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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation Methods for Rail Transit Projects

  • Author(s): Johnston, Robert A.
  • DeLuchi, Mark A.
  • et al.

The demand for rail transit funds greatly exceeds available monies. Worse, there is wide-spread disagreement over the wisdom of building rail systems in American cities. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration’s (UMTA’s) transit analysis methods have relied on cost-effectiveness measures with little attention devoted to the analysis of economic efficiency. We survey the literature on transportation evaluation and propose a model method based on economic theory and on practice in other federal agencies. We review UMTA’s past methods and recommend changes.

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