Hodgson, Paul and Potter, Stephen
Refining light rapid transit typology: a UK perspective.
Transportation Planning and Technology, 33(4) pp. 367–384.
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Recent developments in the light rapid transit sector have introduced transit modes that are attempting to imitate the performance of others, e.g. buses with tram-like characteristics. The boundaries between existing definitions of what is a bus, tram or train are becoming blurred. For transport studies and practice this requires a review of how we define modes. This is not just a matter of semantics, but has safety and competition regulation implications for system operators. This paper proposes a structure to produce rail- and bus-based transit mode definitions and typology that are appropriate for modern use. A decision tree is used to classify and define the transit modes as guided-bus, trolley-bus, light rail and tram-train and is provided with example systems. The paper provides a robust definitional framework that allows transit system promoters, operators and other interested parties to have a consistent basis of reference when specifying and comparing rapid transit systems.
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