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."