Report: Streetcars Were Always for Developers

Streetsblog digs into the literature on streetcars and finds evidence that the transit mode du jour was never intended to benefit transit users.
October 5, 2017, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jason Doss

Angie Schmitt shares news of a report published by the Journal of Transport Geography. The report, "Streetcar projects as spatial planning: A shift in transport planning in the United States," reveals the limits of streetcars, i.e., "They were always intended mainly to spur real estate investment, not to address urban mobility needs." Put another way, "streetcar backers were often more concerned about land development than the transportation system."

Schmitt offers insight into the report's methodology and findings, and puts in context of recent streetcar news, such as the disappointing ridership figures of the QLine in Detroit.

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Published on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 in Streetsblog USA
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