Comment 2920

By jason (registered) | Posted January 12, 2007 at 10:32:36

Better yet, I've been digging around online and found out that the streetcars used in Portland are lighter than typical light rail vehicles, meaning considerable cost is saved during construction. The streetcar vehicles only require a 12-inch deep cut in the road to lay down the track, whereas light rail requires complete road reconstruction and even removal of some underground services. This is how Portland constructed their streetcar line for roughly $25million per mile. New cost estimates I'm finding are pegging light rail at around $35-$65 million per mile in 2006-2007 dollars. The Portland Streetcar would be too short to use as a light rail vehicle in Hamilton, but the company that makes them also has a 5-car tram that holds 200 people. They could easily suffice as light rail vehicles for much less money, and not much more money than a full BRT network. And financially rail always results in better bang for the buck - both in terms of private investment and ridership - than buses. More to come on these lighter streetcars in a future issue.

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