The 100th New Tramway

The title here is taken from an article in the April 2006 issue of Tramways and Urban Transit which is published by the Light Rail Transit Association in the UK.

Their website, which contains a wealth of information about LRT systems, can be found here and is well worth a visit.

The significance of this article is twofold:

  • The first city on the list is Edmonton, Alberta which started the worldwide LRT renaissance in 1978.  The fact that Toronto managed to save its streetcar system in 1972 contributed to this because at least one major city decided that maybe streetcars were not such a bad thing after all.
  • Yesterday, of course, we learned of plans for more subway construction, a few busways and precious little else.  Certainly there was nothing remotely on the scale of A Grand Plan elsewhere on this site.

Sometime this year will mark the 100th addition to the list of “modern” LRT systems since Edmonton’s opened 27 years ago. 

Edmonton, Calgary and many other cities built Light Rail Transit while Toronto sat in the backwater.  We’re supposed to be a “world class city” but we seem content to follow the mistakes of the past 30 years.  

Mayor David Miller needs to stop saying “me too” to every subway pet project and start championing real alternatives that will improve transit now.  On CBC’s Metro Morning today, he said that the priorities were “state of good repair, ridership growth and subways”.  It’s time to start delivering on the whole package.

[The link to the LRTA from this page has been fixed.]