No Desire for a Streetcar

CEI's Marc Scribner is quoted on the modern streetcar resurgence in the Washington Times:

If nearly everybody likes a streetcar, fewer want to ride one. Several cities have tried to bring them back as part of the attempt to restore downtown, but the renaissance has rarely been a commercial success. Tourists can ride a reclaimed streetcar to Beale Street in Memphis, and visitors to Little Rock can take a streetcar to the city’s bustling restaurant and entertainment district along the Arkansas River, or within walking distance of the Clinton Presidential Library. In New Orleans, where the streetcar never died, visitors can still ride past the mansions that line St. Charles Avenue, and the cars are back at last on Canal Street. But nowhere has ridership reached the numbers promised. “In a lot of traffic conditions,” says Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “you can walk faster than these streetcars.”