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Nov 04, 2015
Light Rail & Streetcars

The Netherlands’ Randstadrail

Architects and urban designers may be no fans of elevated transport infrastructure and fair enough. Rarely is the overhead viaduct, rail bridge or elevated freeway a contributor to the urban form. Typically, they sap the very life out of the surrounding area. Notwithstanding that argument, however, is the fact that tunnelling is remarkably more expensive...

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Jan 06, 2014
Light Rail & Streetcars

Toronto Downsizes Streetcar Fleet Due to Winter Storms

Over the holidays, a particularly nasty ice storm wreaked havoc in my hometown of Toronto (and much of the surrounding area for that matter). The storm was so bad it left hundreds of thousands of people without power over Christmas. The problem was then compounded by several wicked cold snaps that saw the mercury plunge into...

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Oct 21, 2013
Light Rail & Streetcars

The Economics of Hong Kong’s Trams

Last week the New York Times ran an interesting piece on Hong Kong’s historic street-level trams. These double-decker, non-air-conditioned relics are apparently quite the workhorses. According to the Times the trams move 200,000 (220,000 according to Wikipedia) people per day along the 13 km route with 1.5 minute headways between vehicles—and,despite zero government subsidies, they do so...

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Mar 29, 2012
Light Rail & Streetcars, Monorails, Public Transit, Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

Three Eye-Opening Papers On How We Build Transit

The other day I discussed how modal choice often has less to do with the intrinsic qualities of a technology and more to do with extrinsic factors. Those comments caused something of a stir with people coming out saying a variation of the following: Light Rail is a scam. Light Rail is awesome. It depends....

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Jan 23, 2012
BRT, Light Rail & Streetcars

World’s Largest Bus – Youngman JNP6250G – 300 Persons

In recent news, various news media outlets (1,2,3) have reported that we’re about to see the world’s largest bus – Youngman JNP6250G in China. The official statistical breakdown of this public transit behemoth is as follows: 300 person capacity (40 seats, 260 standing) 25 meters (standard bus: 12m) top speed ~80kph Of course, as soon as this...

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Aug 30, 2011
Light Rail & Streetcars, Medellin MetroCable

Medellin to Build Two Urban Gondolas – Integrated Into A Light Rail Line!

Metro de Medellin is in no rush to slow down. The transit agency of this Colombian metropolis has been expanding their public transportation system at breakneck speeds for the past 15 years and things just continue apace. The agency recently released plans for their Corredores Verdes (Green Corridor) Light Rail/Tram plan. Their approach is a...

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Aug 16, 2011
Bukit Panjang LRT, Light Rail & Streetcars

Luminus via Tractus by Steven Dale

  Remember: Light Rail Transit (LRT) isn’t always Light Rail Transit. And that goes for all forms of public transportation. Anyone recall our CPT / ART debate? While we may like to pretend we work and live in a scientific field, the world of city-building and transit is anything but scientific.After all, there’s no official taxonomy...

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Jan 17, 2011
Light Rail & Streetcars, Thoughts, Urban Planning & Design

Are Gondolas Too Cheap To Be Accepted As Transit?

Any good marketer knows that it’s better to sell a product with a higher margin than with a lower one. Furthermore, the higher the margin on the product, the more likely it will be viewed by the buyer as prestigious and luxurious. It doesn’t matter that one car may be identical to another, the higher...

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Dec 03, 2010
Light Rail & Streetcars

When Is A Road Not A Road?

Toronto’s grand LRT scheme, Transit City, appears headed for a premature grave. Almost immediately after assuming his new role as Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford declared to the province his intention to kill Transit City and replace it with subway lines. Toronto media has been ablaze with the story since it hit yesterday, but no one...

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Oct 21, 2010
Light Rail & Streetcars

Track Replacement Time Lapse

Ken Murphy spent 3 1/2 days taking one photo approximately every 15 seconds of the San Francisco streetcar track replacement occurring outside his house. The following is the mind-blowing result: Church and 30th St. San Francisco MUNI Construction from Ken Murphy on Vimeo.

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