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Link21 Business Case

What is a Business Case? 

The Link21 Business Case is a decision-making framework that guides the investment decisions for Link21. The Link21 Team will rely on the Business Case process to evaluate all possibilities, ensuring that only the most effective, achievable, and appropriate solutions are moved forward and ultimately recommended for implementation. The Business Case is built on a commitment to transparent and evidence-based decision-making. 

A range of Link21 Program opportunities will be evaluated to ensure that each one meets the needs of the Megaregion and lives up to Link21’s equity commitment. Using the Business Case framework, an initial list of program concepts will be refined into program alternatives—the best passenger rail solutions for the Megaregion.

What Makes Up a Business Case?

The Link21 Business Case encompasses four main areas, all incorporating equity as a foundational element:

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Strategic Case

The Strategic Case measures how well a concept or alternative meets the Program’s draft goals and objectives.

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Economic Case

The Economic Case measures how well a concept or alternative will enhance connectivity, population growth, and employment growth.

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Financial Case

The Financial Case determines how much it will cost to deliver and operate the new system, how much revenue it will generate, and what funding might be used to pay for it.

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Deliverability & Operations Case

The Deliverability & Options Case determines what will be required to design, construct, manage, and operate the new system.

The Business Case will be used through the entire life-cycle of Link21, from the generation of bright ideas to the analysis and recommendation of specific projects to be funded, constructed, and operated. 

Currently, Link21 is developing and polishing the Strategic Case to guide planning and evaluate the Program concepts. As the planning phases progress, the other cases will be used to refine the concepts and alternatives to identify the best solutions.

Tools and metrics for the remaining cases will be made public as they are developed.

The Strategic Case for Link21

The Strategic Case is an analytical framework that allows the Link21 Team to measure how a Program concept will fulfill Link21’s draft Goals and Objectives and establish why and how a concept or alternative makes sense.

Metrics have been developed to measure each of Link21’s draft Goals and Objectives. For example, when evaluating how a concept will connect people and places, we will look at:

  • Number of additional jobs accessible from each region
  • Additional nonwork destinations accessible from each region
  • Additional travel opportunities created
  • Availability of transit options near residences and job centers

Keeping Equity Front and Center

Link21 is committed to equitable outcomes. The Program strives to deliver benefits and mitigate harms to priority populations, census tracts throughout the Megaregion with significant minority, low-income, populations and other historically disenfranchised communities. The Link21 Team has and will continue to develop a set of equity metrics to evaluate the impacts to and/or benefits of each concept for priority populations, giving special consideration to populations harmed by past transportation projects or those with limited access to resources, such as public transit, affordable housing, or job opportunities. Read our equity vision statement and learn more about how Link21 is setting a new standard for equitable development.