Light Rail Transit


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 17 April 2015

This chapter describes “Light Rail Transit” (LRT) systems.




Light Rail Transit (LRT, also called trams or trolleys) systems provide convenient local Public Transit service on busy urban corridors, connecting major destinations such as central business districts, medical centers, campuses and entertainment centers. LRT vehicles tend to have relatively smooth and comfortable operation, easy boarding, attractive Stations, Transit Oriented Development, and easy-to-understand routes and schedules. Many rail systems have quick loading and Transit Priority features (grade separation and traffic signal preemption) to maximize travel speeds and minimize congestion delay. They are often supported with convenient user information (many city maps show rail transit routes and stations) and other Transit Encouragement strategies to increase ridership.


There is some confusion about the definitions of different types of urban rail services. It is not vehicle that defines the transit mode, but the quality of rights-of-way (ROW). The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Light Rail Committee offers these definitions:






Light Rail Transit both requires and supports Smart Growth land use policies. LRT systems are often implemented in conjunction with Transit Oriented Development (common destinations are located within convenient walking distance of transit stations). Rail Transit stations provide a catalyst for creating compact, mixed, walkable urban centers (often called Transit Villages or Transit Centers). Where this occurs, Light Rail increases Accessibility (land use patterns that minimize distances between common destinations and maximize transport system Diversity) rather than just mobility (the physical movement of people). As a result, well-planned Light Rail Transit systems can provide additional benefits associated with more accessible Land Use.


Rail transit is considered prestigious, and so tends to be relatively effective at attracting discretionary travelers (people who have the option of driving for a given trip), and political support (many communities have passed referenda for special funding for rail transit systems).



How it is Implemented

Light Rail Transit Improvements and Encouragement Programs are usually implemented by transit agencies, often with support from other government agencies and businesses. Major rail transit investments often require special funding arrangements which sometimes require voter approval. Rail transit should be implemented with policies that support Transit Oriented Development.



Travel Impacts

Like any transit service, the travel impacts of Light Rail services depend on various factors including the quality of service, fares and user incentives (such as Commuter Financial Incentives), Marketing, and the degree to which land use policies support transit (Transit Evaluation). Various Transit Encouragement strategies can increase ridership.


Rail tends to be more attract than conventional bus transit to discretionary travelers (people who have the option of driving), including commuters, visitors, and people traveling to major sport and cultural events if they are located along transit lines. In addition, where LRT provides a catalyst for more accessible land use, it tends to increase overall transit transport (rail and bus), increase overall walking transport, and reduce per capita vehicle ownership and use (Litman, 2004; Lane, 2008; Kenworthy, 2008).


New North American rail systems have attracted higher ridership than would be expected based on standard modeling of service frequency, travel speed and fare (Henry and Litman, 2006; Lane, 2008). It is now common practice to apply up to a 12-minute in-vehicle travel time “bias constant” for rail rapid transit (that is, the travel times for mode-split modeling purposes would be 12 minutes shorter for rail in comparison to conventional local bus service) due to factors such as more attractive vehicles, nicer stations and improved Walkability around stations (Kittleson & Associates, 2007). This depends on specific factors, such as the quality of service provided, and the degree to which land use policies support Transit Oriented Development (Litman, 2007a).


There is some debate concerning the relative attractiveness of rail compared with Bus Rapid Transit (bus systems that provide high service quality). Some research indicates greater demand for rail than bus transit (NJARP, 2006; Henry and Litman, 2006), but some experts argue that given comparable speeds, comfort features and promotion, bus service can be equally attractive (for discussion see Litman, 2006a).


Table 2            Travel Impact Summary

Travel Impact



Reduces total traffic.


Can reduce automobile use.

Reduces peak period traffic.


Tends to be attractive for commute trips.

Shifts peak to off-peak periods.


Off-peak fare discounts induce some shifts.

Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.



Improves access, reduces the need for travel.


Can encourage higher-density, clustered land use.

Increased ridesharing.



Increased public transit.



Increased cycling.


Can support cycling.

Increased walking.


Supports pedestrian travel.

Increased Telework.



Reduced freight traffic.



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

Rail Transit tends to provide high service quality. This directly benefits users, and by attracting discretionary travelers who would otherwise drive, tends to provide indirect benefits such as reduced traffic congestion, road and parking facility costs, traffic crashes, energy consumption, and pollution emissions. Although Light Rail Transit generally serves a relatively small portion of total regional travel, it tends to be concentrated in dense urban areas where vehicle traffic costs are high. As a result, total benefits per trip tend to be large. Air pollution emissions are significantly lower per passenger-mile than automobile travel, conventional transit bus and Bus Rapid Transit (Puchalsky 2005).


Where Rail Transit is a catalyst for Transit Oriented Development and Smart Growth land use development it provides a variety of indirect benefits, including Increased Property Values near transit stations, improved community Livability, consumer cost savings and Affordability (by reducing per capita vehicle ownership and operating costs), and increased regional Economic Development (Hass-Klau, Crampton and Benjari, 2004). Although these benefits are difficult to quantify, they can be substantial (Land Use Impacts), often offsetting a major portion of public costs (Smith and Gihring 2003).


According to analysis described in Litman (2004) residents of cities with high-quality Rail Transit systems pay approximately $100 annually per capita in additional transit subsidies, and save approximately $500 annually per capita in direct consumer transportation (automobile and transit) expenditures, indicating a high return on investment. Krizek, et al. (2009), found that the number of destinations that could be accessed within 20 minutes of travel time by public transit increased significantly after the Hiawatha LRT line was built in the Twin Cities


Rail Transit systems tend to be expensive to develop and operate. According to American Public Transportation Association data (APTA, various years), Light Rail Transit has higher operating costs per passenger-mile than other forms of transit. However, this reflects the fact that LRT systems are located in dense urban areas where any transportation service is costly to provide, and because many LRT systems are relatively new and still building ridership. When all costs (including roadway, parking, vehicle, and external) are considered, Rail Transit is often more cost effective per passenger-trip than accommodating additional automobile travel or attracting more bus transit users on congested urban corridors. Claims that rail transit projects cost more than alternatives often consider only a portion of total costs (Litman 2006a; Transit Evaluation). 


Bruun (2005) compares LRT and BRT annual operating costs using U.S. data. For a typical agency, both have lower operating costs on a per space-kilometer basis during base periods than regular buses. Both the lower LRT and BRT cost estimate are comparable for adding service during peak periods. Using the higher cost estimate, peak BRT costs 24% more than LRT. For trunk line capacities below about 1,600 spaces per hour the headway versus cost tradeoff favors BRT. Above 2,000 spaces per hour, BRT headways become so short that Traffic Signal Priority may not be effective and Revenue Speed may decrease. The marginal cost of adding off-peak BRT service is substantially less than the average cost of regular buses, LRT less yet. Peak Fleet Size seems to be an important driver of costs. Residents sometimes oppose new LRT lines in their neighborhood due to concerns about traffic impacts, noise, privacy loss and more strangers in their neighborhood (Benfield 2011).


Table 4            Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Reduces automobile use on congested corridors.

Road & Parking Savings


Reduces road traffic and parking demand.

Consumer Savings


Provides affordable mobility and reduces per capita vehicle ownership and operating costs.

Transport Choice


Increases transport choice for non-drivers.

Road Safety


Tends to be safer than driving overall.

Environmental Protection


Tends to reduce air pollution.

Efficient Land Use


Tends to discourage sprawl.

Community Livability


Contributes to neighborhood livability.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Equity Impacts

The Equity Analysis Rail Transit is complex because it depends on the type of service provided and the perspective used. LRT services tends to be costly to provide because it is designed to provide a high quality service to attract discretionary riders on congested corridors and so requires high public subsidies per unit of capacity. It tends to benefit higher-income commuters compared with conventional bus transit. As a result, critics sometimes argue that Rail Transit is regressive. However, many light rail systems are heavily used by lower-income residents, and rail transit funding often substitutes for highway rather than bus expenditures. As a result, Light Rail investments are often less regressive than highway improvements on the same corridor, when all Costs are considered (including roadway capacity, parking facilities, external costs imposed on other road users and urban neighborhoods). To the degree that Rail Transit provides a catalyst for more accessible land use, more diverse transport systems, and less stigma associated with transit use, it benefits transportation disadvantaged people, increases Affordability, and provides Basic Mobility.


Table 5            Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Provides benefits that are valued by most groups.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


Requires subsidies, but often less than for driving.

Progressive with respect to income.


Provides affordable mobility for lower-income people.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Provides mobility for non-drivers.

Improves basic mobility.


Provides basic mobility.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




Light Rail Transit is particularly appropriate in medium and large urban areas that want to create more Diverse transport systems and Smart Growth development patterns. Light Rail systems are usually implemented by local and regional governments with federal, state or provincial support. Individual businesses and developers can support LRT politically, by locating near rail stations, and by offering Incentives for employees to use transit.


Table 6            Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.






Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




Improved Transport Choice



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Light Rail Transit supports and are supported by most other TDM strategies, particularly Commute Trip Reduction programs, Transit Oriented Development, Smart Growth, Nonmotorized Transportation Planning, Station Improvements and New Urbanism. Rail Transit is most cost effective when implemented with Transit Encouragement strategies such as Commute Financial Incentives, Parking Pricing and Road Pricing. Rail Transit sometimes competes with other alternative modes, particularly Bus Rapid Transit and Ridesharing.




Light Rail Transit improvements depend on the support various government agencies. Rail Transit projects often require public support for additional funding, and the support of businesses or local residents to create Transit Oriented Development.



Barriers To Implementation

Major barriers to Light Rail Transit projects include limited funds for transit, unsupportive land use patterns (common destinations too dispersed to be served cost effectively by rail), and policies that favor automobile travel (such as generous parking requirements and subsidies).



Best Practices

Government agencies (such as the Federal Transit Administration) and professional organizations (such as the American Transit Association) provide a variety of resources concerning best practices in transit planning and operations.



Case Studies and Examples

For case studies and examples of many different types of successful transit improvements see the Center for Transportation Excellence (; Ridlington and Gigi Kellet, 2003; “Light Rail Transit Success Stories” (, and TRB (2001).



Portland, Oregon (

Portland, Oregon has implemented several successful transit projects including the MAX regional rail system, Portland Streetcar, Intercity Passenger Rail, TDM programs and the OHSU tramway. Portland’s transit agency, Tri-Met, has produced a Community Building Sourcebook ( which describes many of the projects, plans, programs and organizations that make the Portland region a national model for linking land use and transportation initiatives. They have implemented many support strategies, including, Walking and Cycling Improvements, Transit Encouragement programs, and Transit Oriented Development. The cumulative effects of these improvements has been significant. Figure 1 illustrates how per capita transit ridership increased between 1970 and 2002.


Figure 1          Annual Transit Trips Per Capita in Portland, Oregon Region

Per capita transit ridership approximately tripled in Portland, Oregon due to various transit improvements.



According to the 2004 TriMet Attitude and Awareness Survey, more than three-quarters (77%) Portland’s LRT riders reported they either had a car available (67%) or chose not to have a car because they preferred to take the train (10%), (



Denver’s New Light Rail Succeeds at Attracting Riders

About 32 percent more riders are boarding Denver, Colorado’s new southwest light-rail line than the transit agency projected would use the new line during its first year. “The trains are so packed by the time they reach the northern stations you have to wait 20 minutes or more to catch the next train,” says one rider. Light rail’s popularity since the line opened July 14, 2000 has forced into service every car the transit agency has, including the four cars reserved for emergencies, maintenance rotations, and breakdowns. “They’re standing on top of each other,” says a 35-year-old rider. “They’re standing in the doorways. They’ll do anything to squeeze onto the train.”



Comparing Transit Service Performance: Sacramento and Columbus

A study by Schumann (2005) compares transit system performance in two similar size cities. The Sacramento Regional Transit District ( began building a Light Rail Transit system in 1985, while the Central Ohio Transit Authority ( Columbus failed in its efforts establish a similar system in Columbus, Ohio and so only offers bus transit. During the following 17 years, transit service and ridership increased significantly in Sacramento, but declined in Columbus, while operating costs per passenger-mile increased much more in Columbus than in Sacramento, as indicated in the table below.


Table 1            Columbus and Sacramento Transit Performance (Schumann, 2005)














County Population (000)









Unlinked trips (000)









Trips per capita









Passenger miles (000)









Passenger miles per capita









Transit vehicles









Revenue vehicle miles









Operating expenses ($000)









Constant operating expenses (2002 $000)












Constant operating expenses per passenger-mile 2002$









CO = Columbus; SA = Sacramento; SA/CO = Sacramento/Columbus; 1985 to 2002 consumer price index change = 1.672.



In addition, voters appear more willing to support dedicated funding for transit systems that include rail transit service. In 1988, a year after the first rail line began operations, Sacramento country voters approved a referendum which provided sales tax funding to operate and expand the transit system. The article’s author argues that Sacramento’s first rail “starter” line gained public support for continual transit service improvements.


Out of four Columbus area transit funding referenda between 1986 and 1995, only one passed. As a result of funding shortfalls the transit system has raised fares and reduced service, which helps explain the decline in transit ridership. The author argues that, had Columbus had a rail line in the 1980s there would probably have been more support for public transit funding, leading to a more attractive system and higher ridership now.



Calgary CTrain Light Rail (Hubbell and Colquhoun, 2006)

Calgary’s CTrain system was first established in the 1980s, when the city had a population of about half-million residents, and has grown with the city. After 25 years of development, LRT has become the backbone of the Calgary Transit system and ridership has increased dramatically over the past decade as a result of comprehensive, coordinated policies to manage urban form, downtown parking supply, and ensure balanced investment in roadway and transit infrastructure. Integration of the LRT system with other modes of travel has created an environment which supports further development of the transit market. Experience has demonstrated that LRT systems can be successfully integrated into the right-of-way of city streets and The City has adopted strategies which give priority to LRT vehicles in mixed traffic environments. The success of Calgary’s LRT system is best reflected by the fact that LRT expansion and increased capital investment in transit is consistently a top-of-mind request in all Citizen Satisfaction Surveys which The City has undertaken in the last decade. City Council has responded by committing significant funding to LRT development.



Light Rail Economic Benefits (Hass-Klau, Crampton and Benjari 2004)

The study, Economic Impact of Light Rail, investigated the effect of trams and light rail on travel patterns and economic activity in numerous European and North American cities. It found that property values generally increase around rail transit stations, as summarized in Table 3. It also found that rail systems tend to increase downtown shopping visits and retail activity (several commercial areas experienced 30-60% increases in visitors compared before and after light rail lines opened); reduces per household car ownership rates (households within 300 meters of a rail transit station typically own 5-15% fewer vehicle than regional averages); and results in more compact land use development patterns. Many businesses prefer to locate near rail stations to improve access for employees and customers; some employers say that employees who commute by rail are more productive since they avoid the stress and uncertainty of driving on congested roads. In the Strasbourg area, merchants previously opposed tram development, citing the disruption it would cause, so the line bypasses their downtown, which they now regret. This study concludes that urban rail can provide substantial economic benefits with appropriate policies and support. It emphasizes that rail transit alignments should be selected based on where the maximum amount of ridership and economic development will occur, rather than to minimize construction costs.


Table 3            Rail Station Proximity Impacts on Property Values (Hass-Klau, Cramption and Benjari, 2004)




Newcastle upon Tyne

House prices


Greater Manchester

Not stated



House prices


Portland Gresham

Residential rent



Residential rent



Office rent



Rent and houses



Residential rent



Residential rent



Office rent



Property values

Positive, no figure given


Apartment rents

None-initially negative due to noise


Not stated

Small increase


Commercial property

Higher values


Not stated

None-initially negative due to noise


Office rents

+50% in most cases

This table summarizes how property values are affected by proximity to rail stations in various cities.



Charlotte Does Light Rail Right (Newsom 2010)

Charlotte is car-loving NASCAR country, a vast suburbia of cul-de-sacs and strip malls. Yet its new light rail line is a national model for success, outstripping ridership projections and inspiring millions of dollars in high-density development. How did sensible transportation planning come to sprawlburbia? Not by appealing for "sustainability," that's for sure. In the end, the winning pitch that sold voters on light rail was none other than Charlotte's love of growth. The development it lured -- several thousand condos and apartments, dozens of new restaurants and stores, and roughly half a billion dollars in private investment -- showed skeptics that light rail is more than just transportation. The city created transit-oriented zoning districts and station area plans, allowing for increased density along the rail line.


Other players in this success story included a mayor who took leadership, a restored vintage streetcar, and plain old lucky timing: A decade-long real estate bubble fed the transit-related development, not bursting until after the Lynx light rail debuted in November 2007, followed quickly by 2008's record-breaking high gas prices.


It took 20 years for Charlotte's light rail line to become an overnight success. Back in the 1980s, many of top leaders of both political parties knew regional transit was needed. But any suggestions for taxes to fund it were DOA at the rural-dominated state legislature, whose permission was needed. Two barriers had to fall: Convincing a conservative electorate that transit wasn't a frill, and finding millions to build it.


Enter Charlotte Trolley, a volunteer group of rail buffs and enlightened developers who decided to restore an antique trolley car (found being used as a rental home outside Charlotte) and run it on an unused railbed near downtown. In 1996, after eight years of fundraisers, Charlotte Trolley launched a 1.8-mile ride, drawing throngs who loved the taste of old-fashioned streetcar travel. Keen-eyed developers built rail-oriented mixed-use projects, betting light rail service would follow.


The final tally to build the 9.6-mile light rail line was $473 million: $107 million from state money, $213 million from federal funds, and the rest in local money. (Original estimates were $227 million.) Also, Charlotte city government spent $60 million for pedestrian and intersection improvements near transit stations, including a 3-mile sidewalk and bike path beside the railbed.


Development in the Lynx station areas includes 45 projects totaling more than $247 million as of April 2010, including 100 affordable housing units out of a total of some 1,400 new units, and 700,000 square feet of office and retail space. And the people have turned out in droves. Before Lynx opened, the projection was 9,100 average weekday ridership its first year. But in the first month of operation alone, that estimate turned out to be 3,000 people too low. The graph below shows average weekday ridership for each month since train started running.



Grand Plans for Trams: UK Light Rail Transit Projects

“Sharp Increase In Popularity Of Light Rail Networks Gives Green Light For 10 New Projects Around The Country”

The Guardian, Saturday December 28, 2002


The government has approved funding for a string of supertram networks around Britain in the biggest expansion of light rail since the Victorians began laying lines along city streets more than a century ago. Buoyed by figures showing a near doubling of passengers using the emerging networks over the past six years alone, ministers have given the green light for 10 new tram projects, with investment estimated at £2bn.


Nottingham's tram system is to open next November, and work is scheduled to start on a network in Leeds by 2004. These will be followed by schemes in Liverpool and in Portsmouth and south Hampshire. Further ahead, Edinburgh city council is hoping to announce a light rail scheme later next year.


But the biggest expansion will come from doubling the size of Manchester's 10-year-old Metrolink network in a £820m project involving three new lines, including a new link to Manchester airport. At the same time, operators of the Tyne and Wear Metro, which set the pace for the light rail revival 22 years ago, are exploring a £1bn package for 10 possible new lines linked to existing metro stations.


The transport minister John Spellar said yesterday that new light rail systems were already helping the revival of cities and surrounding conurbations by taking cars off busy streets and providing fast access to overcrowded central areas. "We are extremely heartened because a number of those running are showing considerable increases in the number of passengers carried," he added.


Currently, England has six light rail systems: Croydon in south London; the Midland Metro between Birmingham and Wolverhampton; Greater Manchester; Sheffield; Tyne and Wear; and the Docklands Light Railway in east London. Last year alone, the number of passenger journeys on these systems increased by 6% to 127.3m - which represents a near doubling of usage in six years. In the mid-1990s, barely 60m journeys were recorded.


Mr. Spellar hailed a newly approved £225m Merseytram project around Liverpool, into which the government is pumping £170m, as one of the most exciting schemes because it will be linked to upgrading the local Merseyrail commuter rail system and creating "quality bus corridors".


As well as a 12-mile link east to Croxteth and Kirkby, the network will include a city centre loop. Like most other systems, it will be run as public-private partnership, with business contributing to construction costs and helping to manage the system.


Last week Greater Manchester passenger transport executive, the public agency which oversees the Metrolink system, shortlisted two private consortia as preferred bidders to build and run three new lines. These will be from the city centre to Rochdale and Oldham, Ashton-under- Lyne, and Manchester airport. The government says a £520m contribution to expanding Metrolink represents its largest single investment in a public transport system outside London.


Nottingham, one of the few cities to have reduced car journeys to its central area, is seen as having one of the most exciting projects - linking the city northwards to Hucknall, and old mining country, and to a junction on the M1, where car parks will be provided. "The interesting thing here is that the city is becoming very much a regional hub with the creation of a central business district," Mr. Spellar said. "You have got to have that critical mass to make these projects successful."


Further south, two business consortia have submitted bids to build and run a supertram system linking Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth in a South Hampshire Rapid Transit project. Keith Estlin, Hampshire county council's executive member for the environment, said the 10-mile scheme was important to help to reduce car use. "The area suffers from some of the worst congestion in the south of the county," he said.



References And Resources For More Information


APTA (annual reports), APTA Transit Fact Book, American Public Transit Association ( Provides information on public transit in the U.S., including data on ridership, operating costs, cost efficiency, and fares 


Kaid Benfield (2011), Residents Of Award-Winning, Transit-Oriented Development Say No To Transit, Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard (; at


Jeffrey Brown and Gregory L. Thompson (2009), The Influence of Service Planning Decisions on Rail Transit Success or Failure, Mineta Transportation Institute (; at


Jeffrey Brown, Hilary Nixon and Enrique Ramos (2015), The Purpose, Function, and Performance of Streetcar Transit in the Modern U.S. City: A Multiple-Case-Study Investigation, The Mineta Transportation Institute (; at


Eric Bruun (2005), Comparison of BRT and LRT Operating Costs Using a Parametric Cost Model, Transportation Research Board 84th Annual Meeting (


Center for Transportation Excellence ( provide research materials, strategies and other forms of support on the benefits of public transportation.


Robert Cervero, et al (2004), Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experience, Challenges, and Prospects, Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board (


CFTE (2005), Building Communities Through Public Transportation: A Guide for Successful Transit Initiatives, Center for Transportation Excellence, for the Public Transportation Partnership for Tomorrow (


Yonah Freemark (2014), Recent Trends in Bus and Rail Ridership, The Transport Politic (; at


Ron Golem and Janet Smith-Heimer (2010), Relationships Between Streetcars and the Built Environment A Synthesis of Transit Practice, TCRP 86, TRB (; at


Carmen Hass-Klau, Graham Crampton and Rabia Benjari (2004), Economic Impact of Light Rail: The Results Of 15 Urban Areas In France, Germany, UK and North America, Environmental & Transport Planning (


Carmen Hass-Klau, Graham Crampton, Carsten Biereth and Volker Deutsch (2003), Bus or Light Rail: Making The Right Choice, Environmental and Transportation Planning (


Lyndon Henry and Dave Dobbs (2013), Comparative Examination of New Start Light Rail Transit, Light Railway, and Bus Rapid Transit Services Opened from 2000, Sustaining the Metropolis LRT and Streetcars for Super Cities, 12th National Light Rail Conference, Transportation Circular E-C177, Transportation Research Board (; at Also see


Lyndon Henry and Todd Litman (2006), Evaluating New Start Transit Program Performance: Comparing Rail And Bus, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at .


John Hubbell and Dave Colquhoun (2006), Light Rail Transit in Calgary: The First 25 Years, Presented at the 2006 Joint International Light Rail Conference, St. Louis, Missouri; at


Jeff Kenworthy (2008), “An International Review of The Significance of Rail in Developing More Sustainable Urban Transport Systems in Higher Income Cities,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 14, No. 2 (; at


Kittleson & Associates (2007), Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner’s Guide, Report 118, Transit Cooperative Research Program, TRB (; at


Kevin J. Krizek, Michael Iacono, Ahmed El-Geneidy, Chen Fu Liao and Robert Johns (2009), Access to Destinations: Application of Accessibility Measures for Non-Auto Travel Modes, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota (; at


Bradley W. Lane (2008), “Significant Characteristics Of The Urban Rail Renaissance In The United States: A Discriminant Analysis,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 42, Issue 2 (, pp. 279-295.


Light Rail Central ( is a North American light rail information site, with current information on rail projects throughout the United States and Canada.


Light Rail Now ( provides information promoting light rail transit.


Todd Litman (2004), Rail Transit In America: Comprehensive Evaluation of Benefits, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at; summarized in “Impacts of Rail Transit on the Performance of a Transportation System,” Transportation Research Record 1930, Transportation Research Board (, 2005 pp. 23-29.


Todd Litman (2005a), Terrorism, Transit and Public Safety: Evaluating the Risks, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2005b), Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2006), Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2007a), Valuing Transit Service Quality Improvements: Considering Comfort and Convenience In Transport Project Evaluation, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2007b), Build for Comfort, Not Just Speed: Valuing Service Quality Impacts In Transport Planning, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2011), The First Casualty of a Non-Existent War: Evaluating Claims of Unjustified Restrictions on Automobile Use, and a Critique of 'Washingtons War On Cars And The Suburbs', Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2011), Smart Congestion Relief: Comprehensive Analysis Of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Benefits, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at; an earlier version published as “Evaluating Rail Transit Benefits: A Comment,” Transport Policy, Vol. 14, No. 1 (, January 2007, pp. 94-97.


LRN (2006), Rail Transit vs. "Bus Rapid Transit": Comparative Success and Potential in Attracting Ridership, Light Rail Now (


Light Rail ( offers expertise from Europe for a world-wide group of users.


Mary Newsom (2010), “Charlotte Does Light Rail Right,” Grist (; at


NJARP (2006), Bus Rapid Transit - Not for New Jersey, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (


Gloria Ohland and Shelley Poticha (2006), Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the Twentry-First Century, Reconnecting America ( ).


Christopher M. Puchalsky (2005), A Comparison Of Emissions From Light Rail Transit And Bus Rapid Transit, Transportation Research Board 84th Annual Meeting (


Steve Polzin and Oliver Page (2003), Ridership Trends of New Start Rail Projects, National Center for Transit Research, Center for Urban Transportation Research (


Boris S. Pushkarev (1982), Urban Rail In America: An Exploration of Criteria for Fixed-Guideway Transit, Regional Planning Association, Indiana University Press (


Reconnecting America (2004), Hidden In Plain Sight: Capturing The Demand For Housing Near Transit, Center for Transit-Oriented Development; Reconnecting America; Federal Transit Administration (; at  


John Luciano Renne (2007), Measuring The Performance Of Transit-Oriented Developments In Western Australia, Planning and Transport Research Centre of Western Australia and the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, Murdoch University; at


Elizabeth Ridlington and Gigi Kellet (2003), Rail Transit Works: Light Rail Success Stories from Across the Country, MaryPIRG Foundation ( 


John Schumann (2005), “Assessing Transit Changes in Columbus, Ohio, and Sacramento, California: Progress and Survival in Two State Capitals, 1995-2002,” Transportation Research Record 1930, Transit: Intermodal Transfer Facilities, Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Rail, and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems, Transportation Research Board (, pp. 62-67.


Jeffery J. Smith and Thomas A. Gihring (2003), Financing Transit Systems Through Value Capture: An Annotated Bibliography, Geonomy Society (; at


Steer Davies Gleave (2005), What Light Rail Can Do For Cities: A Review of the Evidence, UK Passenger Transport Executive Committee (; at


Gregory L. Thompson and Thomas G.  Matoff, “Keeping Up with the Joneses: Planning for Transit in Decentralizing Regions,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 69, No. 3 (, Summer 2003, pp. 296-312.


TRB (2001), Making Transit Work; Insights from Western Europe, Canada and the United States, Special Report 257, Transportation Research Board (; at


TRB (2010), Relationships Between Streetcars And The Built Environment, TCRP Synthesis 86, Transportation Research Board (; at


Tri-Met (2002), Community Building Sourcebook, Tri-Met, Portland Oregon Transit Agency (


Vukan Vuchic (2005), Urban Transit: Operations, Planning and Economics, John Wiley & Sons (


Lloyd Wright (2006), “Bus Rapid Transit” ( and “Mass Transit Options,” ( modules in the Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in Developing Cities, published by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project – Asia (, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (, and the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy. 

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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