The Growing Attraction of Historic Streetcars

As cities across the country build and revive their streetcar networks, a sense of nostalgia for the time when they could be found in cities across the country is leading to a thriving business in refurbishing old streetcars.

Surprisingly, aficionados and cities have been saving elegant old streetcars for decades in the hopes of their future revival. With that revival in full steam in cities like Philadelphia and Portland, restoring old streetcars has become a booming business, writes Tod Newcombe.

Newcombe writes that, "Retrofitting period streetcars may seem like a frivolous idea, especially with local government budgets so tight. But many city planners disagree. In Philadelphia, where a discontinued streetcar line on Girard Avenue is being brought back to life, officials decided to use restored streetcars 'at the request of certain advocacy groups,' according to Byron Comati, director of strategic planning and analysis for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority."

Cities such as San Fransisco, who have been running refurbished streetcars from other cities along its Market Street line since 2000, have seen these unique cars become a hit with tourists and locals alike.

Full Story: Restored Streetcars Now Desirable


Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 7 different cities.