Scale economies in United States rail transit systems

Ian Savage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A three-staged least squares translog cost function is estimated for 13 heavy-rail and nine light-rail United States urban mass transit systems for the period 1985-1991. Firm output is taken to be endogenous. Large economies of density are found in operating costs. These economies become even more substantial when the cost of way and structure maintenance and capital costs are incorporated. However, there are constant returns to system size in short-run variable costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-473
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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