How Is A Transit System Planned and Begun

1. Studies must be performed to make good engineering and business decisions.  First, a Feasibility Study of possible corridors is performed to determine if a transit service is needed. 

2. Second is to select a mode of transit (if justified by the possible ridership numbers and a perceived need) such as light rail, monorail, buses, heavy rail, etc., based on costs and revenues. 

3. Third is a route selection from the possible corridors, based on the technology selected. 

4. Fourth is a detailed Feasibility Study of the selected corridor, considering the preferred technology, costs and revenues. 

5. Fifth is preliminary engineering to further validate the selections, determine final costs (within 10%) and decide to build or not build.

The critical steps are the second and fourth, wherein a determination is made on a business basis of whether the new system can (1) operate without tax subsidies paid by non-riding taxpayers, and (2) whether the new system can be paid for as a business by using Federal money for 80% of the cost and the system income from fares will pay for the local share of 20% of costs without tax payments made by all the people, riding and non-riding.