Cost and Benefits

Fast & reliable

In the optimal case, LCRT runs between stations constantly at 60 km/h and achieves the same average speed as a metro at given station spacing (upper end of the blue bars in the chart). Sharp turns within densely built-up quartals cause an increase of travel time of roughly 15 seconds each, resulting in an average speed decrease of 1-3 km/h in case of 1 turn per kilometer. Even a very townscape-friendly version without physical bareers along the road and only 40 km/h top speed (lower end of the blue bars in the chart) provides shorter travel times than most conventional trams.
Apart from the speed level, complete independence from car traffic ensures highly reliable intervals and travel times and reduces the demand for reserve vehicles.

Cost efficiency

The construction costs per line length of LCRT is most probably in a range of 1/4 to 1/3 of an underground metro line, constructed by the cut-&-cover method. The most relevant cost savings are:
  • Stations on street level, constructed as simple as tram stops
  • Short length of underpasses and overpasses compared to completely underground or elevated metro lines
  • Low construction effort thanks to low excavation depth of underpasses resp. elevation height of overpasses
Even if the price per vehicle will be higher because of the increased vehicle length (technical equipment in separate end segments instead of the roof), concerning the total rolling stock costs this overcompensated by higher average speed, leading to a lower vehicle demand.