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What are Trackless Trams?

‘Trackless Trams’ are a new innovation in mass transit technology providing essentially the same service as traditional light rail systems, but for one tenth of the infrastructure cost.

Trackless trams use the same carriages as trams but run on rubber tyres and are guided visually by lines, instead of rails. This avoids the large cost and disruption of major roadworks needed to lay tracks. They run quietly, using electric propulsion (with batteries), and recent advances in stabilization technologies and precision tracking from autonomous optical guidance systems means they have the same high ride quality as traditional light rail.

Like trams, they also harness raised-platform stations that give the fixed-route assurance necessary to spur urban regeneration and development;).

Curtin University has provided a detailed, costed proposal for a city-wide tram network (Fig 1) that services the entire Perth-Peel metropolitan region, starting with a Trial Trackless Tram route that connects Victoria Park, Perth and Morley.

The Proposal

  1. Commit to providing a metropolitan Tram Network across the Perth metropolitan area by 2030.
  2. Fund the world-first trial of trackless trams in Perth by 2021, starting with a Phase 1 Trial Line running in an East-West route from Burswood station to St Georges Terrace and a major North-South link along Beaufort Street to Morley, as proposed by International transport experts.
  3. Establish a specialist Perth Tram Network Team in the Department of Transport to plan the overall network, deliver the trial, and develop Transit Activated Corridors (TAC) Plan for Perth that focuses on transforming main road corridors to a string of urban regeneration in precincts along major roads.

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