Lyndon Henry, over at Austin Rail Now has this to say:
That’s because, in designing a starter line — the first line of a brand-new system for a city — the usual practice is to maximize ridership while minimizing costs through avoiding more difficult design and construction challenges, often deferring these other corridors for later extensions. In this way, the new system can demonstrate sufficient ridership and other measures of performance sufficient to convince both local officials and the public that it’s a success from the standpoint of being a worthwhile investment. Thus,comparing the cost of Project Connect’s 9.5-mile project with that of similar U.S. starter lines enables a better evaluation of the Project Connect project in terms of transit industry Best Practices.
It’s evident from this comparison that Project Connect’s proposed project for Austin would rank as the second most costly U.S. starter line, in cost per mile, since 1990.
This article has more than enough charts on this site to quench your daily recommend limit. After reading, it’s clear that the Austin urban rail proposal from East Riverside to Highland Mall would be expensive. When compared to the past 25 years of first route costs other cities proposed for their light rail, Austin’s urban rail proposal is the second most expensive.
Read more about this on austinrailnow.wordpress.com