"Through the New Starts program, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) evaluates and recommends new fixed guideway transit projects for funding using the evaluation criteria identified in law. In August 2007, FTA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in part, to incorporate certain provisions within the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) into the evaluation process. SAFETEA-LU requires the authors to annually review FTA's New Starts process. This book discusses (1) the information captured by New Starts project justification criteria, (2) challenges FTA faces as it works to improve the New Starts program, and (3) options for evaluating New Starts projects. To address these objectives, the authors reviewed statutes, FTA guidance and regulations governing the New Starts program, and interviewed experts, project sponsors, and Department of Transportation (DOT) officials." --From the preface.