(Community Matters) I recommend Katherine’s Austin Chronicle story here
At long last, real systems planning for a Central Austin streetcar has arrived at the City Hall station. At the July 24 City Council meeting, consultants ROMA Austin and LTK Engineering unveiled the highlights of a detailed proposal for circulator rail transit.
The Phase I analysis includes essential data on: 1) projected ridership and benefits for mobility, environmental, and other regional goals and 2) a route alignment and estimated cost. The broad outlines: Recommended is a 15.3-mile system projected to serve more than 32,000 riders daily by 2030, at an estimated capital cost of $36 million to $40 million per mile, or $550 million to $614 million overall.
The estimated capital cost per mile steadily drops (from as much as $53 million down to $29 million per mile) with each successive increment. Brewster McCracken later noted: “Toll roads were coming in with per-mile costs of $70 million-plus back in 2004. The price tag needs to be viewed in a context compared to roads – this is cheaper than roads to construct.”