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Passenger-rail systems decrease cities' accidents and costs, study says


The Victoria Transport Policy Institute recently released results from a study that concluded passenger-rail systems can improve a region’s overall transportation performance.

The "Comprehensive Evaluation of Rail Transit Benefits" analyzed the impacts transit systems have on urban transportation patterns. The study found that cities with large rail transit systems typically have:

• 400 percent higher per capita transit ridership,
• 58 percent higher transit service cost recovery;
• 36 percent lower per-capita traffic fatalities;
• 33 percent lower transit operating costs per passenger-mile;
• 21 percent less per capita motor vehicle mileage;
• 19 percent smaller portion of households budgets devoted to transportation; and
• 14 percent lower per capita consumer transportation expenditures.

The cost of passenger-rail systems are repaid several times over by economic savings provided to governments, businesses and consumers from reduced road and parking facility costs, vehicle cost savings, reduced traffic accident costs, and congestion cost savings, according to the study.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/23/2004