IP-2-94 (March 1994)
Author: Stephen R. Mueller P.E. and Dennis Polhill P.E.
RTD is pushing a major public relations campaign to build an expensive light rail transit (LRT) system in southwest Denver, and eventually the whole metro area.
In nine US cities that constructed LRT projects, actual costs exceeded projections and ridership fell short of projections. Actual cost per rider exceeded projections by an average of 5.4 times.
Contrary to RTD’s claim that LRT is the least expensive of several alternatives, LRT is about 10 times as expensive as building dedicated highways lanes for buses and carpools.
The MAC demonstration project carried a promise to the people that LRT could be observed in operation for two years before a proposal for an enlarged system would be advanced. RTD has an obligation to honor this promise.