U.S. Cities Spend $1.2 Billion on Streetcars to Nowhere

Bloomberg quotes transportation expert Marc Scribner on cities investing in streetcars.

While streetcars in Portland, Oregon and Seattle have succeeded — measured by high ridership and nearby investment — others have struggled with cost overruns, construction delays, traffic snarls and accidents as drivers adjust to the giant machines gliding down the middle of roads. Seen as starter legs of more expansive systems, the nascent lines fuel criticism that the money should have been spent on existing public transit rather than going to carry people short distances slowly.

“You now have a big hulking transportation technology in the road that can only move backward and forward, can’t get around obstacles and is slower than bus routes streetcars often replace,” said Marc Scribner, a fellow at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington. “It’s transportation mission creep.”

Read the full article at Bloomberg.