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Published on April 18th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


22 Cities that May Have New Streetcar Lines Within 2 Years

April 18th, 2010 by  

As I discussed yesterday, it looks like streetcars are making a comeback. Curious about which cities are on the move? The Community Streetcar Coalition held a summit earlier this year in Alexandria, Virginia where it brought together people working to get new streetcars running in 22 cities across the nation.

Cities that may be constructing streetcar lines within a year or two are below, as well as a few insights on and expectations for those most likely to be built.

Cities working on plans to create their first modern streetcar lines include:

• Little Rock, Arkansas

• Los Angeles, California

• Sacramento, California

• Fort Lauderdale, Florida

• Atlanta, Georgia

• Boise, Idaho

• New Orleans, Louisiana

• Baltimore, Maryland

• Grand Rapids, Michigan

• Charlotte, North Carolina

• Cincinnati, Ohio

• Columbus, Ohio

• Lake Oswego, Oregon

• Providence, Rhode Island

• Dallas, Texas

• Fort Worth, Texas

• San Antonio, Texas

• Salt Lake City, Utah

• Arlington, Virginia

• Kenosha, Wisconsin

• Tucson, Arizona

• Washington, D.C.

Leading Streetcar Cities

New Urban News highlights two of the potential new streetcar systems most likely to get off the drawing board in the coming years as well as extensions of two of the nation’s first modern streetcar systems:

• Tucson Modern Streetcar, a 3.9-mile line which, when it opens, may carry 3,600 riders per weekday on a route connecting downtown Tucson to the University of Arizona. The Tucson line received funding through a US Department of Transportation TIGER grant in February, as did lines in Detroit, Dallas, New Orleans, and Portland.

• Seattle’s First Hill Streetcar, a 2.2-mile line that would connect Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the International District to Link light rail and Sounder commuter rail. It would be Seattle’s second modern streetcar line, joining the South Lake Union Streetcar, which started operating in December 2007.

• District of Columbia Streetcar, a 37-mile network that would offer the first streetcar service in the nation’s capital since 1962. Construction of a two-mile segment linking Union Station to an emerging retail and entertainment district has already begun, its $75 million cost paid entirely by local funds. Another $30 million segment, also paid for with local funds, would connect a federal employment center to the low-income Anacostia neighborhood.

• Extension of the Portland Streetcar — the line that in 2001 kicked off America’s streetcar renaissance — to areas on the east side of the Willamette River, thus making a loop of the city center. The project, which could generate 2,500 housing units, has begun construction.

I went to a one-day streetcar workshop as well as a few transportation conferences a couple years and I know people in many more places than the cities listed above are interested in bringing a streetcar to their city or town. These cities are leading the way, but what will the future look like? Will streetcars become key features of just a handful of cities? Or is the streetcar finally going to be revived in the United States?

Image Credit: cuellar via flickr under a CC license

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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