Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Florence Tramvia rolls smoothly ahead




Having recently had the opportunity to ride the Florence tram (“Tramvia”), I’m happy to report that it appears to be a great success.  It’s modern, clean, frequent, smooth-riding, and very popular.  Although one line has been operational for a few years, a recent extension of that line to the other side of town and the inauguration of Line 2 from the main train station to the airport has created a real system.  Most of the system is on reserved – but not grade separated – right-of-way, so there is enough cross traffic to keep speeds slower than I would like and to generate occasional collisions. 
As I have commented before with respect to the Strasbourg and Luxembourg trams, this mode really seems to work well in medium-sized cities which can’t justify a full-blown metro but need more than buses.  Why can’t we do this in the U.S.?