Capacity and speed of transit vehicles in the city

In the past few weeks, the merchants of misinformation have been busy spreading their anti tram rhetoric in a vain attempt to justify a Broadway subway.

Unfortunately the mainstream media have repeated the same misinformation without any independent research done.

The following charts come from Bus or Light Rail Making the Right Choice, Second Edition, by Prof. Carmen Haas-Klau, Graham Crampton, Carsten Biereth, and Volker Deutch, published in 2003. Bus or Light Rail Making the Right Choice, was a very important international study of public transit systems, focusing on buses and trams.

Table#7 gives an accurate capacity numbers of various kinds of buses and LRT and table #8 gives the commercial speed of trams and buses in mixed traffic and on its own rights-of-ways.

It can be easily seen that trams generally have faster commercial speeds than buses in mixed traffic and trams operating on their own rights-of-ways have higher commercial speeds than buses operating on exclusive rights-of-ways as well, with the exception of the Ottawa and Pittsburgh busways.

When the anti-LRT crowd claim that trams are only as fast as buses in the city or that trams can only carry as many passengers as a bus, please refer them here.

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