Modern light rail and streetcar vehicles are fundamentally very similar, the differences having largely to do with how they are applied. The primary difference between the two modes is the degree of integration into the urban environment and the scale of the associated infrastructure. This difference in application makes some common light rail vehicle design features unnecessary for streetcar application but may also require the use of other features that may or may not be incorporated into a typical light rail vehicle.
The Guideline includes an introduction and four chapters: Vehicle Configuration, Vehicle/Platform Interface, Vehicle/Track Interface and Power Supply. Recognizing that streetcar systems vary considerably in form and function, the document identifies and explains the underlying principles and interdependencies associated with each topic, and examines the trade-offs involved in various different design approaches. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the need to…
Currently, eighteen French urban areas have at least one tramway line and by 2014, nine more towns will have opened their first lines. In France, the organisation of public transport is based on a decentralised administrative system established in the 1980s. For thirty years, land authorities have had great autonomy to develop their public transport networks in a context of very heavy car use. Today, the car is gradually making way for public transport systems and tramways have been experiencing a revival for several years now. Tramways have been making their mark over the years because they fit into the scheme of urban renewal, transport planning and environmental concerns. This is a political choice which is firmly rooted in the sustainable development ethos and enables planners to take a new approach to urban mobility and urbanisation projects. Trams have also become a tool for promoting a town, because building a tramway implies a desire to renew the image of the town where it is…
It is recognized that hard factors such as travel time, cost, availability of public transport services, and car ownership have a major impact when people consider the choice between using an automobile or public transport. Nevertheless, there is evidence from the literature that rail-based public transport often is considered superior to bus systems, even in cases where quantitative hard factors are equal. This attraction of passengers is known as a psychological rail factor, and it is used to express a higher attraction in terms of higher ridership of rail-based public transport in contrast to bus services (Axhausen et al. 2001; Megel 2001b; Ben-Akiva and Morikawa 2002; Vuchic 2005; Scherer 2010a). The existence of this rail factor is widely accepted among experts, but little evidence exists about the reasons for this phenomena.
The idea of a rail factor is consistent with statements that the image of a transport system has an impact on demand. Furthermore, research…
Letter To Residents
The District of Columbia is committed to bringing a streetcar system to the city to improve transit services available to residents and create walkable, vibrant communities. In the spring of 2010, the DC Office of Planning (OP) initiated a land planning study to ensure that the city and its residents gain the greatest possible benefits from the new system, and that the overarching vision and goals for the District are furthered by the new system.
Goals of the DC Streetcar system:
Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative.
Provide quality service to retain and grow transit ridership.
Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents.
Reduce short inner-city auto trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution.
Connect people to jobs and services with frequent, affordable, reliable transit service.
Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors.
In 2009 and 2010, the Office of Governor Ted Strickland and the Center for Neighborhood Technology formed a partnership with regional leaders in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. The project, called BROADENING URBAN INVESTMENT TO LEVERAGE TRANSIT (BUILT) IN OHIO, sought to identify smart growth strategies for each region by building on existing urban assets. Leaders in Cincinnati convened twice to discuss the impact of recent development trends and a policy blueprint for a new way forward. This report is an outcome of those discussions.
Purpose of Research
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project is one of many groups calling for new competitive programs with broad investment goals and eligibility, plus incentives for states and metropolitan areas to implement programs that support the nation’s transportation objectives. The New Starts program, administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is essentially the only discretionary transportation program of any size that o.ers a history of program design and implementation extending over many years. This paper analyzes the FTA’s discretionary New Starts program to identify the lessons learned and components that might be relevant to these new competitive programs, particularly with respect to federal funding decisions.
The New Starts program has broad investment objectives but relatively narrow eligibility. It funds .xed guideway transit projects, such as urban rail and bus rapid transit,…
Transit preferential treatments are a key component to the provision of travel time savings and improved on-time performance for bus and rail systems operating in mixed traffic on urban streets. Rail systems operating on-street include both light rail transit and streetcar. Enhanced bus operations where transit preferential treatments are particularly critical include bus rapid transit and express bus.
Although transit preferential treatments on urban streets have been presented and reviewed with respect to their application and impact in several documents over the years there has not been a single, recent document that has addressed all of the potential treatments that have been or could be applied. This synthesis report provides such a document. Treat•ments that are addressed relate to both roadway segments and spot locations (intersections) and include the following:
Exclusive lanes outside the median area, and
This synthesis summarizes the limited literature and documentation regarding the impacts of modern streetcar systems on the built environment, underscoring the need for further empirical analysis. Streetcars represent a growing transportation alternative, with more than 45 systems built or in various stages of planning or construction. Their popularity has resulted from a range of factors, including relatively lower cost of construction than other forms of rail transit and their relative ease of integration into the existing urban fabric.