The Allure Of Light Rail Transit

Centering on Denver as the epi-center of light rail development in the U.S., NPR reports on a new wave of light rail and streetcar projects sweeping the nation as cities hope to attract the latest talent and urban development to become "world-class".

This 5-minute radio report with transcript explains the attraction of light rail and why so many cities are considering it. The reporter interviews a developer in Denver who points out projects that are being built adjacent to the new light rail tracks made possible by the multi-billion dollar RTD FasTracks Program.

"There are very few major metropolitan areas in the country that aren't considering the installation of some sort of light rail system," says Robert Puentes, a transportation expert at the Brookings Institution. He stresses that the car is still king, but says politicians, businessmen and developers are looking to light rail to help guide development."

"There are 35 light rail systems operating in the U.S. today. At least 13 metro areas are currently building others. Many more are being planned

In Washington, D.C., light rail is being installed in areas that don't have any rail service at the moment, such as historically African-American neighborhoods."

Full Story: Light Rail Transforming Cities, Guiding Development

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