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Photo Gallery

This section is intended to illustrate particular technical, operational, and historical characteristics of light rail transit (LRT) and other mass transport modes. We have attempted to identify features in photos and to attribute photos as accurately as possible. Some photos have been provided to us without specific identification of the photographer. if any errors are detected, please contact us immediately at

LRT: interface With Pedestrians

Light rail transit (LRT) is amazingly compatible with pedestrian and bicycle movement, particularly in inner-city areas. As these photos indicate, surface-routed LRT helps enhance overall pedestrian safety and freedom of movement.

North America

· Boston 1

· Portland 1 ... Portland 2


· Europe 1

· Europe 2

LRT: Street and Arterial Alignments

Light rail transit (LRT) is extremely versatile in terms of routing options, and it is an extremely effective means of increasing the people-moving capacity of urban thoroughfares. These photos illustrate how LRT operation fits functionally and aesthetically into urban traffic systems and environment.

North America

· Boston 1

· Portland 1


· Europe 1

LRT: Exclusive and Private Right-of-Way Alignments

LRT's versatility extends to operations in exclusive and private rights-of-way, typically with somewhat higher-speed running. As these photos illustrate, these alignments can, as needed, be adapted functionally and aesthetically into the urban and suburban environment.


· Europe 1

LRT: Surface Stations

LRT surface stations can be installed at minimal design and cost, while still providing a high degree of functionality, as these photos illustrate.

· Europe 1 ... Europe 2

LRT: LRV Options for Medium-Capacity Applications

Lighter-traffic needs for some LRT lines, particularly for systems for smaller cities and towns, are addressed by emerging options in modern light rail vehicle (LRV) design, as these photos illustrate.

· Vehicles 1

· Vehicles 2

Historical Aspects & Transit Holocaust

The urban and interurban electric railways of the past provide insights into an array of technical, operational, and policy issues of critical relevance to the development of effective public transport today. While exploring these topics, this section also attempts to provide insight in regard to the Transit Holocaust – the appalling decimation of urban and regional electric railways and other mass transit services which mainly transpired from the 1930s through the 1950s. As a close examination of the historical evidence makes clear, while the advent of the automobile – a new transportation technology – diverted perhaps 10 to 20% of ridership from the electric railways, it was public policy, fueled and steered particularly by the intervention of highway and motor vehicle interests, which was primarily responsible for this mobility disaster. in North America, the one-sided subsidization of roadways was a major aspect of a governmental policy dedicated to motorizing the public and according priority and transportation supremacy to the automobile. A review of the roots of this catastrophe, and of the vast network of public transport which was destroyed, sheds insight into the roots of today's mobility problems.

Recommended historical background sources:

  • Stephen P. Goddard: Getting There. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1994.
  • Edson L. Tennyson: "impact on Transit Patronage of Cessation or inauguration of Rail Service". Transportation Research Record 1221, 1989. [Available at website]
  • L. Henry: "A New Perspective on the Decline of Regional Public Transportation Services" (report). Texas Association for Public Transportation, 1974.

· Baltimore Urban/Suburban System

· Minneapolis Urban/Suburban System

"Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) and Quality Bus Service

"Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) in North America seems to be applied to almost anything above basic local bus service. in Europe, what's called "BRT" in North America would equate to what is simply widespread, high-quality, attractive bus service – i.e., a "Better Bus" or Quality Bus service. These photos illustrate the wide range of these kinds of services – what innovations and improvements are possible, what kinds of benefits can be gained, and what weaknesses are encountered.


· Europe 1 ... Europe 2

North America

· Pittsburgh 1 ...


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