Mayor of Paris and Mayor of London Take to the Tram

Is it a tale of two cities or the tale of two mayors and a tram? This past weekend brought the mayors of several major European cities to Paris for a tram ride on Paris’s newly inaugurated tram which replaces the old PC1 bus. By the way PC stands for Petite Ceinture or Little Belt Bus not PC as in Parti Communiste.
Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe continues to to talk up the benefits of ‘clean’ public transportation as being a good way to fight urban pollution. Seems to make sense. Which doesn’t stop some UMP party members from boycotting the tram inauguration with the exception of the 15th arrondissement’s mayor.
After all, considering that the tram runs from the 15th, through the 14th and 13th, connecting the Pont de Garigliano to Porte d’Ivry (the old PC1 route), this has to be a good thing for the 15th arrondissement mayor’s constituents. (Parts of the 14th and 15th are considered to be some of the most ‘polluted’ parts of Paris proper).
What makes this new tram remarkable is the fact that it’s the first ‘intramuros’ tram constructed in Paris since 1937, or the first in 70 years. Other French cities are taking to trams like Caen for example. The trams are quiet and clean. You don’t need to go underground (which means no steps for the step challenged). Hmm – reminds me of Portland. If you’d like to read more about the tram (in French) check out today’s