"A desire named streetcar" - the latest urban planning fad

Bringing streetcars to Minneapolis: Some perplexing twists and turns


Minneapolis is not alone in what Finance & Commerce, the local business daily, called "a desire named streetcar." Atlanta, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C., among others, have either started operating a system recently or are in the process of getting one launched. Even pipsqueak Missoula, Mont., (population 67,000) has one under consideration. The revival has come partly at the behest of the federal government. In 2009, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pledged $280 million for urban-transit projects, such as streetcars, and the Department of Transportation has been doling out millions ever since.

There is a contention floating about — mainly from Randal O'Toole of the right-leaning Cato Institute — that streetcars are just the latest urban planning fad designed to benefit engineering and construction companies.

... Another looming question is: Who will pay for operating and maintaining the line?
Comment: See also Minneapolis Advances Streetcar System Plan and A train linking Minneapolis and St. Paul? We had that scoop in 1984. Perhaps they could fund them with Pull-Tabs!?


  1. They should push the bus system more. I have been taking the bus since March of this year and have enjoyed it. Sure, with my short commute by car (6mi) it costs a bit more than driving. It also takes a full hour instead of 12m. However, I have really come to enjoy it. I read/listen to the Bible for about 45m every day in the morning and read a casual book on the way home. I have read 3 books: 'Pebble in the Sky', 'The Stars, Like Dust', and 'Foundation'. I am trying to read through all of Asimov's books.


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