Light Rail Transit is a technology of electric-powered, double-track rail that can deliver wide ranges of passenger capacities, operating either in single vehicles or in shorter trains along various types of alignments. Increasingly, light rail is used to describe any rapid transit system that operates at a somewhat lower frequency than heavier, busier rapid transit systems, such as Londons Underground or the Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore. Modern light rail technology is flexible and adaptable, and whether or not a given system is considered to be truly a rapid transit system depends on its characteristics.
The challenge when designing LRT systems is to capture the potential for LRT to deliver rapid, convenient service, while avoiding a tendency toward over-engineering, which results in an excess capital expenditure above the need to serve public needs. Most transit agencies are not expected to build any new LRT systems, and yet, many can make better use of existing lines. Light rail is especially suited for mid-sized to large metropolitan areas looking to build more diversified transportation systems and smart growth patterns.
It also found that Rail systems tended to increase shopping visits and retail activity downtown (several retail areas experienced 30–60% increases in visitors between the pre- and post-opening of Light Rail lines); decrease the car ownership rate per household (households within 1,000 feet of Rail transit stations generally owned 5- 15% fewer vehicles than the area average); and lead to more compact land-use development patterns. Indeed, in many cities, one can see that economic development occurs in proximity to transit stations, though it is probably not a causal indication of the link between rail transit and economic development. Many light rail systems are used largely by lower-income residents, and funding for rail transit is typically substituted for highway spending, not for busing.
Outside a handful of denser central and quasi-central areas, most of which already have light rail lines, there is no place in America with sufficient demand for mass transit to justify rail investments. For instance, San Diego Countys Sprinter Light Rail Line is the least-performing light rail system by ridership per mile out of 23 that we studied, has the second-highest operating costs per mile, and has the highest light rail-to-bus ratio. One study using a simplified model of transit networks and cost parameters taken from Sydney, Australia, found that light rail systems operational costs, including both operational costs and passenger-time values, are several percentage points higher than those for bus rapid transit systems across a broad set of modeling assumptions, except perhaps for systems receiving over three million passengers a day.
Light rail has its origins in the railways on roads, while rapid transit (metro) technologies evolved out of the steam-powered suburban operations seen in London, New York, and Chicago. An electrified rapid transit rail system appeared in London during the latter part of the 19th century. Rails on the streets, trams, steam trains, and electric trains, as well as elevated railway transport lines, appeared during the 19th century (Fig.
Car pools, fixed bus routes, light rail, heavy rail, aerial tramway, cable car, trolleybus systems, and automated guided transportation (AGT) are some of modern mass transit systems (Fig. Light rail, or light rail transit (LRT), is a form of urban rail mass transit, typically with lower capacity and lower speeds compared to heavy rail and subway systems, but higher capacity and higher speeds than conventional streetcar systems. Light rail is a modernized version of streetcars or streetcars (American English) or streetcars (British English) in many localities, though the term is more consistently applied to contemporary or upgraded tram or trolley operations employing features most typically associated with metro or subway operations, including exclusive rights-of-way, multi-unit train configurations, and signalling to operate.
According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), heavy rail (also called metrorail, subway, rapid transit, or rapid rail) is electric rail that is capable of carrying a high volume of freight; is characterised by high speeds and/or fast acceleration; is entirely or largely grade separated; is entirely or largely grade separated; and typically has higher-level boarding. Light rail vehicles (LRTs) are distinguished from rapid rail transit (RRT) vehicles by their ability to operate in mixed-traffic, typically resulting in narrower car bodies and articulated joints in order to operate in the traffic-congestion-freeway environment. Light rail transit systems (LRT, also called trams or trolleys) provide local public transportation services conveniently located along busier urban corridors, connecting important destinations, such as downtown business districts, health centers, campuses, and entertainment centers. A public transportation system may be an inter-modal transportation system based on roads and rails, comprising an infrastructure and a service network typically characterised by technological/technological characteristics.
Metro is a rail-based, high-capacity, urban transit system that operates trains on a special line/route, the tracks for which are generally laid underground, that is, in a tunnel-like arrangement, within a densely-populated, larger urban area. The Muni Metro system is composed of 71.5 miles (15.1 km) of standard-gauge tracks, seven light rail lines (six regular lines and a rush-hour shuttle), three tunnels, nine underground stations, twenty-four surface stations, and eighty-seven surface stations. Two stations, Stonestown and San Francisco State University, are located in the southwest portion of the city, with the remainder located in the east part of the city, where the Muni Metro system has undergone most recent expansions, in connection with the extension of the Embarcadero and Third Street light rail project.
Metro Rail – Finally, on the opposite side of New York state, in Buffalo, The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority (NFTA) operates Metro Rail, a single heavy/light rail line between Downtown Buffalo and University of Buffalos South Campus. While most light rail systems are electrically powered, New Jersey does have one diesel-powered system operating (New Jersey Transit is River Line, which runs between Trenton and Camden). PANYNJ also operates a similar system at Newark Liberty International Airport (Airtrain Newark), connecting to New Jersey Transit/Amtraks Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Yard.