School of Cities interim director Matti Siemiatycki, an associate professor of geography and planning, comments in the Montreal Gazette on the Québec government's [CAQ] pledge to build a second tramway on the island to link Lachine to the downtown core.
If tramways continue to capture the imagination of Montrealers and their politicians, it is for good reason, explained Siemiatycki.
“There has been a wave of tramway development around the world,” he said. “It’s a rebirth of an old technology. Trams are returning for both tangible benefits of moving people but also because of this much wider set of symbolic narratives; it sends a message about the importance of public transit and signals that your city is modern and progressive.”
He added the advantages of tramways are that they can move more people and travel faster than a bus, and since they are electric, they don’t spew out greenhouse gas emissions.
“The key is that they link origins and destinations where there is a lot of demand. Many cities have had these ‘bring back the tramway’ movements, but because they locate them in places where people are not really travelling, the ridership benefits are over-promised and under-delivered.”
Read the article in the Montreal Gazette