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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrating goods delivery with electrical surface transit networks : the Trum strategy for urban freight transport in Vancouver and elsewhere L'Allier, Simon


This thesis examines a way to integrate goods movement with Light Rail Transit (LRT) and trolleybus networks used for public transit. In essence, this implies the use of a new concept vehicle to deliver goods within urban areas, named the Trum, for its hybrid nature between a truck and a tramway, that connects with electrical infrastructure also used to power surface transit vehicles. The approach taken in this research is exploratory as its main objectives are to explore the challenges and opportunities related to such an integration, and to present the characteristics of the Trum, a new concept vehicle on which this new approach is based. To grasp the possibilities of implementing such a system in a more tangible manner, the region of Vancouver is used as an example and a reference case throughout the thesis. The general research question answered by this thesis is: could goods movement be effectively integrated with public transport electrical network? Chapter 1 – Introduction sets the context that calls for the integration of goods and people transport, and explains the benefits of using a Trum system rather than vehicles powered with alternative technologies using natural gas, electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Chapter 2 – Freight Transport examines trends and figures of goods movement at different levels of data aggregation. Chapter 3 – Unconventional LRT Uses presents examples non-conventional uses of tramway vehicles by European cities that are using, or have used trams to transport goods within their urban areas. Chapter 4 – The Trum introduces the Trum, a concept vehicle compatible with LRT and trolleybus infrastructure and intended for urban goods delivery, and compares the costs of trumming against those of trucking under different scenarios. Chapter 5 – Vancouver Trum City examines the potential application of a Trum system in Vancouver and its implications for the electrification of TransLink`s surface transit network. Chapter 6 – Conclusion summarizes the rationale articulated in the five preceding chapters and proposes policy measures that would help overcome implementation and operational barriers to make Trum concept a reality.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International