Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lancaster master planners on trolleys vs. buses

The following is from the Lancaster County Planning Commission - Master Planner Course, Debora S. Mengoni, October 25, 2007:

"At the top of the list of Curitiba's (Brazil) achievements is the Bus Rapid Transit system. The city was given Federal money to build a subway, but Lerner discovered that 'heavy rail' like a subway costs 10 times the amount of 'light rail' (trolleys), which in turn costs 10 times as much as a bus system, even with dedicated bus ways."

The Planning Commission also published "Heritage Street Cars: Old Friend For A New Downtown Lancaster" by Elizabeth J. Bowman. However, it contains no evidence or even reference to the success of street cars in cities comparable to Lancaster, and only makes a passing reference to their presence in New York, Paris, London, Venice and Copenhagen.

We haven't observed trolleys in mid-town or lower Manhattan.

Furthermore, our observation, as we previously reported with photos from Budapest, is European trolleys are multi-cars (like trains) and typically run in dedicated right-of-ways with loading platforms in the middle of eight lane steets!