Cities similar to Canberra with light rail
One of the most common requests people make when they are trying to decide whether light rail can work in Canberra, is 'Are there any cities anywhere else in the world similar in size to Canberra with light rail?'
The answer is yes.
In 2012 there were 118 cities with a population of 150,000 or less with light rail.
Capital Metro have a page with some comparative examples here.
This press release from Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell has many examples drawn from a 2015 CURF paper.
Cities chosen for analysis in the study were Freiberg in Germany – an
international exemplar of how transport and urban planning can
successfully work together; Bergen in Norway – similar to Canberra in
terms of its size and dispersed physical form; Edmonton in Canada -
similar population size to Canberra at the time of launching its first
light rail line; and Adelaide in South Australia – an Australian city
whose light rail corridor between Glenelg and the city is comparable.
“Analysis of the four cities has provided a number of key research
findings for Canberra as we embark on delivering the first stage of a
city-wide light rail network. The paper concludes that each of the case
study cities has grown following the introduction of light rail,
particularly in the walkable corridors alongside the transport system,”
“The case studies have provided evidence that light rail systems
spark a change in land use activity over time including more dense
residential developments and development of mixed use sites.
“Residential and commercial property values increase around light
rail stop due to the willingness of people to pay for better transit
access. Experience in these case-study cities shows that developers are
aware of the investment opportunities associated with light rail and the
economic and social benefits that it enables.”
The CURF paper also confirmed that following the implementation of
light rail in Freiberg and Bergen, community attitudes to the urban
challenge of car-dependence changed.
Here is a report by the ARA from 2015 with looking at similar size cities to Canberra with light rail.
The ARA report highlights examples of how light rail works successfully in
cities of smaller or similar populations to Canberra, including Nice and
Valenciennes in France, Frieburg im Breisgau in Germany and Charlotte
in the United States.
Since 1981 a dozen American cities with bus-only systems have constructed light rail.
Denver, Colorado, is a city very similar to Canberra in its Y design layout. It has a light rail system that travels along its extensive parkway system when it gets outside Denver CBD.
Le Mans France - Population 295,000, System Length: 15.4 kilometres, Opened: 2007, Rolling Stock: 23 Citadis 302, Construction cost: €229m
For a comprehensive list of light rail worldwide - Wikipedia has a long list.
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