A working paper from the St. Louis Fed (thanks, Wendell) reiterates the waste involved in "light-rail" urban transit. This is nothing new and echoes findings from a mountain of studies that have been accumulating for almost 40 years. In that time, hundreds of billions of dollars of public money has, nevertheless, been thrown at systems like this and transit use today is much lower than when the spending spree began.
Another thing that has not changed is the astonishing disconnect between plans and facts. This morning's LA Times reports on the LA region's latest plan: "'Compass' Points to New Direction for Growth ... Regional plan offers fewer suburbs, more high-density housing on transit lines ... The plan is named 'compass' because it is intended to direct Southern California's growth for the next 25 years ..."