Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I've been in plenty of cities with tram lines, though never in one where there was an extensive on street tram system which provided the primary system for mass transit in the city. Most places have either replaced most of them with subway systems (both heavy rail subways and moving the existing tram lines underground at least in the urban core), or junked them for buses. Sweden trashed most of its tram systems when they switched from left-side to right-side driving.

So I found Göteborg's intact system to be quite interesting. It's extensive, there's tremendous route duplication throughout the city, and while it's complemented by buses it is the primary way of getting around the city and out to the 'burbs. The rolling stock is a mix of old and newer cars. Trams run frequently, especially in areas where route duplication gives you plenty of choices.

The trams do head out into the burbs, sailing by neighborhoods and apartment complexes. When proposing such things in the US they're always talked about as if they're some epic intrusion on the existing fabric, but there they fit right in, traveling down maintained right-of-ways. It works.