Cost Effective Transit Capital Planning

by Colin H. Alter, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit, Authority, Washington, DC, USA,
Hilde M. Alter, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit, Authority, Washington, DC, USA,
Jon D. Cohen, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit, Authority, Washington, DC, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Managing Urban Transportation as a Business

Abstract: The analysis required for expansion of capital assets in public transit is complex and inter-disciplinary. Economic analysis is only one part of that overall evaluation. Thus, expansion appears to be a separate issue to be studied in a different context and quite separately from the evaluation of capital asset replacement. For the latter, these critical social and political questions have been answered. It is suggested that the question of the reconstruction of the capital base is much simpler. Assuming the political decision to maintain and to continue the service and given constraints on capital funds, the question can essentially be limited to economic analysis. The economic analysis should be oriented to fully quantifiable factors and generally accepted methods. While these factors and methods may be generally comparable to those used in the private sector, they should and can be adapted to public sector requirements. Finally, it is further suggested that an acceptable method will be rediscovered in a synthesis of methods found in the private sector, the social sciences, and engineering.

Subject Headings: Assets | Public transportation | Economic factors | Social factors | Political factors | Private sector | Transportation management

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