May 17, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17

Two International Model 6000 trams, manufactured by Trams International of Bell Gardens, will replace campus bus shuttle service in fall 2004.

The Trams Are Coming! Buses Making Last CSUN Rounds

Faster, Quieter and Cleaner, Trams are Just the Ticket for Campus Travel

Intra-campus travel around Cal State Northridge will be faster, quieter and friendlier to the environment with the advent of tram shuttle service in fall 2004.

Expected to significantly improve upon current campus bus service, two 57-passenger trams—both accessible to disabled passengers—will replace current campus bus shuttle service.

"Our objective is to make on-campus transportation swifter and more convenient for CSUN students, faculty and staff," said Colin Donahue, director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction. "Tram service should answer that need on a number of levels."

Shorter travel distance on inner campus roads will mean shorter round trip times, shorter wait times and more trips per hour, added Donahue, noting that three or four buses now make from seven to nine 4.2-mile round trips per hour, but two trams can make 12 two-mile trips in the same amount of time.

Presently, a round trip bus ride to north campus can take as long as 20 minutes or more, due to roadway traffic and passenger loading time. A tram would be able to make the trip with only a ten minute turnaround.

Even loading and unloading will be faster, since both trams are open air vehicles. Roll down curtains will be used in inclement weather.

The International Model 6000 trams—each designed to carry the same passenger load as the buses currently in use—will start at East University Drive/Lindley Avenue at Lassen Street, cruising south past the athletic fields to the west side of Parking Lot G4 at Prairie Street, near the University Student Union. Return routes will take the trams back along the same path.

Fast tram service is expected to invite greater use of Parking Lots F10, G10 and Parking Structure G9. Increased use of those areas will, in turn, reduce traffic on Lindley Avenue, Halsted Street and West University Drive/Etiwanda Avenue.

The environment also will benefit, Donahue said, since the two propane-powered shuttle trams will mean the end of diesel fumes from buses. In addition, their inner campus routes will cause less "wear and tear" on campus streets.

Budget savings will result as well, he said. Existing bus service costs the university about $465,000 per year, while the total cost to purchase and operate the two trams in the first year is not expected to exceed $458,000, from parking revenues. The expense of operating tram service should decrease in subsequent years, resulting in even greater savings.

@csun | May 17, 2004 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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