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Examination, analysis, and debunking of myths, "Old Wives' Tales", and other propaganda spread by opponents of transit and rail systems.

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Minneapolis LRT
Light Rail Now!
Point ... Counterpoint

This Weblog-style feature provides an ongoing forum for relating current and familiar claims and allegations – and Urban Legends – promulgated by rail transit opponents, and then fact-checking and responding to them from a pro-transit advocacy perspective. ... More...

St. Louis LRT
Light Rail Now! MythBusters Weblog

This feature provides an ongoing "myth-busting" Weblog designed to expose, reality-check, and correct current and prevalent misconceptions, misunderstandings, deceptions, "Old Wives' Tales", fairytales, and various and sundry other myths relating to public transport and rail transit. ... More...

Portland LRT
Portland Light Rail Case Study Busts the "Pork Barrel" Myth

Rail critics, facing an undeniable increase in light rail projects being built in the US, contend this is merely the result of "federal pork" (i.e., extravagant luxuries of no real value). However, data for Portland's highly successful LRT system easily dispel this absurd myth, argues Bill Becwar in this analysis. ... More...

St. Louis LRT
Why St. Louis's MetroLink Light Railway is a Mobility Bargain

Responding to a diatribe by a Federal Reserve Bank official characterizing St. Louis's Metrolink light rail transit system as a "boondoggle", two authors expose the fallacies in the common "buy every rider a luxury car instead" argument. ... More...

Amtrak Three Rivers
it's Time for an Amtrak Fact Check

A Fact Check of the US Bush Administration's latest claims about Amtrak, and their proposal to eliminate funding in FY 2006, compiled by the National Association of Railroad Passengers. ... More...

Highway traffic
Myth vs. Reality on Highway "User Taxes" and Subsidies

it's widely claimed that highways are an example of the free market system in action ~ receiving no government subsidy, and funded only by "user fees" paid only by users. But our analysis disputes this notion that road users "pay their own way" in a "free market" process. ... More...

Metro Solutions logo under fire
Houston: Debunking an Attack on the Metro Solutions Plan

A recent diatribe in the Houston Chronicle, challenging the Metro Solutions mobility plan coming before voters on Nov. 4th, illustrates the disinformation perpetrated by many rail opponents in transit initiative campaigns, aimed against mass transit generally. These familiar arguments, which continually re-emerge in similar struggles in other cities, are addressed in an analysis. ... More...

Dallas LRT passengers
Debunking the "Costs Too Much, Does Too Little" Myth

A common claim of rail transit opponents is that urban transit travel is so minuscule as to be irrelevant and therefore a waste of public investment. Let's examine how well this myth holds up in the light of reality. ... More...

Myths vs. Realities: Light Rail & Property Values in Orange County

in Orange County, California, the anti-transit group FAIR has been attacking the CenterLine light rail project with a barrage of misinformation and deception, distorting conclusions of a study of rail transit impacts from the California State University at Fullerton. Our analysis exposes FAIR's myths with a strong dose of reality-checking. ... More...

Ottawa bus in busway
Myth vs. Reality: Has Ottawa "BRT" Provided Light Rail-Type Service at Much Lower Cost?

Myth: Ottawa's Transitway (busway) supposedly shows that Bus Rapid Transit can provide light rail transit levels of service at much lower cost. However, as E. L. Tennyson argues in this commentary, the Ottawa system has been beset with serious problems, and the magnitude of the cost "savings" is highly dubious. ... More...

Tokyo Haneda monorail
Japanese Transit Profitability – No Monopoly for Monorails

Extravagant assertions about the supposedly exceptional "profitability" of Japanese monorail systems, particularly compared to light rail transit (LRT) and other standard rail transit systems, are refuted by real-world facts, which indicate that a wide range of rail and guideway systems in Japan generate operating surpluses. ... More...

Pittsburgh West Busway
GAO's "BRT" Report: Errors, Anomalies, Misinformation

The US General Accounting Office's report "Mass Transit: Bus Rapid Transit Shows Promise" has sparked widespread criticism. The report is examined in an analysis by Edson L. Tennyson, P.E. More...

Monorail Capital Costs: Reality Check

Monorail advocates often make claims about the low installation costs of monorail systems, particularly compared to light rail transit. But what does real-world experience tell us about the actual costs of monorail systems, and how that compares with the costs of light rail? An analysis of capital costs, based on real-world evidence, clearly suggests that monorail systems tend to average about 5-6 times the cost of predominately surface-routed light rail. More...

Downtown Dallas
Dispelling the Dallas "Vacancy Rate Recession" Myth

The phenomenal success story of Dallas's light rail transit (LRT) system is a bitter pill for LRT opponents. So to try to demonstrate that DART's LRT system is an abject failure, they've clutched at the straw of Dallas's relatively high downtown office vacancy rate, with the "professional" anti-transit critic Wendell Cox even declaring downtown Dallas in a "virtual recession", thus supposedly "proving" the failure of LRT. But the truth is that LRT has apparently reversed downtown Dallas's vacancy trend, and the area is booming. More...

Ottawa BRT
Ottawa's BRT "Transitway": Modern Miracle or Mega-Mirage?

Has Ottawa's much-celebrated Bus Rapid Transit (Transitway) been a true success or mainly a mirage? While BRT proponents cite Ottawa's BRT as proof buses can "do the job of light rail, but more cheaply", the evidence indicates that the Transitway system has cost far more than projected, ridership has declined, and Ottawa transit planners are now turning to rail transit alternatives. More...

Cameo graph
Light Rail Schedule Speed – Faster Than Bus, Competitive With Car

One of the primary justifications for installing light rail transit (LRT) is to improve the speed of transit service – to provide a faster ride for transit passengers and a transit alternative more competitive with the private automobile. How well do new LRT systems meet this goal? Data for a number of new systems indicate that modern light rail operations have average speeds in the range of 20 mph or faster, faster than local street bus speeds of 12-13 mph, and competitive with the average speeds of automobiles. More...

Cameo bus/LRT logo
Does Light Rail "Rob" Bus Service, or Make it Prosper? You Decide!

A familiar canard circulated by many light rail opponents is that light rail "robs" bus service, which then "suffers", causing overall system ridership to "plummet". This isn't just false ... It's the exact opposite of the truth. in reality, for almost every single new light rail installation, total transit system ridership has soared. More...

Cameo graph
Light Rail's Stunning Track Record in Meeting – and Exceeding – Ridership Projections

Often using "numbers voodoo", light rail opponents retail the fiction that new light rail transit startups consistently fail to meet their ridership projections. In reality, light rail has an excellent "track record" for meeting and even exceeding its ridership forecasts, as evidenced by data on recent light rail ridership projections vs. achievement. More...

Most Light Rail Projects Within Budget, on Time

A favorite canard of light rail opponents is the accusation that most light rail transit projects experience severe cost overruns. In reality, the budget record of light rail projects has largely been admirable, particularly when compared with alternative large public-works undertakings such as highway projects. More...

Houston As a Mobility Model?

Pro-automobile zealots have repeatedly counterposed Houston as a model of a city where vigorous highway construction, reliance on buses alone, and the installation of HOV lanes have supposedly brought about a "reduction" in traffic congestion. But the truth is that, after decades of vigorous highway building, Houston actually has one of the highest congestion levels in the nation – certainly in Texas – and higher than a number of cities with light rail. More...

Transit riders
Mass Transit Soars in 1999, 2000

At least two recent American Public Transportation Association reports show that transit ridership has increased over the last four years and now stands at the highest level since 1960. For the first quarter of 2000, the nation's public transportation systems recorded a 4.8 increase in ridership over the same period in 1999. More...

Curitiba bus
Curitiba's "Bus Rapid Transit" – How Applicable to Los Angeles and Other U.S. Cities?

The "Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) system in Curitiba, Brazil, is often cited as a model of BRT and an example of what it can accomplish. But how applicable is the Curitiba model to American cities like Los Angeles? This analysis reveals important details not covered in most articles on Curitiba. More...

Mass Transit's in "Decline"? Think Again!

Transit proponents have presented substantial evidence clearly demonstrating that, since the late 1970s, transit ridership has reversed its previously trend of decline and has been on the increase. This past year, those arguments were further confirmed by ridership tallies from the American Public Transportation Association, indicating that public transit ridership in 1999 surged to over 9 billion trips – hitting its highest level in nearly 40 years – and establishing, in effect, a post-decline record. More...

So Rail Transit's a Boondoggle? No, it's a CAR TUNNEL

it's always worth reminding ourselves who really wastes the public's money. While transit opponents wail about the expense of rail transit, Boston's $13.6 BILLION freeway tunnel is turning out more costly than the Panama Canal, the Alaska Pipeline, or the Hoover Dam. More...

Orange Country "Grand Jury Report" Against Light Rail ... Goes Splat

The Orange County Transportation Authority provides an excellent rebuttal to a piece of anti-transit extremist propaganda – the infamous Orange County "Grand Jury Report" on Light Rail Transit. More...

Light Rail and Lower-income Transit Riders

Critics of light rail and other rail transit proposals claim rail transit caters to affluent riders and neglects the less-affluent and transit-dependent. in fact, transit-dependent poor and ethnic minorities are still well served, but rail transit also attracts more-affluent suburbanites who tend to avoid buses. More...

Road Warrior Rail Opponents Exposed in Dallas

Two leading lights of the anti-transit/anti-light rail crusade – the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the nationally notorious, self-styled "consultant", Wendell Cox – are exposed in an in-depth article from a Dallas publication. More...

Give Us a Break

John Stossel's attack on rail transit – featured on ABC's 20/20 TV newsmagazine on Friday, 7 July 2000 – is dissected in this response from Light Rail Progress. More...

Light Rail: Real Solution for Austin Traffic

Why are buses not a viable alternative to light rail transit (LRT)? How have most new LRT systems been completed on time and within budget? Why does the investment in LRT pay off? Does it remove cars from congested streets and freeways? How has LRT solidly demonstrated its potential for stimulating and shaping adjacent real estate development at its transit stops and stations? These and other essential questions are discussed. More...


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