Massively Misguided Transit. (Adventures in Light Rail)

By Doherty, Brian | Reason, May 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Massively Misguided Transit. (Adventures in Light Rail)


Doherty, Brian, Reason


ALTHOUGH THEY invariably cost far more per passenger mile than buses or automobiles, light-rail trains continue to capture the hearts of urban planners nationwide. Light-rail systems, as opposed to heavy-rail systems like New York's famous subway, use trains that travel on the surface, crossing other traffic rights-of-way. According to the Web site lightrail.com, such systems operate in 18 American cities, with four more under construction and more than 35 brand new systems approved or under active consideration.

One of the cities to get on board recently is Madison, Wisconsin, where the city council in January decided to spend $2.5 million to plan a light-rail line. An intergovernmental organization called Transport 2020 had propagandized the public with a 40-page report on the wonders light rail could bring to the Madison area. That report was based on a longer study done by Parsons Brinkerhoff, a company that designs and builds light-rail lines.

According to transportation policy analyst Randal O'Toole, Parsons Brinkerhoff, despite its direct pecuniary interest in the matter, was more intellectually honest than the governmental Transport 2020 crew. Parsons Brinkerhoff indicated that with two new commuter rail lines, Madison could raise the number of daily trips taken on mass transit, to 56,650 a day, from 37,250 trips without any new effort.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Massively Misguided Transit. (Adventures in Light Rail)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?