Rail transit in America: a comprehensive evaluation of benefits

This study evaluates rail transit benefits based on a comprehensive analysis of transportation system performance in major U.S. cities. It finds that cities with large, well established rail systems have significantly higher per capita transit ridership, lower average per capita vehicle ownership and annual mileage, less traffic congestion, lower traffic death rates, lower consumer expenditures on transportation, and higher transit service cost recovery than otherwise comparable cities with less or no rail transit service. This indicates that rail transit systems provide economic, social and environmental
benefits, and these benefits tend to increase as a system expands and matures. This report discusses best practices for evaluating transit benefits. It examines criticisms of
rail transit investments, finding that many are based on inaccurate analysis.