Bay Area Transit Agency Experiment with “Low Cost” Transit Option Could Prove Costly

  • Date: 12/18/2023

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) has announced plans to install a new type of transit system in a suburban area 45 miles northeast of San Francisco. The system, created by transportation startup Glydways, offers some compelling efficiencies, but its application in a relatively low‐​density area does not appear to be cost‐​effective. As such, CCTA’s plan merits a hard look from both local and federal taxpayers who will be obliged to fund it.

Glydways’ system uses small driverless vehicles (with a capacity of up to four passengers) on a narrow, dedicated guideway. Because the vehicles use rubber tires, there is no need to install rail tracks. Vehicles are available on demand, typically within two to five minutes of being summoned on the Glydways app.

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