Light rail, also termed light rail rapid transit (LRT) refers to light train, tram and streetcars and their networks. LRTs utilize dedicated lines on streets segregated from other vehicles. From a Yimby perspective, light rail is a useful tool in encouraging density, a local focus and development.
- Are cost-effective to build and maintain. Subways, for example, cost an average of $300 million per kilometer, while LRT comes in at $100 million per kilometer for surface routes and $250 million for underground routes.
- LRTs can be more quickly built than other rail solutions, such as subways.
- Has significant transit capacity. LRT networks are faster than bus lines and can carry twice as many passengers as buses.
- LRTs work well in areas where lower density makes implementing a subway prohibitive. Note that the ridership needed to justify a subway is usually about 20,000 passengers per hour during rush periods.
- LRT stops can be closer together than subway (which relies on stations further apart for speed and also to control build costs) which results in easier access and shorter walks for residents who use it