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Rising light rail capital costs are a significant concern for the Federal Transit Administration and for its partner agencies at the local level. The report discusses three distinct types of cost growth: cost overruns, unit cost escalation, and project escalation. Specific factors that push costs higher include lack of in-house expertise, regulatory mandates, poor or non-existent competition among vendors, and the use of custom designs. Evaluations of capital cost increases should also include an analysis of total lifecycle costs, since some project elements may more than pay for themselves in operational savings. The study suggests that training, peer reviews, less restrictive procurement requirements, and improved understanding of lifecycle costs and standards could help mitigate future cost growth.