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ssiguy2

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These trackless {also known as rubber tired trams} have inherent problems that don't come with the brochure which is why their deployment has been very limited and why Bombardier stopped producing them. Although the technology is sound, they were built to offer the the best of both worlds of LRT & BRT but instead ended up offering the worse of both worlds.

Unlike LRT, they are proprietary technology so you have only one supplier, they do not offer the superior ride or acceleration that naturally comes with rail, and they are completely unreliable in ice or snow. Their benefits of not having to build the rail infrastructure was quickly seen to be a a fallacy as Rouen expensively found out. Their guided buses due to being much heavier than a standard bus and being within a millimetre of constant running created the unforeseen consequence of effecting the asphalt and hence the system began to malfunction so the entire roadway had to be rebuilt with concrete.

Conversely, rubber tired trams don't offer the flexibility, multitude of suppliers, and seamless transfer-free and easy expansion of BRT. They also require far longer construction times and expensive infrastructure costs of standard BRT. The advent of electric & hydrogen buses have also negated their environmental benefits over buses as well as offering a now equally quiet ride. Double articulated buses that are common in Latin America also offset their capacity advantages.

These rubber tired and automated trams are a classic example of a solution looking for a problem.
 

robmausser

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These trackless {also known as rubber tired trams} have inherent problems that don't come with the brochure which is why their deployment has been very limited and why Bombardier stopped producing them. Although the technology is sound, they were built to offer the the best of both worlds of LRT & BRT but instead ended up offering the worse of both worlds.

Unlike LRT, they are proprietary technology so you have only one supplier, they do not offer the superior ride or acceleration that naturally comes with rail, and they are completely unreliable in ice or snow. Their benefits of not having to build the rail infrastructure was quickly seen to be a a fallacy as Rouen expensively found out. Their guided buses due to being much heavier than a standard bus and being within a millimetre of constant running created the unforeseen consequence of effecting the asphalt and hence the system began to malfunction so the entire roadway had to be rebuilt with concrete.

Conversely, rubber tired trams don't offer the flexibility, multitude of suppliers, and seamless transfer-free and easy expansion of BRT. They also require far longer construction times and expensive infrastructure costs of standard BRT. The advent of electric & hydrogen buses have also negated their environmental benefits over buses as well as offering a now equally quiet ride. Double articulated buses that are common in Latin America also offset their capacity advantages.

These rubber tired and automated trams are a classic example of a solution looking for a problem.

There are certain situations that a rubber tyred tram (with a guide track and pantograph) is necessary though. For example in Columbia there is a rubber tired tram, simply because the place it runs has such steep grades that using a traditional LRT is not feasible.
 

ssiguy2

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^ I do appreciate that but those are very niche situations.

La Paz has being employing aerial cable car system for 6 years and has been a stellar success and now has 9 lines and covers 34 km in an extremely densely population and hilly city. It now carries nearly 350,000 passengers a day and has cut travel times dramatically especially to poorer areas that cling to the mountainsides and made bus service nearly impossible. It has brought transit to the masses with service levels the highest in the world...............every 12 seconds. It has truly transformed the city's transportation system and more importantly has resulted in a very large reduction in social and economic disparity as the hundreds of thousands of people who has no access to any transit due to the city's extreme topography now can reach new destinations with extremely high service levels and much faster travel times. One of the lines which connected the downtown with a major suburb by one very congested highway has resulted in travel times being reduced between the 2 from one hour to just 13 minutes.
 

mdrejhon

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In certain cases, trackless tram buses are great as upgrades for existing BRT. Many existing Transitways would be a great fit for similiar travehicles (whether driven or selfdriving) once ridership increases enough.

Although LRTs are better for fresh builds, they can be an okay “Right Tool For Right Job”.

Once a bus becomes double articulated with four sets of all-boarding doors, it already looks tram-like. It’s just a big bus, the easier all-door boarding is welcome for buses too. Batteries can now easily be used instead of catenary, so infrastructure modifications become optional, as much of the YRT BRT can be used as-is.

Whether driven or self driving. So, just semantics as the boundaries blurs somewhat (like LRT blends an old streetcar with a full subway train).

But yes, the repackaging of a big automated bus shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid new-building rail infrastructure where they are worthwhile.
 
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drum118

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Perth will be the first place outside China to implement the trams and the only supplier is CRRC.

Must have no snow
Be allow under law to operate longer on roads and well being harder on the road base. NA truckers will be all over this since they want to do this now.

I see more cons than pro going this route

There was a route in Paris that was built along this line, but a true LRT line now

Trackless trams may be the best alternative to light rail
 

afransen

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There are apparently 10 or so systems that use rubber tire with guide rail. It seems both Bombardier systems are being converted to traditional LRT (perhaps abandoned technology). There are several Translohr systems that seem to be working well, since as long as 2006.

 

robmausser

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They are just biarticulated GPS/lane marking guided buses in disguise.

Sure, but they are very nice biarticulated driverless buses.

Its weird seeing people poo poo these things. I guess people get butthurt when things get mislabled. Like a bunch of children yelling "THATS NOT A TRAIN!"

Great job class, have a cookie.

Sure, its not a train, but its a really really nice bus, and I hope to see more of them in BRT systems around the world.
 

Wm Perkins Bull

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While I am personally guilty of pedantry on a more than occasional basis, attacking it as something in disguise seems to miss the mark. Transportation systems should be evaluated based on "does the proposed method do the job that it needs to do, for a suitable length of time, at a suitable cost", while I don't see this being particularly common, I do see it being of use in a number of cases, particularly BRT systems which lack overtaking ability, and mostly in areas that lack snow. That said, I foresee them being able to be converted to something such as embedded RFID tags that do not need to be read with an optical sensor, allowing them to work well in snow. Advancements in technology will also allow improved stabilization of articulation points on bi-articulated vehicles, improving handling and ride quality in snow.
 

afransen

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While I am personally guilty of pedantry on a more than occasional basis, attacking it as something in disguise seems to miss the mark. Transportation systems should be evaluated based on "does the proposed method do the job that it needs to do, for a suitable length of time, at a suitable cost", while I don't see this being particularly common, I do see it being of use in a number of cases, particularly BRT systems which lack overtaking ability, and mostly in areas that lack snow. That said, I foresee them being able to be converted to something such as embedded RFID tags that do not need to be read with an optical sensor, allowing them to work well in snow. Advancements in technology will also allow improved stabilization of articulation points on bi-articulated vehicles, improving handling and ride quality in snow.
I believe the Chinese firm that makes this is looking at using magnetic tags drilled into the roadway every meter or two as an alternative to the paint. They also show it being tested in Harbin (a snowy city in Northern China) on snow-covered roadway, but details are somewhat scant. I think the bigger challenge with snow would be traction rather than guidance.
 

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