Monday, July 16, 2012

Bombardier streetcar tours western Canada

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Bombardier Transportation is promoting its Flexity Freedom streetcar design to cities in western Canada this summer, with the company displaying the low-floor wireless streetcar design in Edmonton, Alberta, this past weekend.

A Bombardier spokesperson told Railway Age the Edmonton stop is one of four planned by the company. The tour began July 1 (during Canada Day festivities) in Surrey, British Columbia, moving to Granville Island (Vancouver, B.C.) July 6-8, before visiting Edmonton.

The Flexity Freedom tour visits Calgary, Alberta, July 18-20.

The model on tour boasts the ability to cut energy costs by 30% hold up to 1,000 people, and even be designed for driverless operation, according to Steve Hall, Bombardier general manager for Western Canada. Hall also noted simple passenger amenities also matter. "If you want to get people out of their cars and attract more people, you've got to offer them an attractive alternative. That's why you see the big windows, it's light, it's airy, it's comfortable," he told local media in Edmonton.

Edmonton is weighing its design approach to a light rail transit extension planned for the city's southeastern area. The city was the first to launch a modern light rail transit line in North America, opening its initial system in April 1978. Current system ridership is estimated at about 95,000 passengers per day.

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