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Ideally at some point you will get some guts and add some physical separation so the trams run separate from traffic.

For short distance travel, nothing beats a high frequency street tram, even metro tunnels. Once you take into the consideration the time taken to get to an underground platform a high frequency tram will have got you a mile a way.

Tram line 4/6 was a revelation when I visited Budapest last year a 55m tram with its own low platforms that ran along the ring boulevared of the city. Though there were metro lines to chose from the ease of just a simple pedestrian crossing and the knowledge that the next tram was at most 90 seconds away in peak meant a great travel experience.

The capacity of that line was huge, not far off metro line.

So there is plenty you can do with trams. Even ones that run in mixed traffic are not too bad. But whatever you do make them frequently. I'm constantly amazed at the number of american cities that have spent a fortune on a new metro or light rail and then think a train every 15 or 20 minutes makes it rapid transit. Transit is rapid not just because of line speed, but because you don't have to wait long for it.

It's why love travelling in London. Even buses in it's outer suburbs have at least 5 buses an hour during the day and most London streets have multiple bus routes.

by Rational Plan on Feb 20, 2013 2:45 pm • linkreport

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