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Ridership and cost on the Long Beach-Los Angeles Blue Line Train


  • Moore, James E.


The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 places a new policy emphasis on rail transit. Los Angeles county is in the process of building a 300-mile, $78.2 billion rail transit system. The first component of the system, the Long Beach-Los Angeles Blue Line light rail trail, has been in operation since July 15, 1990. Official ridership forecasts for the Blue Line are 35,000 boardings per weekday in 1991, and 54,700 boardings per weekday in the year 2000. Ridership counts by researchers at the University of Southern California provide estimates of 24,100 boardings on June 3, 1991, and an average of 26,557 daily boardings during Fall 1991. These figures imply that the total cost per Blue Line boarding is substantially higher than the average for light and heavy rail systems recently examined by the U.S. Department of Transportation Urban Mass Transit Administration. It is unlikely that Blue Line ridership will increase, because the most reliable predictors of rail transit ridership are not under policy control. If bus boardings are accounted for, the net result of the Los Angeles rail initiative has been a reduction in transit ridership.

Suggested Citation

  • Moore, James E., 1993. "Ridership and cost on the Long Beach-Los Angeles Blue Line Train," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 139-152, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:27:y:1993:i:2:p:139-152

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    Cited by:

    1. Prud'homme, Rémy & Koning, Martin & Kopp, Pierre, 2011. "Substituting a tramway to a bus line in Paris: Costs and benefits," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 563-572, August.
    2. Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia & Banerjee, Tridib, 1994. "Form Follows Transit? The Blue Line Corridor's Development Potentials," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt68t5q6b3, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Wachs, Martin, 1993. "Learning from Los Angeles: Transport, Urban Form, and Air Quality," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2wv0h7rq, University of California Transportation Center.
    4. Li, Jianling & Wachs, Martin, 2003. "The Effects of Federal Transit Subsidy Policy on Investment Decisions: The Case of San Francisco's Geary Corridor," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5x2863g2, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Werner, Carol M. & Brown, Barbara B. & Tribby, Calvin P. & Tharp, Doug & Flick, Kristi & Miller, Harvey J. & Smith, Ken R. & Jensen, Wyatt, 2016. "Evaluating the attractiveness of a new light rail extension: Testing simple change and displacement change hypotheses," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 15-23.

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