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Techniques For Mitigating Urban Sprawl
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Strategy: Alternative Mode Support Strategies  - Capital Investments
Policy Action: Light Rail Transit (LRT) Investments

LRT can operate on city streets in downtown areas like a bus, providing passengers convenient stops close to work, shopping, and entertainment. Outside the downtown area, LRT operate like a passenger train on a private right-of-way, traveling at speeds up to 55 mph between stations. The impact of light rail on land use and economic development most likely occurs over the intermediate to longer term. Light rail, by itself, may not be a cause for land-use changes or economic development. As a tool, it can best facilitate land use changes and economic development when integrated within a comprehensive land use, economic development and transportation plan. Case/Example: MAX system of Portland (OR) and Hiawatha Light Rail Transit on Construction of Minneapolis/St. Paul (MN). Source/Reference: Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Staff, 2000, pp. 21; Minnesota DOT, A.

Texas Applications

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)’s 2030 Transit System Plan has been approved and adopted by the DART Board of Directors initially in 1995 and a draft version was released after public input in 2006. Under the new plan, 43 miles of additional rail will be implemented by 2013. Through 2025, DART plans to invest $3.4 billion in light rail (non-operating costs), and $3.1 billion in operating costs.

Reports and Studies


Page References

Light Rail in Texas

Light Rail Now! — “Growing interest in electric rail transit seems to have got Road Warriors in the motor vehicle and highway construction industies seriously bent out of shape and really running scared, leading them to mount a ferocious and massive public relations blitz, apparently designed to convince us all that — despite our intuition, and despite the barrage of evidence to the contrary — petroleum-fueled motor vehicles, including private cars, SUVs, and buses, are supposedly superior to electric rail transit.”

How light rail pays its way in Dallas - Dallas, Texas plans expansion of its light rail transit system — “Thinking outside the farebox, this southwestern metropolis is reaping big rewards from a fast-growing LRT system."

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