Innovation in Mass Transit

by Jack H. Gould,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 4, Pg. 163-188

Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: After construction of rapid transit systems in several major American cities around the turn of the century, little was done to improve or develop new rolling stock until the 1950's. A new rapid transit system in Cleveland and extensions to existing systems resulted in reductions in weight of traction motors and car bodies, cutting the weight of some 1950-1960 cars to almost half of the equipment being replaced. Starting in the early 1960's, new interest appeared in the transit industry—existing systems required replacements for cars 40 yr to 60 yr old. San Francisco started planning a $1,000,000,000 all-new system using the latest techniques. Other cities followed suit utilizing high-speed, high-performance cars, all of them steel wheel on steel rail. Other systems have or are being proposed: rubber-tired; suspended monorail; supported monorail; medium-density systems and small four- to eight-seat units propelled by various means. High-speed (160 mph) electric and turbine-powered trains are being built for testing in 200- to 300-mile intercity service. Automatic train operation and fare collection systems are being installed on existing and new systems. Many other interesting innovations in transit systems for the mass movement of people are being explored.

Subject Headings: Rapid transit systems | Automobiles | Urban areas | Railroad trains | Monorail | Innovation | Construction management |

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