Recent innovations in transport technology are now providing mobility that is cheaper, autonomous, electric, and with improved ride quality. While much of the world’s attention has been on how this can be applied to cars, there have been rapid adoption of these and other technologies in High Speed Rail and Metro Rail systems that run between and across cities.
This paper shows how such innovations have now been applied to create the next generation of urban transit system called a Trackless Tram. Trackless Trams are effectively the same as traditional light rail except they run on rubber tyres avoiding disruption from construction for Light Rail, but they retain the electric propulsion (with batteries) and have high ride quality due to rail-type bogies, stabilization technologies and precision tracking from the autonomous optical guidance systems—with infrastructure costs reduced to as low as one tenth of a Light Rail system. As with Light Rail, a Trackless Tram System provides a rapid transit option that can harness the fixed route assurance necessary to unlock new land value appreciation that can be leveraged to contribute to construction and running costs whilst creating urban regeneration.
The paper considers the niche for Trackless Trams in cities along with its potential for city shaping through the creation of urban re-development along corridors. The paper suggests that the adoption of Trackless Tram Systems is likely to grow rapidly as a genuine alternative to car and bus systems, supplementing and extending the niche occupied by Light Rail Transit (LRT). This appears to be feasible in any medium-sized or larger city, especially in emerging and developing economies, and case studies are outlined for Perth and Thimpu to illustrate its potential.
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
The 2020s are predicted to be a decade of transformation for urban mobility. There are at least six forces that are expected to disrupt the urban mobility landscape. From self-driving vehicles and the sharing economy, through to vehicle electrification, mobile computing, the...Read more
Transportation planners are often looking for efficiency in transportation but this article in Science Advances has also identified that resilience is an important city design feature. Planning for when disruptions occur can help to avoid city gridlock.Read more
Four approaches to funding are outlined from fully government to fully private with two in between. The Entrepreneur Rail Model suggests a majority private sector funding can facilitate the new markets for urban regeneration as well as providing integrated rail that government's usually find difficult to fund.
Using Western Australian rail history, and a survey of private investment in transit globally, this paper demonstrates that new partnerships with private transport investment can invigorate the future of cities.
Road agencies face growing pressure to respond to issues related to climate change, resource shortages, and shifting transport mode preferences. A key part of this response will be to reduce the dependency on fossil fuel based energy (and the associated greenhouse gas emissions) of transport infrastructure.