Streetcar the Savior?

Streetcars are increasingly seen as boons to local economies. And with a $130 million federal fund aimed at streetcar projects, some are expecting more systems to develop, according to this article. Others, though, still question the investment.
December 19, 2010, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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But whether streetcars are city saviors is up for debate.

"[T]here's nothing streetcars can do that buses can't do better, faster, safer and for far less money, said CATO Institute senior fellow Randal O'Toole. 'Even though a single light-rail train can hold more passengers than a bus, a bus route can move more passengers per hour than any light-rail line.'

Portland's streetcar system attracts about 12,000 daily riders at an average ticket cost of $1.47. Its creators credit it with $3.5 billion in surrounding development, including shops, restaurants and 10,000 new housing units."

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Published on Friday, December 17, 2010 in CNN
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