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Tram Against Car

31.10.2018 — 0

Since 1980, trams have returned to the many cities in the world. There were many reasons for this, but the main reason is the overcrowding of cities with cars. This public transport has a rich history and many advantages. The first electric tram appeared in Russia in 1880, not far from Petersburg.

The most notable plus of tram is energy efficiency.

Below we wrote the energy usage per passenger-kilometer (pkm) for the car and the tram. The lower figure is an indicator at rush hour, the most energy-efficient time. The highest number is normal operation, not in peak hours.
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: Analysis of Recent Trends and Greenhouse Indicators 1990 to 2002, and Australian Methodology for the Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 2002: Energy (Transport). Industry figures for public transport power consumption and PTUA calculations (see below).

John is an ordinary citizen, he has a family, a job and a car. He travels every day in his car with a length of 18 kilometers, 9 kilometers to work and 9 kilometers back. The energy consumption of a car will be approximately 84.6 MJ. Even if he works in the same building with his wife and they travel together, then for each energy consumption will be 42.3.
Imagine that John’s car is under repair and he has to get to work by public transport. If the route remains the same, and he takes the tram, John will consume 8 MJ, which is more than ten times less.
Perhaps its route will be longer, due to the specific route of the trams, but even if it doubles (36 km), the consumption will still not exceed 20 MJ.

If John consumes about 75 MJ per day, excluding transportation, then using a car will be 159.6 MJ, and using a tram – 81, which is almost two times less than using a car.

Production costs

The production of any kind of vehicle requires a tremendous amount of energy. This indicator is also important when calculating the efficiency of modes of transport.
100 mJ of energy is expended to produce 1 kg of metal, plastic and other raw materials for a car.

To release a small car weighing 1 ton will require 100,000 MJ or 100 GJ. If for all its existence, it will cover 200,000 km, then this will correspond to 0.5 MJ per km.
Weight of popular cars:
Toyota Camry ~ 1500 kg.
Land Rover Range Rover ~ 2400 kg.
Hummer H2 ~ 3500 kg.

The tram weighs from 20 to 40 tons, but its life time expectancy is from 30 to 50 years. Over its entire existence, it will overcome several million kilometers. If you count the number of daily passengers, you get the number shown in the table.

In most countries electricity for trams is produced by classical methods, and not with the help of “green”stations. When public transport switches to green energy, cars will lose in many ways.

Greater efficiency of trams can be achieved by competent management. The study of the most important routes for citizens, reasonable use of roads, comfort – all this plays a direct role in the energy efficiency of public transport in comparison with the car.

Information is taken from Australian PTUA.

Solar energy is developing faster in the world then electric cars are capturing it so that in the near future we can see how the world is moving to a more environmentally friendly form of transport.

Roosevelt Island Tram
This tram transports people over the East River Strait in New York. The route runs at an altitude of 76 meters.

The city of Blackpool especially loves this type of public transport.

In the capital of Hungary, the city of Budapest, the longest trams in the world are 53.9 meters long. By order of the city administration, Siemens has developed forty such trams in order to unload the transport system of the capital.

These trams appeared in Jerusalem in 2011. The doors of the cars are made of modern bullet-proof materials, the tram engine is located inside a special protective casing, protecting it from explosions. Each stop is announced in three languages – Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

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