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Smart Transportation- Light Rail/Trolleys


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#1
RedSoxGo

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In a redevelopment of cities around the world, the shift of the last 10 years has been to make our normal post industrialized cities become 'smart cities'. In America, billions of dollars have been poured in Development projects across the nation (NYC-Hudson Yards, Boston-Seaport/South End, Washington DC-Crystal City, etc), however, the transportation within these cities designing this smart frontier lack adequate expansion of their transportation networks. The biggest issue associated with transportation (Mainly Train/Subway/Light/Heavy Rail, etc) has been the cost associated with expansion projects (ie. 13 Billion Dollars to add a tunnel from South Station to North Station in Boston, MA, USA). 

 

However, last week in Boston, and last year i Sydney I noticed that there certain ways city redevelopment can be furthered more at a less expensive cost. Instead of building multi billion dollar tunnels that span a few miles to service an underground train network, wide lengthey roads can be used for trolley/street car service for a fraction of the cost, while helping the revitalization of areas at street level (And reducing the street car traffic use). It seems like a feasible idea to introduce street cars in out cities from inner suburbs and business districts within a city to demanded point within the city. Although in some cities like NYC, street car/trolley service would not be possible due to the massive traffic flow in manhattan... cities like Boston, DC, LA, Miami, etc, all have particular routes that could handle this type of service. It would bulk up density within the area, reduce car use and help make the given city more attractive on both an environmental and business index. 


MAL

 


#2
Betty Marilyn Smith

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Gosh the redevelopment projects of these cities are massive and cost a lot. But if you see the streetcar or trolleys aren't really feasible in high density cities with narrow roads (especially New York). A better idea is still to upgrade the metro system, maybe make the exits wider, or increase the frequency of trains.

The government can also reduce the price of the metro to encourage people to use the metro, or they can renovate the metro stations.

Why many people have cars is so that they can travel between cities, and small communities. Having a train system is effective to serve smaller communities, where there may not be airports. This can also reduce car usage.



#3
davedave

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The use-case for light rail/trams - I understand in the US the terms are pretty much interchangeable, whereas in the UK light rail means commuter trains - isn't big cities. The road-sharing and traffic interactions make it more expensive than alternatives - even taking into account the very high cost of tunneling - and that's before you even think about the alternative commercial value of the street-level property needed for a tram stop. 

 

It's great in smaller and/or less dense cities, though, where it runs as light rail outside the city for a few tens of miles (at most) and then works much like buses for a mile or two in the city centre. The benefits are the cost-savings over running buses and light rail, and the convenience of not having to switch from one to the other.

 

If you want to fix transport in big cities, and you're willing to make big changes, it's really not a hard problem to solve. All you need to do is separate light traffic - say, <500kg - from heavy traffic. As soon as you're not mixing with full-size cars, let alone lorries and buses, you can safely ride a scooter, or drive a go-kart sized vehicle, or anything else of that nature. 



#4
davedave

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The use-case for light rail/trams - I understand in the US the terms are pretty much interchangeable, whereas in the UK light rail means commuter trains - isn't big cities. The road-sharing and traffic interactions make it more expensive than alternatives - even taking into account the very high cost of tunneling - and that's before you even think about the alternative commercial value of the street-level property needed for a tram stop. 

 

It's great in smaller and/or less dense cities, though, where it runs as light rail outside the city for a few tens of miles (at most) and then works much like buses for a mile or two in the city centre. The benefits are the cost-savings over running buses and light rail, and the convenience of not having to switch from one to the other.

 

If you want to fix transport in big cities, and you're willing to make big changes, it's really not a hard problem to solve. All you need to do is separate light traffic - say, <500kg - from heavy traffic. As soon as you're not mixing with full-size cars, let alone lorries and buses, you can safely ride a scooter, or drive a go-kart, or use any other small, light vehicle you can dream up. Very few cities are so big that you need to do more than 15-20mph to get around - in fact, getting anything like that speed at rush hour is a dream in most big cities - and you're not up against lorries, so you don't need much crash protection. The energy usage is better than full public transport, for such light vehicles, and yet we'd have all the advantages of individual vehicles.

 

It also solves a lot of the legal/ethical problems with driverless cars if you have vehicles too light and slow to kill anyone even if they do accidentally hit them.

 

And let's be honest, the main reason to do it is that it'd be more fun :)






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