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Heavy rail cars have the greatest longevity of the transit vehicles listed below with an average vehicle age of more than 22 years. However, in terms of cost for purchasing a new rail car, heavy rail is by far the least expensive of all types of rail transit vehicles. Buses cost far less than rail transit vehicles but the average age for a transit bus is just under 8 years.

Average Age of Transit Vehicles, 2007
Graph showing the average age of transit vehicles (bus, trolleybus, vanpool, demand response, light rail, commuter rail, commuter rail locomotive, and heavy rail). Heavy rail cars have the greatest longevity. For more detailed information, see the table below.
Average New Vehicle Costs for 2007 Vehicles by Type
Graph showing the average new vehicle costs for 2007 vehicles (bus, trolleybus, vanpool, demand response, light rail, commuter rail, commuter rail locomotive, and heavy rail). Heavy rail cars are the least expensive of all types of rail transit vehicles. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Average New Transit Vehicle Age and Costs by Vehicle Type, 2007*
Vehicle Type Average Price
(Dollars)
Average Age
(Years)
Bus 424,880 7.8
Trolleybus 862,599 9.5
Vanpool 22,818 3.8
Demand Response 61,463 3.9
Light Rail 2,880,556 17.8
Commuter Rail 1,915,313 18.9
Commuter Rail Locomotive 2,410,171 19.7
Heavy Rail 1,406,391 22.4

* Includes some 2008 vehicles.
Source: American Public Transit Association, 2008 Public Transit Fact Book. Table 14, Average Vehicle Age by Mode, 2007 (PDF 888 KB). Table 22. Average New Vehicle Cost by Type (PDF 8 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

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