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Alex Marshall
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Here's something that hasn't been address, unless I missed it in the voluminous comments. According to Ken Greenberg, (and this is from memory from a talk he gave about 10 years ago in Toronto about the Toronto streetcar system), streetcars are faster than buses because car drivers are scared of streetcars. When a streetcar goes down the street, your average driver defers to the streetcar, and allows them to set the pace. With buses, drivers aren't scared of them, and will cut in front of a bus, and thus slow the bus. Ken said streetcars were significantly faster than buses because of this. He gave a percentage figure, but I won't quote it because that would be trying to dig too deeply into my memory bank. The point is that, if this is true, streetcars are faster than buses, just by being streetcars.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2009 on streetcars: an inconvenient truth at Human Transit
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