Envied the World Over, Strasbourg’s Tram Expands Again

Strasbourg Homme de Fer

» Europe’s most famous tramway network suggests deficiencies in the ways Americans expand transit.

It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to suggest that almost every major metropolitan area in North America either already has a light rail system in operation or is planning to implement one. Unlike the metro or commuter rail systems that are primarily confined to the most populated regions, light rail is universally appealing because of its relatively cheap construction costs and the degree to which its implementation is credited with spurring the revitalization of dying city centers. More than any other mode of public transportation light rail is assumed (rightly or wrongly) to encourage “choice” riders to choose transit over driving, so it is often the most politically palatable choice when it comes to capital expansion decisions.

Compared to the tramways that have been constructed or expanded across Western Europe over the past two decades, though,

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by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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