Our last post about the regional commuter rail proposal unleashed questions about how the plan relates to the downtown streetcar proposal, and whether (or if) one is needed before the other. We decided to simply lay out some data so you can formulate your own conclusion.
The table below represents America’s “new rail cities” — metropolitan areas that built new rail infrastructure after the expansion of highway capacity and the rise of the private auto. This excludes cities that never dismantled their urban or commuter rail infrastructure in the 1950s (Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco). This provides a more balanced comparison to what KC is up against when implementing services from scratch.
Urban Rail refers to any rail line that is designed to serve an urban core with frequent, all-day service (subways, elevateds, streetcars, light rail). Commuter Rail refers to any rail line that connects outlying suburbs with the central business district with less frequent service focused primarily on rush hours.
The year corresponds to the initial year of operation. Fully-funded rail lines under construction are listed; BRT lines are not.
|Metro Area||Urban Rail||Commuter Rail|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico||N/A||2006|
|Buffalo, New York||1984||N/A|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||2007||N/A|
|Los Angeles, California||1990||1992|
|New Haven, Connecticut||N/A||1990|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||1999||2008|
|San Diego, California||1981||1995|
|St. Louis, Missouri||1993||N/A|