Commuter Rail for the
Following Summary Reprinted from Policy Digest (National Center for Policy Analysis, 3 June 1999)
NEW COMMUTER RAILS ARE COSTLY AND INEFFECTIVE
For decades, commuter rail has performed an important function in transporting people in cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington-Baltimore and San Francisco.
o Each day, 750,000 commuters in New York alone use the system, with 325,000 in Chicago, reducing congestion significantly in both cities.
Furthermore, the cost of these systems is high in comparison with traditional public transportation or highway construction.
o The total operating costs of a two-way highway are only $0.19 per passenger mile.
o Nearly 99.5 percent of urban locations are beyond walking distance of rail lines.
The new commuter rail, therefore, has not been an effective alternative to highway construction.
Source: Wendell Cox, "America's Costly and Ineffective Experiment with New Commuter Rail, Part I: Lessons for the Austin/San Antonio Corridor," 1999 Texas Transit Opportunity Analysis, February 1999, Texas Public Policy Foundation, P.O. Box 40519, San Antonio, Texas 78229, (210) 614-0080.