The following is an updated version of the original January posting. The Hong Kong Tramway’s have reported an increase in ridership to about 280,000 passengers a day for 2008, showing that even little narrow gauge trams can carry large volumes of passengers for a fraction of the cost of a subway like RAV. So when the UBC SkyTrain lobby say “LRT can’t carry large volumes of ridership on Broadway“, just mention the Hong Kong Tramway!
Hong Kong Tramway’s Ltd, which operate quaint narrow gauge double-deck tramcars on Hong Kong’s extremely busy streets give some insight on the ability of even the smallest trams (streetcars) to carry very high ridership. Hong Kong Tramway’s Ltd. operates 163 double deck trams, running on 13 km (8 miles) long system, with a total track length of 30 km (18.6 miles), and it runs together with other vehicles on the street, carried an average of over 260,000 passenger a day in 2007!
So the next time a politician or a so-called transit planner claims that LRT/streetcar/trams do not have the capacity or can’t carry as much ridership as SkyTrain, just remind them of Hong Kong’s trams; the tramway that can!