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Years ago, O. Roy Chalk wanted to preserve the city's trolley service. He even converted trolley car #1512 to the super streamlined "Silver Sightseer" just for this reason. Unfortunately, he could not convince Congress not to force the all bus conversion. Chalk had also wanted a monorail system in lieu of the more costly subway system. The current proposal for light-rail will work in some respects. However, this WILL NOT ease traffic in the Washington area, nor can buses ever be replaced. Buses have been in DC since the very early 1900s. Even before the demise of streetcars, buses actually supplemented the trolley for decades. Buses will always win for the sheer versatility of their concept. A bus line can be initiated, re-routed, detoured, terminated at a moments notice without the cost of building or removing tracks and overhead wires or an underground conduit. Buses can also negotiate around stalled vehicles or turn up a side street in the event of a sudden road closure. An trolley line would be virtually shut down if tracks are blocked. Simply put, a trolley or a bus are the same thing----"a transit vehicle." One moves forward and reverse only---the other can also turn out from side to side. Why impose limited movement on transit? In short, a trolley is a nice idea, ......but not the solution. A network of wide intercity "express busways" (like the one in Pittsburgh) may be a more effective use of federal funds.

by James on Dec 7, 2009 12:19 am • linkreport

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