Trams at the Heart of the 21st Century Metropolis by Eurogroup Consulting splits the networks into three categories: recent systems in cities with more than 500,000 residents; recent systems serving cities or regions with a population of less than 500,000; and historic tram networks that have never closed.

Each network was judged against 10 performance criteria:  

  • tram corridor potential - percentage of stops serving activity centres in urban area, density of population along tram corridor
  • speed and urban integration - tram speed/degree of segregation from road traffic, speed/distance between stops, city centre speed
  • tram service offer - operating hours, off-peak service frequency, kilometres offered per resident
  • pricing and ticketing - number of payment solutions on offer, level of ticketing integration with other mobility solutions
  • multimodal integration - percentage of stops with public transport interchanges and individual transport connections (eg park and ride, bike sharing)
  • reliability, accessibility and security - punctuality, vehicle and station accessibility, maturity of safety policy and communication
  • use of resources - fleet use rate, intensity of infrastructure usage, number of lines and depots
  • economic viability - kilometre production cost, coverage of operating costs
  • tram ridership - number of trips per tram and line kilometre
  • public transport dynamic - coverage rate for network operating costs, modal share of public transport.

For the recent systems in large cities category, Lyon achieved the highest rating against the above criteria with a score of 71 out of a possible 100, followed by Paris (Line T3) with 69, Bordeaux (68) and Strasbourg (67).

French cities also performed well in the medium-sized cities category, which was led by Dijon (66), and Tours (61), followed by the Norwegian city of Bergen (58) and Stockholm (57).

Zürich clinched the top spot for cities with historic tram networks with 63 points. Vienna took second place with 60 points, followed by Brussels and Melbourne, which both scored 56.

“Rather than demonstrating a straightforward renewal, the results of the study show that the tram provides a mobility solution that complements structural transport networks, such as metro systems, as well as visibly revitalising city centres in the era of green mobility,” says Mr Philippe Menesplier, partner at Eurogroup Consulting and specialist in the transport and mobility practice.