Wednesday, November 26, 2008


In Los Angeles, where the car is king, an unlikely mode of public transport is making a comeback: the tram. Following the model set by cities such as Portland (pictured) and Seattle, which have reintroduced trams in recent years to great success, LA is planning to build a 5Km system as part of an overall revitalization of the city’s Broadway commercial corridor. Ironically, before highways crisscrossed southern California, LA had one of the largest tram systems in the world, with 20 lines, nearly 970km of track, and more than 1,200 trams. The system reached its peak in the 1930’s and then faced a losing battle with the car, finally disappearing in 1963.

The big question now is whether Angelenos will want to ditch their cars in favour of something greener.

DING DING – US tram projects:
CINCINNATI: 10-12km loop
COLUMBUS: 4.5km system
ATLANTA: two lines and 16km of track
MIAMI: 16km system that’s part of a 2 billion euro redevelopment project
AUSTIN: 24km linking airport and city
In MONOCLE, Novembro 2008, pág. 38

(esta história parece muito familiar... e também podemos fazer a mesma pergunta que aparece no final do artigo: «Será que os lisboetas irão descartar os seus carros em favor de algo mais verde?» Depois de tantas décadas de investimento na mobilidade centrada nas viaturas de transporte individual...)

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