More News about Trams vs. Buses
Writing my previous post caused wordpress to amusingly automatically create a link to a pro-tram blog in Edinburgh (a very nice city that I have visited – I went to the Haymarket train depot of First Scotrail).
This link caused me to discover that similar discussions have been held in Edinburgh and West London precisely about this topic. They write about it far more elegantly than I ever could! The result – Trams are what are needed.
To be fair here is the other side of the discussion: Pro-Trolley bus
I have to say that the picture in the pro-trolley bus is more like a rubber-tired tram. These have been tried in a few French towns Clermont-Ferrand (home of Michlenin), Nancy (disaster of a project), and Caen with not very much success. In fact these trams-on-wheels are no cheaper than a real tram.
Nobody is saying that trams should be everywhere in the city. They are desperately needed on the routes such as Cote-des-neiges, Parc, Pie IX, Notre Dame, Cote-Vertu/Henri Bourassa where buses cannot provide a quality service even though there is (at peak times) a bus every five minutes.
The problem in many cities is the “metro or bust” phenomenon. Metro’s are only needed on routes where really high capacity is needed. Anything else is served by buses. Pushing metro extensions and nothing else generally ensures that the project doesn’t happen because the projected ridership is simply not there to make the project viable. In the mean time, car use and urban sprawl continue to rise.
What is needed is a medium capacity service (at medium cost). That is where the tram comes in!