Comments on: FTA Approves Light Rail Development for Chapel Hill/Durham The Latest in Retail, Entertainment, and Development in Raleigh Mon, 24 Aug 2015 02:32:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jonathan Hawkins Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:02:00 +0000 There’s a lot more technology involved in constructing rail (electrification, signaling, fareboxes, etc.) in addition to things like station construction which do not happen with roads obviously. Plus, with a rail system the rolling stock itself is a capital investment, whereas with a roadway the individual user supplies their own equipment to run on it. The flyovers will certainly beef up the cost, but highways often have those too as well as right-of-way acquisition. There’s also just a general problem in America for infrastructure construction of all kinds (roads, transit, anything) of costs that are often significantly more than equivalent projects in Europe and elsewhere abroad. This line will definitely come out above average on a cost per mile basis, but there have been a number of recent light rail projects that are far higher (including Seattle’s record $179 per mile, but that involved tunneling).

Austin is a really poor example to use. It’s not even technically light rail. Though the rolling stock resembles light rail, it is heavier, and the stop spacing (only 9 stops over 32 miles) and frequency and span (there are only 18 trips each way for the entire day) place it firmly in the commuter rail category.

Light rail has actually been one of the rare forms of transportation investments where a lot of recent systems have found forecasts to be heavily understated. Charlotte, Minneapolis, Houston, and Phoenix all found that they were exceeding forecasts for the year 2020 within their first year of operation.

By: dmccall Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:34:00 +0000 Costs so much period, compared to a road, or compared to other cities’ LRT projects? If you mean the latter, I’d bet that this project, which mostly follows existing roads, would have to have many flyovers and right-of-way acquisitions. Most LRT projects start by utilizing existing rail corridors, which is pretty simple stuff. If you mean the other two, well, that’s the way rail transit is, I suppose. I’m kind of surprised that technology hasn’t helped to brings costs down, but I guess roads and cars cost considerably more than they did in the ’80s, too. ]]> By: huslage Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:40:00 +0000 The real question is why this costs so much. ]]>