Costs & Advantages of Bus Rapid Transit
A study by the United States General Accounting Office concluded that bus rapid transit presents an attractive option for mass transit and has several advantages over rail systems.
Those advantages include lower capital cost for construction and a lower operating cost and also higher speeds. In comparing the capital cost of constructing a heavy rail system versus a bus system, the numbers are really astonishing: the Honolulu rail would cost as much as $300 million per mile, whereas you can improve a lane for buses on arterial streets for $1 million per mile, or you could build a new lane for buses -- the busway would cost about $14 million per mile, again compared to the Honolulu rail system at $300 million per mile. So it's just a huge difference.