Streetcars are increasingly seen as boons to local economies. And with a $130 million federal fund aimed at streetcar projects, some are expecting more systems to develop, according to this article. Others, though, still question the investment. St. Charles, MO has discussed in the past implementing a streetcar. Since the city has now sidelined the "trolley", is it time to discuss fixed rail streetcars again?
"[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."
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