Study: Car Use Continues to Rise in Corridors That Added Light Rail

Over at the urbanist, city-oriented Atlantic Cities website, dismay prevails over the  upcoming publishing of a study that suggests that light rail does not live up to the hype of its proponents.

According to the article, the authors of the study found that “car ownership and car commute share often continue to rise in [corridors that added light rail], and that ridership growth is often the result of travelers shifting over from buses — not cars.”

For streetcar backers, the real zing is in the conclusion of the story:

[A] sound piece of advice: cities considering a light rail system should strongly consider whether improving the local bus system would be cheaper and just as effective.

Update 2/28: Washington Post’s Brad Plummer has another take on the study over at Wonkblog, focusing on congestion pricing:

Congestion pricing that’s combined with expanded transit options like light rail seems to have worked well in cities like Stockholm. But light rail on its own appears to be insufficient.


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