No matter how different major cities are from one another, they all have one thing in common: During rush hours their streets are congested, people are stuck in traffic, and the many combustion engines produce high levels of emissions. That’s why experts around the world believe that one of the oldest means of transportation — the streetcar — could play a key role in reducing these problems.
The main reasons are obvious. Streetcars travel on rails and thus don’t get stuck in traffic jams. Moreover, they have a much larger transport capacity than automobiles. A streetcar can carry between 200 and 600 passengers. As a result, a fully occupied streetcar can on average replace more than 150 cars. According to Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG, the municipal transport company of the city of Dresden in Germany, moving one person on a streetcar produces up to 90 percent less carbon dioxide than the same person driving a car. There is also a “rail bonus”: People regard streetcars as a reliable means of transportation.