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Construction of Portland’s newest commuter rail will cost more than $13 per ride

December 31, 2008

By Dr. Eric Fruits
Econinternational

The Oregonian recenty reported that Portland’s newest commuter rail project, known as WES, will be about $34 million (25 percent) over budget.

The latest estimates put construction costs at $166 million.

The newspaper also reports that the rail project is designed to carry 4,000 passengers a day.

Assuming a 30 year life for the project, a 7% discount rate, and 250 days a year of operation, construction costs alone will be $13.38 per passenger.  Add in operating costs, and the costs of mass transit will likely exceed the costs of driving by 50 percent or more.

  
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Discuss this article

Trevor December 31, 2008

In this day and age these trains should be more economical. Maybe Tri-met opted for the more expensive ones.

John Fairplay December 31, 2008

The reality is that this line won’t carry anything like 4,000 people per day. The only trip on the line that makes any sense is Beaverton to Tualatin – the other segments are 15 minute drives almost no matter what traffic is like on Hwy 217 or I-5. Tri-Met will continue to inflate its ridership numbers, however, to claim the line is carrying 25,000 people per day or something like that.

david anfinrud December 31, 2008

No one could afford to ride the train if the people using it actually paid the cost and maintenance expense. That is why taxpayers have to fork out 60 to 90 % of the costs to build and maintain the system. Trains are a black hole and the more you add the more tax payer money must be thrown into the black hole.

Alex January 2, 2009

Typical stupid decision by the leftist Socialist politicans. Lets build something that is of no usefulness and the everyday tax payer ends up paying again and forever. These guys are either completely inept or just stupid. When will we get some leaders with Common Sense?

Lumpy January 2, 2009

Hey, you all ought to be glad that Sound Transit in Washington isn’t building it. It would be over a billion dollars and not be done till 2025.

Dave January 2, 2009

Every transit project now is surely to be overpriced and underperformed. I am willing to give this line a chance, I see potential in the growing Washington County – Clackamas populace.

Randy January 3, 2009

. . . “I am willing to give this line a chance . . .” – such ‘logic’ would be fine if you were Bill Gates and you were willing to fund the entire cost of the boondoggle with your personal funds. It is all to easy for bleeding-heart liberals to volunteer their support to have the government shove their hands in our pockets yet again and take our hard-earned money from us. And for who??? The select few who live near enough to that particular corridor to actually use it???? The select few who can afford to pay the artificial fares while the rest of us in the hinterlands carry the burden of the ongoing costs into eternity????? Idiocy!!! If you want to pursue a fantasy then feel free to do it with your own finances. But don’t hide behind some so-called “altruistic”, “environmentally-friendly”, facade while advocating government-sanctioned theft from the rest of us.

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