Advocates say that the latter-day successor to the electric trolley car, the Light Rail Vehicle (LRV), can have the speed, comfort and attractiveness to bring rail transit at a fraction of the cost of heavy rail systems which operate on expensive, grade-separated rights-of-way. The experience of San Diego, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco the Pittsburgh suggest that some of these claims have merit. In the 1970s a combination of municipal ownership of transit facilities, UMTA funding and the two fuel crises forced a rethinking of the streetcar's potential for building and rebuilding cities. The blurred distinction between some of the current light rail projects and full rapid transit are discussed. The ability of light rail to use a variety of right-of-way configurations is an advantage; off-the-shelf vehicle technology is available. LRVS are being sited, planned and financed with a sophistication that was not a factor in old-style street railway development; most are corridor oriented. Some of the problems with the current enthusiasm for this mode are included in the article.

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 15-20
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00389866
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 30 1984 12:00AM