10 February 2014 12:11

The announcement that the University of Cyprus has been assigned to carry out a study regarding the installation of a tram system in the Nicosia area is welcome. Not only because the study has been assigned to a Cypriot organisation (usually they are all assigned to foreigners), but also because public transport should be organised better, be a little more economical and greener. But perhaps the study should examine the possibility of installing an electric bus (trolley-bus) route instead of a tram system?
Manufacturers claim that the cost of installing the infrastructure for trolley-bus is ten times cheaper than that of a tram system and a trolley-bus is only 20% more expensive than a regular diesel bus.
But what is a tram and what is a trolley-bus? Some call a trolley-bus a ‘tram with tyres’.
A simple description and a comparison of each transport system can help to make it understood why the study should deal with both.
Both are powered by electricity and therefore do not emit pollution or CO2 greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide).
They get electricity from aboveground cables which are usually placed on road lighting posts.
Their main difference is their wheels.
-Trams:
Have metal flanged wheels and move on rails. In the city, rails are grooved and buried in the asphalt, on the surface of the road in order for them not to stick out and get in the way.
They are powered by a bracket on the roof, which is in constant contact with a suspended cable. There is no need for a second cable because the electric current is returned to complete its circuit through the iron wheels on the rail.
- Trolley-bus:
They have conventional wheels with tyres and move on asphalt without rails. So to complete the electrical circuit they need two brackets on their roof which are in constant contact with two parallel hanging wires.
In the near future the aerial cables will be abolished and the trolley-bus (possibly also trams) will be able to be powered by electricity from their own batteries, which will be recharged by energy recovered from braking and will be induced (without cables) by invisible chargers to be installed under the road or at stops.
The technology exists in some small countries such buses are already in use.


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