Plans for modern streetcars are becoming more popular across the U.S. as one component of a revitalization plan. Randal O'Toole argues that the connection between streetcars and economic development is a hoax.
"The clear lesson is that spending huge amounts of money for what amounts to a Disneyland ride ends up hurting average transit riders. And not just transit riders: Portland schools, fire, police, public health, and other essential services have all seen budget squeezes even as the city continues to give huge subsidies to developers along the streetcar line.
...In short, the streetcar had nothing to do with the new construction. Without the subsidies but with the streetcar, virtually no new construction would have taken place. With the subsidies but no streetcar, virtually all of the new developments would have been built anyway."