Refs & Calcs: Key Facts:

References & Calculations
SOUND TRANSIT Seattle Light Rail Key Facts & Data
SOUND TRANSIT Sound Transit Sets Record for Most Expensive Starter Light Rail System in US History
SOUND TRANSIT Seattle Light Rail Operating Costs 74% Higher Compared to Express Bus

  1. Light Rail Now website, “New U.S. light rail transit starter systems — Comparative total costs per mile,” May 6, 2014

  2. Alison, Burke, “The 10 U.S. metro rail systems that lose the most money per passenger,” June 3, 2015.

  3. p. 8, Table 2-1: Project Costs in Year of Expenditure $ 2.558 billion
    p. 9, Table 2-2: Project Costs in 2009 $ 2.665 billion,  15.6 miles built (2009)
    9% spent on right of way
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPI Inflation Calculator  $1 (2009$) = $1.10 (2014$)

  5. 2.665 billion (2009$)*1.10 (2014$/2009$) = 2.9315 billion (2014$)

  6. 10,950,234 2014 Central link boardings Sound Transit Website, “Sound Transit Operations December 2015 Service Performance Report,” 11,707,604 2015 Central link boardings, 31% fare recovery
  7. 2.9315 billion(2015$)/(11.7 million rides/year)*(365 days/year)=$91,393 (2015$/daily ride)
    $91,393(2015$/daily ride) * 2 daily rides/daily round trip = $182,787 per daily roundtrip $97,770 (2014$/daily ride) in 2014
  8. O’ Toole, Randal, “The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future,” p 258,  2007.

  9. Federal Transit Administration Data - NTD Data - Transit Agency Profiles - Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, operating expenses per passenger mile 2014 Commuter bus: $0.42, Light Rail $0.73, Street Car Rail $5.38, Commuter Rail $0.52, Light Rail/commuter bus = Light Rail/Commuter bus = .73/.42 = 1.738 74% higher light rail operating costs

  10. ibid, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) operating expenses per passenger mile 2014, Light Rail/Commuter bus = .50/.84 = 0.595 40% lower light rail operating costs.

  11. Sound Transit Light Rail Extreme Costs, Sound Transit Light Rail Increases Travel Times Compared to Express Buses or BRT

  12. Light Rail Now website, "New U.S. light rail transit starter systems — Comparative total costs per mile," May 6, 2013

  13. from Sound Transit Light Rail Extreme Costs , Sound Transit Voter Approved Light Rail Taxpayer Funding ref k) $12.696 billion (2014$) / 36 miles = $353 million(2014$)/ mile


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