti-transit campaign admits "they are doing better than I expected." ...
More...
Nearly 3/4 of Surface Transport Terror Attacks Involve Personal Motor Vehicles ndash; So US Security Officials Focus on ... Trains?
FONT
Several high-profile incidents have sparked a frenzy of official "security" measures targeting rail transit.
But does the factual evidence actually suggest that rail passenger operations and facilities are higher-risk targets, or preferentially utilized in terrorist attacks?
As this analysis indicates, the proportion of rail-related incidents is extremely small.
Thus, with rail services and facilities implicated in only a tiny percentage of total terrorism incidents,
why are rail passenger services being singled out for special security crackdowns ndash; especially
when nearly 3/4 of all incidents involve private motor vehicles, which nowhere are being subjected to such measures? ...
More...
Point ... Counterpoint
Minneapolis:
Light rail's spectacular ridership growth rebuffs critics
This Weblog-style feature provides an ongoing forum for relating current and familiar claims and allegations ndash; and Urban Legends ndash; promulgated by rail transit opponents, and then fact-checking and responding to them from a pro-transit advocacy perspective.
Other issues: ... Portland: New Yellow Line LRT on interstate Ave. covers capital investment from operating cost savings and benefits ... London: Lower public transit costs, better services ndash; all from out-sourcing operations? ... Boston: "Big Dig" highway project a "waste" with less than 2% of urban trips? ... Dallas: Light rail carries as many as 16% of residents in corridor ndash; on a Sunday! ...
More...
Debunking Randal O'Toole's Attack on Portland:
CNU Study Rebuts Anti-Rail/Anti-Planning Hokum
The latest effort by national anti-transit, anti-planning, pro-sprawl activist Randal O'Toole to trash Portland's reputation as a model of effective planning
and superb urban transit is adroitly and powerfully rebutted by a critical rejoinder sponsored by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). ...
More...
Busting "BRT" Mythology
USA's Rail Transit Development Under Attack as "BRT" Promoters Rev Up Misinformation CampaignB
FONT
Growing interest in electric rail transit seems to have got Road Warriors in the motor vehicle and highway construction industies seriously bent out of shape and really running scared, leading them to mount a ferocious and massive public
relations blitz, apparently designed to convince us all that - despite our intuition, and despite the barrage of evidence to the contrary - petroleum-fueled motor vehicles, including private cars, SUVs, and buses, are supposedly superior to electric rail transit.
This article responds to a number of recent propaganda attacks on rail transit. ...
More...
Busting "BRT" Mythology
Top "Bus Rapid Transit" Lobbyist Lobs Barrage of Baloney Against RailB
FONT
"Bus Rapid Transit" promoters, led by Bill Vincent of the so-called "Breakthrough
Technologies institute", claim that "BRT" is better than rail for addressing a number of urban ills.
However, their latest media campaign consists of a string of whoppers.
While some of those who promote BRT mean well, most of them seem to believe transit is strictly for the poor and seem to be out to kill good rapid transit. ...
More...
MythBusters Weblog
"Free" buses vs. "expensive" rail?B
FONT
Contrary to a widely held notion among the public that rail transit systems, such as light rail transit, are weighted down with substantial heavy capital expense,
while buses are more or less "free", bus systems incur sizable capital expenses, too, as well as rail, with typically much higher operational costs ndash; and
often, when you add up all these costs, account for the relative life of the components, plus the work performed, you may find that rail actually gives
amazing "bang for the buck" ... as this case study of bus vs. rail in St. Louis suggests...
More...
More features ...
Light Rail Now Project Underwriters
Want to help inform the public about the benefits of light rail, rail transit, better mass transit, and more diverse
mobility options? Become an underwriter!
The Light Rail Now Project is sponsored by Texas Association for Public Transportation, a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization.
Contributions may be tax-deductible. TAPT believes that presenting facts, reliable information, and well-supported
arguments is important to counteract the avalanche of misinformation and misconception about light rail transit and mass
transportation in general, and to enable planners, decisionmakers, and the public to make truly informed decisions.
The Light Rail Now Project team strongly appreciates the following underwriters whose generous contributions help fund the
ongoing maintenance and expansion of this website:
middot; Action Committee for Transit
middot; Brookville Equipment Corp.
middot; Fred Cain
middot; Citizens for Efficient Mass Transit
middot; Citizens for Modern Transit
middot; Friends 4 Expo Transit
middot; John Gear - Salem, Oregon
middot; Jane Holtz Kay (Asphalt Nation)
middot; LTK Engineering Services
middot; New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers
middot; People for Modern Transit
middot; ROUTE - Rethinking Our Urban Transportation Environment
middot; Rochester Rail Transit Committee
middot; John Schneider - Cincinnati, Ohio
middot; John Schumann - Portland, Oregon
middot; Sierra Club, Austin Regional Group
middot; TranSystems
middot; Texas Association for Public Transportation
middot; The Transit Coalition
middot; Transit for Livable Communities
middot; Mark Yznaga
For more information about our generous underwriters, please click here...
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