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Old November 20th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #3741
sotonsi
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Why doesn't TfL start a plan to replace busiest bus corridors with trams?
They looked at it, it fell pretty flat.

And it's not like it would actually increase capacity - in fact it might reduce it - 24 trams an hour is ~4800 people per hour, but 60 double deckers an hour is over 5000. Plans typically closed the road off to buses when the trams were at 24tph.

Cross River Tram gave service levels and ridership figures that were basically were basically the line full at the time.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 02:59 AM   #3742
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
And it's not like it would actually increase capacity - in fact it might reduce it - 24 trams an hour is ~4800 people per hour, but 60 double deckers an hour is over 5000. Plans typically closed the road off to buses when the trams were at 24tph.
24 trams carry way over 6'000 people if necessary. Actually, to run buses for more than 3'000 passengers/hour and direction is criminally uneconomic.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 04:13 AM   #3743
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24 trams carry way over 6'000 people if necessary.
A M5000 unit (as seen on Manchester Metrolink) is 28.4m long and carries 206 people
A Croydon Variobahn tram is 32.37m long and carries 206 people
Bendy buses were 18m long and carried 140+ people
Boris buses are 11.23m and carries 87 people

Cross-River and West London trams weren't proposing double unit trams (nor would get them: the Bendy Bus was a PR disaster due to length blocking junctions and Metrolink's trams are 10m longer, with Croydon's even longer), so 206 people per tram x 24 trams per hour is 4944 ppl/hour.

Capacity is pretty similar to a double decker/minute (which is about 300 ppl/hour more with Boris buses), and there are benefits and costs for each mode that mostly cancel each other out. But tram infrastructure needs to be built, which costs money, so the status quo remains.
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Actually, to run buses for more than 3'000 passengers/hour and direction is criminally uneconomic.
To embark on a massive and disruptive construction programme to convert busy bus corridors to tram routes for no reason other than trams aren't buses is criminally uneconomic.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 05:47 PM   #3744
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
A M5000 unit (as seen on Manchester Metrolink) is 28.4m long and carries 206 people
A Croydon Variobahn tram is 32.37m long and carries 206 people
Bendy buses were 18m long and carried 140+ people
Boris buses are 11.23m and carries 87 people

Cross-River and West London trams weren't proposing double unit trams (nor would get them: the Bendy Bus was a PR disaster due to length blocking junctions and Metrolink's trams are 10m longer, with Croydon's even longer), so 206 people per tram x 24 trams per hour is 4944 ppl/hour.
Longer trams are able to hold more people. The 266 space in this 45 m long tram multiply to 6'384 for 24 services. And that's not even the longest tram. If properly planned neither a tram nor an articulated bus blocks a junction.

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Capacity is pretty similar to a double decker/minute (which is about 300 ppl/hour more with Boris buses), and there are benefits and costs for each mode that mostly cancel each other out. But tram infrastructure needs to be built, which costs money, so the status quo remains.To embark on a massive and disruptive construction programme to convert busy bus corridors to tram routes for no reason other than trams aren't buses is criminally uneconomic.
Trams are way more economic than buses at this level of passenger volume though. And the disruption during the construction of the tracks is a one time inconvenience which is more than just offset by smooth rides for decades if not centuries.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 07:16 PM   #3745
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Longer trams are able to hold more people.
Well duh. But as I said, wasn't proposed (despite being an obvious move that happens in Manchester*, especially as CRT would have been full and was created before the campaign against Bendy buses happened) - almost certainly for physical reasons of having longer vehicles on the streets, and now, after the failure of bendy buses, its politically very very difficult.

Also, 1m shy of twice the length of a Metrolink M5000 and only 60 passengers more than a single M5000?
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If properly planned neither a tram nor an articulated bus blocks a junction.
Maybe in cities that aren't London. We've tried to implement 18m long vehicles, and failed - our city isn't designed (well it wasn't really designed) for long buses, let alone short trains, on our roads. There's too many junctions, too many tight corners.

I would say that if Germans like yourself want London to have trams on busy bus routes, perhaps your compatriots should have done a better job of flattening it in WW2, but they did flatten Southampton, and bendy buses there lasted about 6 months, before they went back to double deckers after the trial failed. Another bus operator did a 10-day trial and while finding many capacity and loading time benefits (the prime reason why they did a trial), bought new double deckers instead.

*on the ex-railway routes and through the city centre on what is a near-entirely segregated route with few cross movements for non-foot traffic. The tram forms quite a barrier in the city.
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Trams are way more economic than buses at this level of passenger volume though.
But they are much less convenient, with longer waits and greater walks to stops (plus fewer direct services). And they cannot mix as well as buses with other traffic (like cyclists) - many streets would have to be tram only (which killed West London Tram)

The efficiencies, which mostly come from fewer drivers, do not justify spending over £10m/km (2005 prices, based on WLT) to build the infrastructure.
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And the disruption during the construction of the tracks is a one time inconvenience which is more than just offset by smooth rides for decades if not centuries.
Yes, because most of the last set of tram tracks lasted what? 70 years tops? Buses thrashed them on economic grounds (though I grant that they weren't as efficient as modern trams) and killed them off - they only made it into the 1950s because their doom was delayed by WW2.

I'm not saying that trams wouldn't be nice to have, and definitely not saying that buses are better, but that on-street trams aren't better to a large enough value to justify building lines on busy bus corridors. There's some economies of scale that might justify the (mostly off-street) tram network at Croydon decides to build an on-street route to Thornton Heath Pond or Purley, but a new system elsewhere in London, especially in Central London, is highly unlikely.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 08:15 PM   #3746
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But even if Luftwaffe had flattened the city properly that doesn't mean that the rebuilding would have occurred on a redesigned street pattern would it? Civic planner would likely have wanted to respect tradition and rebuilt using the same street layout as was there before.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 08:38 PM   #3747
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But even if Luftwaffe had flattened the city properly that doesn't mean that the rebuilding would have occurred on a redesigned street pattern would it? Civic planner would likely have wanted to respect tradition and rebuilt using the same street layout as was there before.
True. My point was that it would take a city redesign to make long trams viable in London, but even the total post-war redesign in Southampton didn't aid the case for bendy buses enough for them to stay after trials.

Correction to my last post: "Also, 1m shy of twice the length of a Metrolink M5000 and only 60 passengers more than a single M5000?" 45m isn't 1m shy, it's 11m shy (I got confused with the 23m standard long rail carriage), however it's more than 1.5 times the length and holds only an extra 30%.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 09:49 PM   #3748
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Correction to my last post: "Also, 1m shy of twice the length of a Metrolink M5000 and only 60 passengers more than a single M5000?" 45m isn't 1m shy, it's 11m shy (I got confused with the 23m standard long rail carriage), however it's more than 1.5 times the length and holds only an extra 30%.
The Metrolink trams are 35 cm wider and have a disproportionally small number of seats. That makes them more capacitive than the Leipzig trams.

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Maybe in cities that aren't London. We've tried to implement 18m long vehicles, and failed - our city isn't designed (well it wasn't really designed) for long buses, let alone short trains, on our roads. There's too many junctions, too many tight corners.
London has as many tight corners as other cities. Neither are there more junctions. The perception that London would be vastly different form other cities in Europe is simply ludicrous. And I don't think that you believe that yourself.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
But they are much less convenient, with longer waits and greater walks to stops (plus fewer direct services). And they cannot mix as well as buses with other traffic (like cyclists) - many streets would have to be tram only (which killed West London Tram)
Judging by this comment I can assume that you haven't been to a tram city yet. I recommend Amsterdam to you. It confutes pretty much all of these points, especially the last one.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
The efficiencies, which mostly come from fewer drivers, do not justify spending over £10m/km (2005 prices, based on WLT) to build the infrastructure.Yes, because most of the last set of tram tracks lasted what? 70 years tops? Buses thrashed them on economic grounds (though I grant that they weren't as efficient as modern trams) and killed them off - they only made it into the 1950s because their doom was delayed by WW2.
Trams may have been dropped by British cities. Other countries were not so hasty and short-sighted.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 09:54 PM   #3749
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Long trams are perfectly viable, if they come on short units.

Example: the Sirio Lungo trams used in Milano - I just found an older video

And also, of course, the Combino Supra NF12B in Hungary



Trams have a huge advantage over buses: since they have a fixed guideway (tracks), they can be made longer, without loss on precision of movement, something that articulated buses cannot do.

Both are used on mixed traffic situations as well as in exclusive ROWs. They could fit well in London.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 10:12 PM   #3750
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Another big advantage of trams (and all rail vehicles) is that the contact between steel wheels and rails generates a lot less friction than rubber tires on asphalt, which means they're less expensive to run.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 10:27 PM   #3751
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The biggest advantage of trams is they are simply far nicer to ride than buses and so attract higher ridership.

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Old November 22nd, 2014, 10:51 AM   #3752
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One of the things I love about visiting Melbourne is the trams; they add real character to the place. Count me as a fan.

However I think comparing London with cities of 1-3 mil people is problematic as London is so much bigger and the sheer volume of people moving into, out of and around the city I'd have thought would be an order of magnitude greater. Comparisons with Paris (a few pages back) made more sense to me.

Trams have been successfully reintroduced in several British cities now and there they seem to work pretty well; extremely well in the case of Manchester for one. I'm not as convinced that building a network in central London would make nearly as much sense, though who knows? Perhaps it could be made to work somehow...
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 03:02 PM   #3753
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The biggest advantage of trams is they are simply far nicer to ride than buses and so attract higher ridership.
Derek - absolutely, which is why on the busiest bus routes in London they aren't a good idea - you simply won't improve the capacity enough, even with long trams.
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Another big advantage of trams (and all rail vehicles) is that the contact between steel wheels and rails generates a lot less friction than rubber tires on asphalt, which means they're less expensive to run.
Indeed, but they are expensive to build. Also Paris has converted some of its Metro to rubber tyres to improve acceleration, which is important.
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Trams have a huge advantage over buses: since they have a fixed guideway (tracks),
Problem - need to build track at high cost
Problem - loss of direct buses running on alternate routes as you won't get the ten bus routes, all slightly different focusing on a corridor as you can't get the reliablity
Problem - loss of flexibility: can't get round issues that block the tracks

There are bonuses, but it's not all good.
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they can be made longer, without loss on precision of movement, something that articulated buses cannot do.
Precision of movement isn't the issue with length - blocking junctions, etc are. I look at some big city railed-bus tram systems below.
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Both are used on mixed traffic situations as well as in exclusive ROWs. They could fit well in London.
Parts of London (cf Croydon), sure - but not Central London, where there aren't exclusive ROWs to give speed advantages that make it worth the capital expenditure.

Oh, other than the DLR, but that's trams on a completely segregated alignment, with 56m or (on most routes now) 84m vehicles. And the Paris Metro (which is similar with ~80m trains that are basically trams running on segregated alignments - except on the lines that are guided trolleybuses on segregated alignments)
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
The Metrolink trams are 35 cm wider and have a disproportionally small number of seats. That makes them more capacitive than the Leipzig trams.
Well yes. The "disproportionally small" number of seats is due to the need to transport passengers as densely as possible.

This is especially true of trams replacing buses - a criticism of the bendy bus was that it took up more road space per passenger than a double decker.

Of course, another big one was that people were having to stand on the buses due to having about half the passenger/seat ratio. Trams would really need to pull the rabbit out of the hat to be politically viable.
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London has as many tight corners as other cities. Neither are there more junctions.
Maybe, but like other cities (Amsterdam, Berlin), long trams won't work well. The longest I can see in Berlin is the new 40m sets, but even those trams are more common in the 30m range (like a single banana on Manchester Metrolink). Long trams in London of the lengths you suggest are impossible.
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The perception that London would be vastly different form other cities in Europe is simply ludicrous. And I don't think that you believe that yourself.
1) It doesn't have an existing track network, but would have to build a vast network at high prices with masses of disruption.
2) Other than Amsterdam, which is still considerably smaller, you keep comparing London to places an order of magnitude smaller.
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Judging by this comment I can assume that you haven't been to a tram city yet. I recommend Amsterdam to you. It confutes pretty much all of these points, especially the last one.
But uses 25m long trams, not 45m long ones, for all the reasons I gave as to why London can't have long trams! On London's busiest bus routes, that simply isn't enough capacity!
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Trams may have been dropped by British cities. Other countries were not so hasty and short-sighted.
Other countries didn't need the capacity, flexibility and speed that buses gave, or couldn't afford it.

London's trams were an outmoded anachronism in the 30s. Keeping them in the 50s, rather than investing in buses, would have been a short-termist view and wouldn't be useful today, save some of the tracks.
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Comparisons with Paris (a few pages back) made more sense to me.
Indeed.
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Trams have been successfully reintroduced in several British cities now and there they seem to work pretty well; extremely well in the case of Manchester for one. I'm not as convinced that building a network in central London would make nearly as much sense
Indeed. Central London doesn't have the segregated alignments that all the modern tram schemes elsewhere in the UK have (disused railways, alongside a road, former bus-only roads that are now tram-only) to make them successful.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 04:07 PM   #3754
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Paris Metro (which is similar with ~80m trains that are basically trams running on segregated alignments - except on the lines that are guided trolleybuses on segregated alignments)Well yes.
The so called tram or guided trolleybuses that is Paris metro is carrying more passengers than London Underground on a lower number of km.
The frequencies and capacity and ridership of Paris metro are nothing like a tram or worse guided trolleybuses.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 05:35 PM   #3755
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The need or use for trams in large metropolitan cities/regions without A lot of streetspace is limited i'd consider Paris' as A good example;
The suburbs & outer parts of city center have trams, trams in those inner-cities aren't A good idea by any stretch of imagination.

Too many people and other modes of transport to take into consideration.

Even in Amsterdam (where I live), it's becoming rather clear that some parts of citycenter just can't handle large amounts of other forms of mobility & trams in the street.
You could easily make A tram network, but such would have to go underground, making it -capacity-wise- A light-rail/"pre"-metro service.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 06:28 PM   #3756
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The need or use for trams in large metropolitan cities/regions without A lot of streetspace i'd consider Paris' as A good example;
The suburbs & outer parts of city center have trams, trams in those inner-cities aren't A good idea by any stretch of imagination.

Too many people and other modes of transport to take into consideration.

Even in Amsterdam (where I live), it's becoming rather clear that some parts of citycenter just can't handle large amounts of other forms of mobility & trams in the street.
You could easily make A tram network, but such would have to go underground, making it -capacity-wise- A light-rail/"pre"-metro service.
Amsterdam is solving that problem with a new subway line to open in 2016. London could build more tube lines as well, if that is the case.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 09:00 PM   #3757
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The so called tram or guided trolleybuses that is Paris metro is carrying more passengers than London Underground on a lower number of km.
Paris Metro doesn't make it 10km from the centre, London Underground makes it 30km. Paris Metro has about 10% more stations (303 v 270).

Factoring in that it only serves the inner core, has more stations and isn't 'competing' with a bus network but is providing much of that function, then it's little wonder that the Paris Metro has a higher ridership with less route length.
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The frequencies and capacity and ridership of Paris metro are nothing like a tram or worse guided trolleybuses.
calling it 'guided trolleybuses' is a bit of a joke, given they run on rubber tyres. Calling it 'tram' is a bit of a joke too, but if the Central line isn't RER-equivalent due to inter-stop distance, then the Paris Metro is (just about) DLR-equivalent. And the DLR is basically trams that are entirely segregated.

The functionality of the Paris Metro is basically (very) heavy duty tram. And 'tram', in the sense of light rail vehicles that may run on-street, rather than buses that run on rails: tram doesn't have to be second-rate.

(NB - all figures average)

Paris Metro's Line 1 stops every 664m and line 4 every 448m (I took those lines as the busiest - perhaps I took the worst examples?). Even the light rail networks in London wouldn't stop that frequently - the DLR stopping every 755m, Tramlink 717m. (Elsewhere in the UK: Manchester Metrolink 620m, NET 609m, Midland Metro 565m, Edinburgh 933m, Sheffield 604m).

The Underground's Northern line stops every 862m, the Central every 1510m(!). The Circle line, which only covers the area that the Paris Metro would, stops every 750m.

In fact, the Paris Metro's average stop-to-stop distances on line 4 are lower than the bus-on-rail tram proposals that we had in London: Cross River Tram's proposed average stop distance was going to be 551m, West London Tram's 475m.

Parisian tramways stop, on average, every 578m (T1:472m, T2:746m, T3a:496m, T3b:couldn't be bothered to hunt for info, T4:718m, T5:412m, T7:622m) - it's basically a slower, less capacious, less frequent Metro for the outer regions!

As for frequencies - a central London tram network would have to run at those high levels of frequencies too.

---

I don't think trams are second rate solutions, I merely don't think bus-on-rail tram lines are a solution for London's busiest bus corridors
- you can't have long vehicles (a problem in Amsterdam too)
- you would need to provide very high (for rail) frequencies to meet the demand currently supplied by buses plus the extra demand caused by them being trams
- they cost a lot to build, and cause a lot of disruption while doing so
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 09:03 PM   #3758
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Paris Metro doesn't make it 10km from the centre, London Underground makes it 30km. Paris Metro has about 10% more stations (303 v 270).

Factoring in that it only serves the inner core, has more stations and isn't 'competing' with a bus network but is providing much of that function, then it's little wonder that the Paris Metro has a higher ridership with less route length.
Guided trolleybuses is a bit of a joke, given they run on rubber tyres. Calling it 'tram' is a bit of a joke too, but if the Central line isn't RER-equivalent due to inter-stop distance, then the Paris Metro can barely be DLR-equivalent. And the DLR is basically trams that are entirely segregated.

The functionality of the Paris Metro is basically (very) heavy duty tram. And 'tram', in the sense of light rail vehicles that may run on-street, rather than buses that run on rails: tram doesn't have to be second-rate (and nor do buses).

Paris Metro's Line 1 stops every 664m and line 4 every 448m (all figures on average and I took those lines as the busiest - perhaps I took the worst examples?). Even the light rail networks in London wouldn't stop that frequently - the DLR stopping every 755m, Tramlink 717m. (Elsewhere in the UK: Manchester Metrolink 620m, NET 609m, Midland Metro 565m, Edinburgh 933m, Sheffield 604m)

The Underground's Northern line stops every 862m, the Central every 1510m(!). The Circle line, which only covers the area that the Paris Metro would, stops every 750m.

In fact, the Paris Metro's average stop-to-stop distances on line 4 are lower than the bus-on-rail tram proposals that we had in London: Cross River Tram's proposed average stop distance was going to be 551m, West London Tram's 475m.

Parisian tramways stop, on average, every 578m (T1:472m, T2:746m, T3a:496m, T3b:couldn't be bothered to hunt for info, T4:718m, T5:412m, T7:622m) - it's basically a slower, less capacious, less frequent Metro for the outer regions!

As for frequencies - a central London tram network would have to run at those high levels of frequencies too.

---

I don't think trams are second rate solutions, I merely don't think bus-on-rail tram lines are a solution for London's busiest bus corridors
- you can't have long vehicles (a problem in Amsterdam too)
- you would need to provide very high (for rail) frequencies to meet the demand currently supplied by buses plus the extra demand caused by them being trams
- they cost a lot to build, and cause a lot of disruption while doing so
You're writing about distances, but Minato Ku specifically referred to frequencies and capacities.

Also, having the metro stop so frequently is no big deal when you can easily interchange with the RER if you have to cover great distances.

You have to better consider those systems (for Paris at least 14 metro lines, 5 RER lines, and the 8 tram lines) if you want to make proper comparisons, as Paris is not so centred on its Métro as London (at least North London) is with the LU.

Otherwise it would be like saying that South London has no rail public transport because LU barely makes it there.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 11:04 PM   #3759
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I don't think trams are second rate solutions, I merely don't think bus-on-rail tram lines are a solution for London's busiest bus corridors
- you can't have long vehicles (a problem in Amsterdam too)
Well that's just nonsense. You can't compare the streets of Amsterdam, including Leidsestraat with only double track sections on canal bridges for station stops, with Central London's streets. There's so so so much more road space in London given to motor traffic.

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- they cost a lot to build, and cause a lot of disruption while doing so
Obviously one would be thinking long term.
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Old November 23rd, 2014, 12:25 PM   #3760
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As someone who used to live in London I think a lot of the opposition to trams is ill informed. Trams given their tracks would be far better at following the narrow streets of central London than the bendy buses were, and with proper route selection and station placement even double units wouldn't block any roads (as they don't in Central Manchester).

Having said that I don't think Oxford Street was the right route for them, simply because the destinations served from it are too diverse for trans to replace them all. It's a bit like Manchester's Oxford Road in that regard. But the individual busy routes like the 29 to Camden and Holloway that don't use this corridor could be suitable for conversion.
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