Other Streetcars

There are many modern streetcar systems in the United States, and there are even more systems that are being studied and planned for future development. We've put together a sampling of the diverse systems that criss-cross this country; this article, Streetcar Projects Advance Nationwide Thanks to Local Initiative, illustrates just how widely-spread streetcar programs can be found!

Portland, OR

Streetcars and Downtown Revitalization

Year Completed: 2001

Route: The Portland Streetcar route is 7.35 miles long (once the extension is completed) with 70 stops. The route connects Northwest Portland, the Pearl District, Portland City Center, Portland State University, RiverPlace, and the South Waterfront District.

On an average weekday, it serves 10,000-12,000 people and served 3.96 million people in fiscal year 2011.

Economic Development: Between 1997 – the year the original streetcar alignment was identified – and 2008, the surrounding area has experienced a significant economic boost:

  • $3.5 billion has been invested within two blocks of the streetcar alignment.
  • 10,212 new housing units and 5.4 million square feet of office, institutional, retail and hotel construction have been constructed within two blocks of the alignment.
  • 55% of all development in the Central Business District has occurred within one block of the streetcar.
  • Developers are building new residential buildings with significantly fewer parking spaces per apartment, meaning residents are relying less on automobile transportation.

Notable Features: Given its marked economic success, the Portland Streetcar has served as a model and inspiration to other cities hoping to increase transit ridership and revitalize their downtown.

Set to open on September 22, 2012, the Portland Streetcar Central Loop is a 3.35-mile double-track extension of the existing Portland Streetcar. The loop will provide 28 new streetcar stops and will feature six brand new, American-made streetcars manufactured by United Streetcar LLC. The new loop will extend tracks across the Broadway Bridge, connecting the Pearl District to Lloyd Center and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Sources:

  1. www.Portlandstreetcar.org
  2. Development Report Documents (Updated April, 2008): http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/pdf/development_200804_report.pdf
  3. http://trimet.org/streetcar/

Photos

  1. http://www.southwaterfront.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/portland-streetcar_11.jpg
  2. http://www.trainweb.org/mccann/003powell.jpg
 
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