PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- Pyongyang is upgrading its overcrowded mass transit system with brand-new subway cars, trams and buses in a campaign meant to show leader Kim Jong Un is raising the country's standard of living.

The long-overdue improvements are a modest but welcome change for the North Korean capital's roughly 3 million residents, who have few options to get to work or school.

First came new, high-tech subway cars and electric trolleybuses -- each announced by the media with photos of Kim personally conducting the final inspection tours. Now, officials say three new electric trams are running daily routes across Pyongyang.

The lack of passenger cars on Pyongyang's roads has benefits. Traffic jams are uncommon and the city has refreshingly clean, crisp air. But mass transit can be slow and uncomfortable.