02 September 2007

Transit in Melbourne





The trams, trains, and buses in Melbourne are really a thing to behold—or better yet, to use. The tram system alone is a marvel. Creating a comprehensive grid across the central business district and the inner suburb neighborhoods, this is not some anemic North American attempt at light rail transit. Instead of one or two lines connecting the airport and the convention center like most modern American systems, the system in Melbourne really makes it easy to get around the entire city. (This is like the kind of streetcar systems that used to be a part of most American cities before General Motors and the petroleum industry set out to systematically destroy those systems in favor of bus service.) And where the tram doesn’t go, there is commuter rail and buses to fill in the gaps.

The Melbourne system uses a variety of rolling stock that includes quaint old street cars to the most modern tram cars and everything in between. Not only is the tram system far quieter than buses, but they emit no exhaust, and, well, they just look pretty.

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