Time To Rethink Transit – Tramways Instead Of Light-Metro?

Montpelier, France

What the following article is talking about is not light rail, rather a tramway or streetcar. Light rail is a streetcar operating on a reserved or dedicated rights-of-way and by doing so, offers a service superior to that of a light metro and close to that of a heavy-rail metro.

Building a tramway is far cheaper than building a light-metro on a grade separated rights-of-way; up to ten times cheaper!

Thus for the cost of 1 km of our elevated SkyTrain light-metro, we can build up to twenty km of a tramway.

Capacity for both modes are about the same and commercial speed is conditional on the amount of stations or stops and priority signalling.

And if capacity needs to increase, the tramway can be upgraded to light rail by converting  the route to a reserved or dedicated R-o-W standard.

Also, capacity can be increased by building new tramways! For one km of the SkyTrain Broadway subway, we could build three 20 km tramways, with a combined capacity at least three times higher than the Broadway SkyTrain subway!

Time to a rethink on transit, isn’t that so TransLink and the Mayor’s council on Transit?

Caen, France, Tramway on a reserved R-o-W.

Attractis : integrated solutions for tramways

Attractis at a glance

  • Simple and smooth introduction in the city
  • Proven technology and experience
  • Cost benefits compared to lot-by-lot delivery
  • Reduced time to commercial service

The obvious choice

For growing cities in search of a clean, comfortable long-term solution to mobility problems, the tramway is part of the natural solutions. Alstom is an ideal partner capable of providing them within a fully operational turnkey system: Attractis. Our expertise in all areas of tramway technology combines to deliver an efficient, cost-effective and attractive transport solution that reshapes cities and enchants their inhabitants.

Fast implementation, reduced costs

A turnkey Attractis solution offers shorter lead times throughout the project compared to lot-by-lot delivery. Not only does the client only have one tender to manage instead of several, but our integrated system approach means optimized interfaces and smoother coordination. Building work is phased to keep disruption to a minimum for city centre and businesses, while tram drivers can be initially trained on 3D simulators and require less time in the cab before operations start-up. The overall result is that an average 10-km line can take as little as 30 months to build and commission!

At Alstom we additionally design tramways in a perspective of optimized total cost of ownership. Investment costs are 20% lower than a typical lot-by-lot line of similar capacity, and our system maintenance costs are among the lowest on the market.

Accompanying cities as they grow

Our tram systems are easily expandable as demand for city centre transport grows. Our Citadis trams can be extended by adding modules in the depot without any further modification to infrastructure, as successfully achieved in cities such as Bordeaux, Nice and Dublin. Trams can also run in double formation for maximum capacity, without the need to recruit extra drivers. Our fluid-boarding trams keep dwell time to a minimum thanks to their wide doors, and our operating system offers headway’s down to three minutes. The capacity of a tram system can therefore vary from under 4,000 pphpd to 14,000.

Interoperability and flexibility

Alstom has also adopted ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport) “open architecture” standard in IT systems, which facilitates the provision of improved services in areas such as automatic fare collection, passenger information and multi-modal connections.

Upgraded  tramway operating as LRT on a reserved rights-of-way.

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