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Are trams the missing middle in American transportation?
>>
>comfy heritage tram
>LED display
Oof
>>
>>1313415
>middle
Between what?
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>>1313492
The old roller thing broke and as there were no spare parts, the operators decided to replace it with an LED dot matrix.

Considering that the Kirnitzschtalbahn is an active, scheduled tram line in a national park, it seems that the operators prioritised continued use over "authenticity". I don't disagree with this philosophy. It just means that these trams can run for longer.
>>
>>1313497
he probably means the middle between very expensive subways for huge cities and cars that is now filled by buses but I'm not OP
personally I hate riding busses and don't mind trams, but I don't know that they really make sense financially since they're quite rare and require a lot of fixed architecture to work and can't be adjusted the way busses are
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>>1313497
Buses and subway
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>>1313415
No, ((they)) had them all scrapped in order to control the transportation with cars
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>>1313415
No. Buses are below trams and they can't even make a bus network right
>>
Most new streetcar lines in the U.S. are memes that will “revive downtown” or something. They have limited use as practical transportation apart from shuttling around a bunch of sportsball drunks on game day. Older lines in cities like Boston, Philly and S.F. are integrated into larger transit systems and serve a purpose. I’m the world’s biggest trolley sperg but honestly most of these new lines are boondoggles to nowhere.
>>
>>1314001
yea I mean the problem is streetcars need to have been foundational to the city, it's too hard to retrofit modern city design to streetcars that it's not worth it. busses work on existing streets and subways are a superior expensive choice.
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>>1314013
>it's too hard to retrofit modern city design to streetcars
WRONG. Streetcars are the most adaptible form of transport, which can work both as trunk lines for low-density cities, and as a complementary transport in high-density cities with metro systems.

For your typical american city, streetcars (IF WELL EXECUTED!!!!) are an excellent form of transportation. But they have to be proper systems, starting with two or three lines right away totalling at least 30-50 miles of length, and complemented by a revamped bus system designed around the streetcar trunk lines.
>>
>>1314288
>Streetcars are viable, it's just that nobody is doing them right!
Same with socialism, right anon?
How do you reconcile that many, many city planners tried their best with massive budgets only to end up with systems that are both inefficient and often run at a loss?
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>>1314288
Still doesn't go door-to-door for everyone so fuck that
>>1314549
This is why we have automobiles.
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>>1313415
It's possible to have a good public transport system just with busses and heavy rail, like in Hamburg, Paris, London, Copenhagen or West-Berlin. Mot of these cities have at least two separare heavy rail systems though (Metro, Commuter/S-Bahn/RER/etc, regional rail)
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>>1314549
There are cities doing it right in burgerland you absolute brainlet piece of shit. Denver, San Diego, Portland for example.
Kindly kys to save face after getting eternally BTFO.
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>>1314569
>Hamburg
Has overstated bus lines that should of been converted to tram.
>Paris
Has a sizeable tram system in the outskirts, Metro in the city centre is unusually dense.
>Copenhagen
Has actually surprisingly high car use for a progressive euro city, like over 30%. Public transit is clearly lacking.
>West Berlin
Similar to Paris but also oversaturated buses
>London
Oversaturated buses

Also some of those cities also have very saturated Metro systems which would benefit from trams to absorb some of the load.
It can be done without trams, but they're always an improvement.
>>
>>1313415
no
as much as they are nice, buses are more practical
>>
>>1314615
only portland supports your point, denver started using trollies in the 1800s and was built around them, san diegos trollies were also originally from the 1800s and only needed to be revitalized. neither were modern cities that had trollies retrofitted to them.
moreover portland has widely been accepted as an exception in the literature due to a lot of factors, most importantly the very large amount of wealth that moved into a small sized city ripe for development
http://transweb.sjsu.edu/research/purpose-function-and-performance-streetcar-transit-modern-us-city-multiple-case-study
there's a reason they aren't being used, it's that they don't make sense.
>>
>>1314808
Melbourne Australia. The largest tram network in the world

But in a more modern context where they are rolled out, there seems to be a large increase in the profitability of commercial areas.

Not sure why but people greatly prefer trams to busses
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>>1314811
that's yet another city that already had trams in the 1800s and was built with them in mind
>>1314013
that's the whole point I made, you can have trams in a city that is built with them in mind but converting a city that didn't have trams is nearly impossible
I understand why trams are more popular though. I hate riding busses but trams are sort of fun. busses just always feel like a bad car and they make you wish you were just driving, but trams have a certain special appeal to them
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>>1314813
I think it's because with a tram you know where it is going...

but fair point, the roads would need a tram section put in,but if small developing towns that will become cities planned for them it would be a good long term plan.

I think if you need more than a folding scooter + public transport to get around a city then that city has failed
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>>1313415
only if you can arrive and depart from them while they are still moving
>>1313497
horse drawn carriage and the horseless carriage
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>>1313539
((They)) being General Motors, right?
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>>1314288
>IF WELL EXECUTED
That's the thing, anon. They aren't. They want to recapture the era of public transportation before the car, but don't want to rip up the roads too much for a proper urban rail system
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>>1314569
London has tramlink
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>>1314808
fucking kek at this asstard. EVERY US CITY had trolleys 100 years ago you idiot. All of them grew around the streetcars. And almost all of them ripped them up. Denver ripped them up, so did San Diego. There's nothing special about those examples, it's not like San Francisco which actually did keep some original lines and has a city centre that's more dense than the average city.
Why do you enjoy getting BTFO so much, is it like a fetish to you?
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>>1314931
I gave a few examples of well executed systems, they're few and far between but they do exist
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>>1314013
>>1314549
>>1314808
>>Streetcars are viable, it's just that nobody is doing them right!
But that statement is 100% true for the US. I'm quoting the conclusion of the streetcar study you linked:
>”The authors discovered that in these cities, the primary purpose of the streetcar was to serve as a development tool (all cities), a second objective was to serve as a tourism promoting amenity (Little Rock, Tampa), and transportation objectives were largely afterthoughts”
This doesn't work. This has never been and will never be even slightly successful. Let's look at a place where they do trams right: Western Europe, where trams are the major or shared major transportation in almost every big city. All these streetcar systems serve a clear purpose: mass rapid transit on mid-long distances, wiring out 5-10 miles from the city center. When cities become too large for trams to get everyone around, a metro system is built on top of it. Because trams are too slow for longer distances, and metro's have too few stops for shorter distances, these modes of transportation co-exist very well: they complement each other. Pic related shows how streetcar, subway and commuter rail work together in Munich, Germany.

>it's too hard to retrofit modern city design to streetcars that it's not worth it
Like other Anons pointed out, almost all US cities once had streetcars. On top of that, American city design with its long straight roads is pretty much ideal for trams, way better than in Europe. Ofc you'll have to restructure the city around the new tram lines, but this is something that needs to be done anyway if you're serious about making public transportation more than something poor people use because they can't afford to be stuck in traffic 3 hours per day. French cities that had to restructure to retrofit a tram system are all flourishing now, so I'm expecting the same in the US. But in the end we can ony guess, because there have been no serious attempts.
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>>1315338
>captcha: select all images with buses
No, google. Buses can't handle the traffic flows if people are actually using public transpotrtation. Even if you somehow manage to run enough buses, your city will be digested with buses and it will cost you a lot of money because buses are expensive to operate because of the higher friction of rubber tires and the amount of drivers. This is another reason why cities lay down tram lines: they are expensive to construct but after 20 years they start saving money in comparison to keeping the buses.
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>>1313415

tRaMs ArE DEadLy FoR CyCLisTS
>>
london had trams everywhere and they got canned, shame they did too london would have been much better with trams instead of the heavily polluted tube and shitty busses
>>
Yes. I think if you commit to building a tram line, all kinds of transit-oriented development will pop up around it.

Studies have not shown clear results, but I'm convinced it's true.
>>
>>1314001
New systems need to be planned for comprehensive expansion in the future, as well as tying into other transportation systems where applicable.
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>>1315350
Hah. When I'm going about on my bike, I get obstructed or endangered by literally everyone except the trams. It's
>80% cars
>10% pedestrians
>5% busses
>5% other cyclists
>0% trams and trains
that block my path or risk collisions.

I know your statement was sarcastic btw, but I think it's an important point.
>>
>>1315350
are you that typical country boy that comes to the city and first thing gets his wheel stuck in the tram tracks and breaking his neck?
>>
>>1316624
>>1316656
People who can’t ride across a track bed without crashing don’t belong on a bike and should probably be in a group home for the developmentally disabled
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Why not surface heavy rail segregated from traffic except at controlled crossings?

A lot of Japan is like this and it works very well.
>>
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>>1316715
There's a short section in Austin, Texas

I feel like it would work on a lot of those 10-lane american boulevards
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>>1316656
>tfw once saw a guy in Zurich get his wheel stuck in the tram track and fall right over
>tfw laughed out loud at him
I'm going to hell aren't I
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>>1315517
There's a very clear tendency for higher demand for residential areas close to public transit. That means land value around public transit is higher. That means density will tend to rise in those areas. Which is like indirect, "natural" transit oriented development. It's "natural" as in not specifically planned in relation to transit, but transit does foster that kind of development.

High density isn't sustainable without mass transit, as traffic becomes unbearable.
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>>1316747
How many people actually ride that in Austin? It doesn’t go near the university and state capitol complex and unless you live in certain northern suburbs and work downtown it doesn’t do much. They’re using an old freight line so there’s not much street running and it didn’t take a lot to start up. The most interesting feature is big pink granite blocks along the ROW from where the narrow gauge derailed in the 1880s while hauling it to the Capitol building site.
In the late 70s a light rail initiative almost passed and Austin could have been a much different city if it had grown around rail lines. Now it’s just Houston/Dallas type sprawl.
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>>1316747
Wait, I don't see a pantograph or a trolley on that thing.
...It isn't diesel, is it?
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>>1316891
>...It isn't diesel, is it?
It is.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_MetroRail
It uses Stadler GTWs and it's commuter rail, with a brief street running section, because MetroRail has no real stations, and Austin has no real rail hub.

In Europe, Stadler GTWs are used on remote branch lines to small villiages in the middle of a forest or something.
I once took a Stadler GTW in Berlin between Gesundbrunnen and Spandau. That tiny little train was going from the city to some tiny villiage. It connects small, remote locations to the largest regional city (and the federal capital). Because it was a DB Regio, I could take the train with my Berlin integrated tariff zone ticket, but that was really neat, taking such a tiny train, on a route I could have just taken the S-Bahn for.
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>>1316904
>Capital MetroRail was inaugurated in March 2010
>2010
What's the reason for building a non-electrified passenger rail line in a year past 1975? I don't usually shit on America because America, but are they really this stupid?
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>>1316906
1. Cheap to build
2. Easy to build
3. Fast to build

All you need are tracks, some platforms, a depot and a refueling area. Building an electrified line requires land acquisition for substation, poles for the catenary, the catenary installation, the maintainence of both the catenary and the substations and also the whole dealing with whoever is running the local electrical system, and dealing with the politics of stuff.
>>
>>1316906
The (somewhat) recent eBART extension of the BART system uses Stadler GTWs on a standard gauge line which connects to the normal BART.
This was because simply extending the BART was too expensive (electrification plus 5'6 broad gauge), too complicated (difficult to source 5'6 broad gauge) and too slow (can't just use off the shelf parts). Plus, there was the politics of it all. Cheap, fast and easy if the American way.
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>>1316911
1. Cheap to build
2. Easy to build
3. Fast to build

All you need are tracks, some platforms, a depot and a couple of substations. Building a non-electrified line requires land acquisition for refueling stations, the maintenance cost of both replacing the immense amount of parts that wear down in internal combustion engines and the specialized facilities required to service them and also the whole dealing with noise pollution in urban areas, and dealing with the politics of stuff.
>>
>>1316916
Here's a problem:
Americans, especially NIMBYs and politicians often perpetuate that electrification is a "boondoggle".

Lower upfront costs are more appealing to the average person. Plus, how exactly can you convince people that EMUs have lower running costs? How can you convince the Trump voting public that "clean transport" is good?
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>>1316914
That's more reasonable except for the lack of electrification, since most of the supposed advantages of the BART system turned out to be huge downsides. Seriously, flat wheels?
>>1316919
You do have a point.
It just baffles me how people in this day and age can see electrified rail as a hassle more than anything else.
>>
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>>1316914
>building part of a line in a different gauge
nice, that always turns out well
>running diesel trains on your rapid transit line because electrification is too expensive / too complicated
you're literally on the same level as nigeria right now, let that sink in
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>>1316940
>you're literally on the same level as nigeria right now, let that sink in
Meanwhile, in the UK, it will be illegal to operate diesel only trains.
https://www.ft.com/content/026e3bc6-0f4e-11e8-940e-08320fc2a277
This means that by 2040, all trains will have to be electric, or at the very least, bi-mode. Though, if I'm honest, I think hydrogen fuel cell locomotives and multiple units for unelectrified branch lines and sidings/shunting is more than possible.
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>>1316921
I don’t think the electrification is the hassle. With Austin any serious tram/light rail means tearing up one of the major north south streets which would take years. Maybe a line to the airport could find some private ROW without tearing up the streets. Instead they used a surplus freight line that unfortunately missed the core downtown and university area. It does swing into downtown from the east but misses almost everything else. They just wanted a quick and easy meme train.
Despite its progressive image Austin has repeatedly voted down various rail referendums. Houston and especially Dallas have far more rail which is funny since so much Austin hipper-than-thou ‘tude is about looking down on those cities as less enlightened.
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>>1316940
>>1316919
San Francisco is having Caltrain electrified along 51 miles. It's going to cost 1.9 billion. Possibly more.
Americans are doing something wrong that their infrastructure projects are so ridiculously expensive. But in that situation it seems logical that they'd ruther get some DMUs for a branch line (like with eBart) rather than electrify it.
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>>1317005
It's sad because they could have easily created a killer light rail by re-using the existing rail lines and adding a down town street running section + short branch to the airport, doing something like pic related



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