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

By Dr. Eric Fruits

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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