Streetcar we desire

25 January 2016

It’s a vicious circle. Cambridge’s historical city centre streets are often too narrow for traditional bus lane expansion. Without bus lanes you’re stuck in traffic with everyone else. If buses cannot provide a faster, cheaper and more reliable option, people choose cars, congestion grows, bus usage shrinks.

The ‘Streetcar We Desire’ project is an interesting solution. Streetcar buses would use a special ‘expressway’ lane down the middle of the city’s major roads using a tidal system – in with the morning commute and out with the evening rush hour. It would work in much the same way as a tram or the underground, but cheaper and quicker to get up and running.

It promises 80,000 passenger journeys per day including at least 20,000 during peak time. Encouraging that the report emphasises the importance of making a system more attractive than private transport.

Reliable journey times, smart ticketing, quick-to-board, easy-to-understand information. Seems bus rapid transport ticks all the boxes on paper and has proven to work in other major cities worldwide – Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Guangzhou are just a few. A step in the right direction?

Find more on this here.

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