City Cargo is dead. After a long struggle the experiment to deliver goods by streetcar was terminated this week by the local government in Amsterdam.
The wonderfully counter-intuitive idea of City Cargo is to use the existing infrastructure for streetcars in a new way: to replace Trucks with Trams. Clean and safe.
According to the City Cargo website presently, more than half of the particulate matter in emissions in the city are caused by diesel traffic. More than 35% of emissions derive from goods transport.
City Cargo aims to take out half the number of trucks that enter the city. In Amsterdam it would mean cutting the number from 5000 to 2500 a day. In Europe alone over 240 cities have tram systems.
Form delivery points outside the city center the trams will take the goods to several hubs throughout the center from where the delivery to the final destinations will be handled by small electric vehicles, the so-called e-cars. Exactly this might be the bug in the system. Considering the size of Amsterdam (and many other cities with tram lines) the hubs can be located strategically just outside the center and the cargo trams in principle can be taken out of the loop…
In Saint Malo we just came across a similar initiative. The ‘petit train’ normally serves as a tourist trap but also picks up recyclable trash from the city center… le ‘petit train’ is deployed as garbage truck!