AARP takes a comprehensive looks at streetcars, exploring their past demise, comeback, and now spreading to as many as 40 cities. Special attention is given to the Portland Streetcar and how the streetcar enables better mobility for seniors.
No doubt Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who has changed FTA's New Start rules to enable more funding of streetcars, was pleased when reading this article. In fact, he was interviewed in an earlier edition of the AARP Bulletin Today about "Living in a Post-Car World".
"American cities are experiencing a streetcar renaissance. Portland built the nation's first new line in the 21st century. Tampa, Fla. (2002), Tacoma, Wash. (2003), Little Rock, Ark. (2004), and Seattle (2007) soon followed suit.
Encouraged by easier access to federal funding, as many as 40 more cities are exploring the possibility of building new lines, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
Streetcars make not only healthier communities, advocates say, but also healthier people because they walk to the stops instead of climbing into autos.
The convenience that streetcars offer is reflected in the large number of riders who use walkers, says Rick Gustafson, CEO of Portland Streetcar Inc., which operates the city's line. That means the line also conveniently accommodates strollers, wheelchairs and bikes."
Thanks to AARP News
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