by Randal O'Toole
July 30, 2014
A rapid bus would be far preferable to the new rail transit lines that are now being built in over 30 American cities. The rails put transit agencies in debt and impose high maintenance costs, yet do not seat many more passengers than a bus would and can only service a few corridors of a city. Rapid buses, in contrast, can reach nearly everyone in a city, impose low incremental costs, and offer more frequent service at faster average speeds, with fewer transfers between transit vehicles. In fact, while railcars may have higher capacities than individual buses, most rail lines can safely move only about 20 trains per hour, making their actual capacity much lower.