A streetcar not desired?

Marc Scribner is cited in Politico:

Besides costs, critics point to other shortcomings in the projects. For example, they question whether streetcar lines that lack dedicated lanes — like the one on the way for Washington, D.C.’s H Street Northeast — are any better than buses that also must jockey with stop-and-go traffic.

“In a lot of traffic conditions, you can walk faster than these streetcars,” said Marc Scribner, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a frequent critic of the streetcar boom. Scribner said streetcars are an example of transit “mission creep,” touted for benefits other than increased mobility.


“Portland was an incredibly powerful example,” Scribner said. “‘Portland, Portland, Portland,’ is all you would hear local officials say.”

But an audit of the Portland streetcar system in December found the city had overestimated ridership by 19 percent and falsely claimed a perfect on-time record. In reality, the streetcar was on time only 82 percent of the time.