Table 3.5: Tramway, Light Railway and LRT
U.S, Canada, Western Europe and Australasia
Chicago     (3.5.1, 2008.6)
City and Country
Population Served
System Length, km / mi
Annual Passengers (million)
Average Travel Distance, km / mi
Annual Traffic Density (million)
           
Chicago (IL) - 1907
US
@ 2,100,000
749 / 464
702.0
3 / 2
3
1929
 
@ 3,380,000
847 / 525
1,621.2
"
6
1950
 
@ 3,730,000
521 / 323
620
4 / 2.5
5
             
Ashland - 1947
   
26.6 / 16.5
70
4 / 2.5
11
1951
   
"
30
"
5
9-Ashland - bus - 2004
 
@ 2,860,000
"
6
"
0.9
Broadway-State - 1947
   
39.7 / 24.6
75
4 / 2.5
8
1951
   
"
60
"
6
36-Broadway - bus - 2004
   
13 / 8
4.5
"
1.4
29-State - bus - 2004
   
16 / 10
4.5
"
1.1
Clark-Wentworth - 1947
   
32.3 / 20.0
70
4 / 2.5
9
1951
   
"
55
"
7
22-Clark - bus - 2004
   
15.5 / 9.5
6.5
"
2
24-Wentworth - bus - 2004
   
18.5 / 11.5
1
"
0.3
Cottage Grove - 1947
   
23.2 / 14.4
45
4 / 2.5
8
1951
   
"
25
"
4
4-Cottage Grove - bus - 2004
   
21 / 13
7
"
1.3
Halsted - 1947
   
22.4 / 13.9
65
4 / 2.5
12
1951
   
"
40
"
7
8-Halsted - bus - 2004
   
20 / 12.5
5.5
"
1.2
Madison - 1947
   
12.3 / 7.6
50
3 / 2
13
1951
   
"
35
"
9
20-Madison - bus - 2004
   
"
6.5
"
1.7
Milwaukee - 1947
   
19.4 / 12.0
45
4 / 2.5
10
1951
   
"
30
"
7
56-Milwaukee - bus - 2004
   
14.5 / 9
4
"
1.1
Western - 1947
   
32.7 / 20.3
40
4 / 2.5
5
1951
   
25.5 / 15.8
25
"
4
49-Western - bus - 2004
   
23 / 14.5
6
"
1.1
63rd - 1947
   
16.5 / 10.2
45
3 / 2
9
1951
   
"
30
"
6
63-63rd - bus - 2004
   
13 / 8
6
"
1.6
             
* Mid-City Transit Line
   
35 / 22
     
* Ogden Transitway
   
18.4 / 11.4
     
             
CA&E - 1926
   
101.8 / 63.1
7.0
24 / 15
1.7
1930
   
"
4.9
"
1.2
1955
   
83.4 / 51.7
3.5
"
1.0
North Shore Line - all - 1915
   
144.4 / 89.5
7.5
8 / 5
0.4
WI - 1915
 
@ 600,000
63.4 / 39.3
0.9
16 / 10
0.2
1923
   
136.9 / 84.9
16
16 / 10
1.9
1950
   
171.5 / 106.3
8.6
24 / 15
1.2
1960
   
136.9 / 84.9
5.1
"
0.9
South Shore Line - 1925
   
121.9 / 75.6
1.5
40 / 25
0.5
1928
   
"
3.3
"
1.2
1929
   
"
3.2
"
1.1
1932
   
"
1.5
"
0.5
1946
   
"
6.2
"
2.2
1955
   
"
4.4
"
1.6
1960
   
"
3.9
"
1.4
1965
   
"
3.1
"
1.1
1970
   
118.7 / 73.6
2.9
"
1.1
NICTD - 1990
   
"
2.7
45.2 / 28.0
1.0
1994
   
"
3.6
"
1.4
2005
 
960,000
121.9 / 75.6
3.8
49.2 / 30.5
1.6
Key to Symbols:
* = in planning; ** = under construction.
*** = operated for less than 12 months as noted; traffic density scaled up to annual rate.
@ = population corresponds with historic data year.
u = population within municipal boundary.
 
Notes for Table 3.5
Chicago - 1907: System length and annual passengers for eight undertakings summed. These operated town tramway service in Chicago, Evanston, and the "West Towns" (Berwyn, Brookfield, Cicero, Forest park, Lyons, La Grange, Maywood, Melrose Park, North Riverside, Oak Park, River Forest and Riverside).
Evanston and West Towns networks separated from Chicago network from 1910, operated by Evanston Railway Company and Chicago & West Towns Railway Company from 1913.
1929, 1950: Operator titles: Tramway system owned by four undertakings, 1914-1947: Calumet and South Chicago Railway Company, Chicago City Railway Company, Chicago Railways Company, and The Southern Street Railway Company. Operated under common management as Chicago Surface Lines, Inc (CSL). To Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) from 1947.
CSL claimed as world’s largest town tramway system under common management. Western Avenue line claimed as world’s longest tangent town tramway service.
Mid-City Transit Line: In planning. Planned to extend Jefferson Park or Montrose station (Blue Line) – Cicero stations (Green, Blue and Pink lines) – Midway station (Orange Line) – 87th station (Red Line) in Cicero Avenue and 74th Street. Decision on technology (bus rapid transit or rail) to follow, during subsequent planning stages.
Ogden Transitway: In planning. Planned to extend eastward from North Riverside Park Mall (at Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road, North Riverside, IL) in Cermak Road (Berwyn, IL and Cicero, IL), Ogden Avenue and Carroll Avenue to the Navy Pier. Decision on “locally preferred alternative” to include choice of technology (bus rapid transit (BRT), or town tramway (streetcar) line worked by modern vehicles).
CA&E: Operator title: Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad Company. Extended Chicago – Wheaton, branches to Elgin, Geneva – St. Charles, Batavia and Aurora. System length excludes segments owned by other undertakings.
North Shore Line: Operator title: Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railroad Company (to 1916), Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad Company (from 1916). "WI-1915" data pertain to operations within Wisconsin (State Line Milwaukee terminal).
Extended Evanston – Waukegan – Kenosha (WI) – Racine (WI) – Milwaukee (WI), branch to Mundelein. Operation Evanston – Chicago over elevated system from 1919. New line ("Skokie Valley line"), Chicago (Howard Street) – North Chicago Junction, opened 1926. System length excludes segments owned by other undertakings.
Operated town tramway services in Waukegan and North Chicago (to 1947), and in Milwaukee (to 1951). (The town tramway service in Milwaukee was operated by a subsidiary enterprise; see Milwaukee, Table 3.9).
North Shore Line - all - 1915: Statistics pertain to all of company’s operations, in Illinois (IL) and Wisconsin (WI). A significant share of annual passenger traffic was carried by town tramway (streetcar) services in Waukegan and North Chicago.
The authors believe that the company carried between 4 million and 5 million "interurban" passengers at 1915. The average travel distance for "interurban" passengers was about 25 km (15 mi). The implied "interurban" passenger traffic density fell between 0.6 million and 0.8 million pass-km per km of route per year.
North Shore Line - WI - 1915: Statistics pertain to portion of company’s operations in WI only.
North Shore Line - 1923: The company carried 4.3 million passengers on its town tramway (streetcar) services in Waukegan and North Chicago at 1923. The authors believe that the town tramway passengers accounted for 30-35 percent of the company’s total passenger traffic. This implies that the number of "interurban" passengers at 1923 fell between 10 million and 11 million (the majority of whom were persons traveling to and from employment in central Chicago). The average travel distance for "interurban" passengers remained at about 25 km / 15 mi. The implied "interurban" passenger traffic density fell between 1.7 million and 1.9 million pass-km per km of route per year.
South Shore Line: Operator title: Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad Company (now NICTD). Extends Chicago – Hammond (IN) – Gary (IN) – Michigan City (IN) – South Bend (IN). System length excludes segments owned by other undertakings. Bendix Drive – South Bend segment, 3 km / 2 mi, closed 1970 June 30.
NICTD: System length excludes segments owned by other undertakings. New terminal at Randolph Street Station, Chicago, opened 1988 May 31, replaced "temporary" facility opened 1926. Line extended South Bend (Bendix Drive) – South Bend Regional Airport, 3 km / 2 mi, 1992 November 21.
The authors note that few traces of this operator’s "interurban" heritage remain, aside from the street-track alignment through Michigan City, IN. Current plans include a new alignment to eliminate street track. Also in planning is relocation of the line at South Bend Regional Airport to a new alignment, serving a new station at the west side of the airport terminal. This would be 3 km / 2 mi shorter than the current line, which serves the east side of the airport terminal.
 
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