My top two strategies to get transit built are to focus on the potential for glamorous ribbon cuttings, and to get people elected who commute by transit, and who care about transit commutes. Decision makers are not interested in cost figures for their own sake, and neither am I.
I don't think a single elected Richmonder commutes by anything other than car. In fact, I'd love to know how far down in the City's org chart you have to go before you get to someone who—even occasionally—walks, bikes, or takes the bus to work.
To get more money for more walking, biking, and transit projects we've got to elect people who do those things.