Increasingly in urban transportation planning, light rail transit (LRT) is becoming the choice for busy corridors and networks. At least a dozen entirely new operations are being adapted to LRT. Prior to 1970 and because of the highway-vehicle congestion, streetcars were being abandoned in most cities of the world. In some European countries, however, the automobile-dominated city was rejected and, where right-of-way was available, streetcar was being transformed into LRT. High capacity electric traction and superior riding qualities make rail modes more desirable wherever passenger volume justifies the higher investment and lower operating cost. Between conventional bus services and full rapid transit there is a medium capacity transit range which LRT can fill. Other competitors in this range are trolleybuses, busways, buses with optional guidance, automated guideway transit and advanced lRT. LRT characteristics are defined as separated right-of-way wherever possible; station designs varying from simple stops to full-scale transit structures; signaling varying from none on open-air segments to full protection in tunnels; vehicles of widely varying characteristics with mechanical and electrical innovations. Costs are a function of infrastructure and vehicle type. LRT is the only mode which combines the advantages of guidance and electric tractio with the ability to use shared right-of-way. It can be built or upgraded section by section with each segment going into service on completion. It offers great diversity in station and right-of-way design, vehicle type and operation, and adaptability to many differing circumstances.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00455101
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1986 12:00AM