Sep 26, 2018

Why trackless trams are ready to replace light rail

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, transportation

I began my life as an activist academic in 1979 when the Western Australian government closed the Fremantle railway, saying buses would be better. Patronage immediately fell by 30% and I ran a four-year campaign to save the railway. We won. I have been writing books and running campaigns ever since on why trains and trams are better than buses. But I have changed my mind. The technology has changed, and I think it will end the need for new light rail.

“Trackless trams” are based on technology created in Europe and China by taking innovations from high-speed and putting them in a bus.

I went to China to check out the CRRC trackless tram (they call it autonomous rail transit, or ART). I came back convinced it’s a transformative transit technology.

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