High passenger comfort and accessibility
Usually a ride on a tram is more comfortable than a bus. The trams are roomy with large windows. The track makes movement predictable and movement side to side is minimal. Trams also don't have to turn off the road to let passengers on and off at the stops. This means that standing in a tram is easier, also for the elderly, when passenger don't have to compensate a turn and a brake at the same time.
Trams run on the street level and is more accesible than a metro. While the metro vehicles might be faster than a tram, the total traveling time is higher when the time taken to ride escalator, elevators and navigate stations is included. A tram network can be built in a denser network than a metro.
Trams are very clear and predictable. Pedestrians and bicyclists will clearly see what area the tram occupies. Usually the track area has a different color or structure compared to surrounding street areas. The tracks also make it easy to find a tram stop.
Accessible for the differently abled
Having a vehicle run on tracks means that the space between boarding areas and platforms are predefined and will always be the same. This improves the accessibility for the differently abled. For instance, clear marking on the tram where the accessible seats are, platform markings and minimal height difference between the tram and platform are a always built in modern systems. High platforms are almost never used in new systems.
Attracts car drivers
Experience shows that rail traffic attracts car drivers to a higher extent than other forms of public transport. The aptly called track factor means that more passengers are attracted when public transport is converted from bus to trams. How high the track factor is depends on a great number of things that are also usually changed when building a tram system, but experience shows a ridership increase of 25% that can only be explained with the change of modes.
|About trams (in Swedish with footnotes) (PDF)||151.25 KB|