The Trackless Tram Proposition

Trackless Trams are a game-changer. Trackless Trams have made dramatic advances in recent years with Chinese company, BRRT providing a fully operational prototype that has taken the world by storm. Their Trackless Trams have been operating in the Chinese city of Zhuzhou for over a year now. They provide a light rail like experience at between 10 - 20 per cent of the light rail cost. Implementation is similar to Bus Rapid Transit: dedicated on road lanes, priority traffic signalling, high-quality stops with real time information. The only significant difference being the requirement for a double white dotted line painted on the road to follow.

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Trackless Trams have most of the benefits of light rail: travels up to a speed of 70 km/h, can carry up to 500 passengers; are likely to create higher density transit corridors if appropriately implemented in their own dedicated road corridor with high quality stops, enjoy a similar high ride quality, i.e. do not sway from side to side like a bus and attractive modern looking vehicle with high levels of visual amenity and comfort.

Many Australian cities have been contemplating proposals for light rail networks. It is very challenging in Australia’s low-density urban environments to get a positive cost benefit ratio that provides enough confidence to attract public support and key funding partners like the State and Commonwealth governments for these large-scale projects to get the green light. Fortunately, advances in technology are providing alternative solutions like Trackless Trams. MacroPlan is currently exploring the Trackless Tram proposition with a number of councils.

If you are interested in exploring these opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact our National, Principal Strategic Advisor, Tony Carmichael or telephone 07 3221 8166.

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