‘Zwei’ notes that Professor Condon has fallen into the light rail/streetcar trap. The difference between LRT and a streetcar is the quality of rights-of-way, where a streetcar operates on-street in mixed traffic, with little or no signal priority at intersections, while LRT is a streetcar that operates on a ‘reserved rights-of-way’ (RRoW), which is a a route reserved exclusively for a streetcar or tram and with signal priority at intersections. A RRoW can be as simple as a HOV lane with rails or as complex as a lawned boulevard RoW such as the Arbutus corridor. When a streetcar/tram operates on a grade separated RoW such as elevated on a viaduct or in a subway, in fact becomes a metro!
Until academics, transit planners and bureaucrats start understanding that modern LRT/streetcar a independent transit mode that is built to provide different and unique transit solutions different from that of a metro and is not a poor-man’s SkyTrain, we will get the same monotonous, expensive and unworkable metro only planning that the region has suffered for the past three decades.
A Cost Comparison of Transportation Modes