Light Rail

The Return of Streetcars to US Cities

By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published August 14, 2008

I was forwarded a very interesting New York Times article on the return of streetcars to US cities.

The article highlights their role in economic development. An important point that is very significant for Hamilton is:

"In years gone by, people would move to cities to get a job," Cincinnati's city manager, Milton Dohoney, said. "Today, young, educated workers move to cities with a sense of place. And if businesses see us laying rail down on a street, they'll know that's a permanent route that will have people passing by seven days a week."

Hamilton is competing for highly qualified people with the GTA and cities like Vancouver and Montreal!

One comment: the article refers to a capacity of only 130 passengers per car, but systems like Alstom Citadis take 300 passengers per car, with the possibility of linking two cars together.

Nicholas Kevlahan was born and raised in Vancouver, and then spent eight years in England and France before returning to Canada in 1998. He has been a Hamiltonian since then, and is a strong believer in the potential of this city. Although he spends most of his time as a mathematician, he is also a passionate amateur urbanist and a fan of good design. You can often spot him strolling the streets of the downtown, shopping at the Market. Nicholas is the spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail.


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By ventrems (registered) | Posted August 14, 2008 at 16:06:08

Interesting financing plans for the Columbus system: 4% surcharge on concert tickets, sporting events, and downtown parking. Wouldn't be a bad way to subsidize fares here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 15, 2008 at 00:00:17

I love the quote from the guy at the Cato Institute. Yea, he's right. We should stop building streetcars and just stick to things like highways and sprawl which require no public subsidy.

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