Washington DC and Tucson, AZ have streetcar projects that are shovel-ready, while funding has been approved for projects in Sacramento, Detroit, and Milwaukee. These are among the almost 50 streetcar projects pending in the United States today. The below chart shows additional streetcar systems in the preliminary and advanced planning stages:
Streetcar Planning and Development Efforts in America
Cities are increasingly considering and including streetcar systems in their transportation systems for a variety of reasons, including:
- Streetcars provide a permanent fixed asset on the street to encourage revitalization. The initial $60-Million investment for Portland’s streetcar system is estimated to have generated $2-Billion in economic development on and around the streetcar route.
- Transit ridership in Portland increased by more than 40% after the opening of their first streetcar line. In Tacoma, overall transit ridership skyrocketed from 178,000 riders a year to more than 800,000 after the streetcar began operations. In Seattle, the ridership and success of their initial streetcar line was so great that within less than two months, their City Council adopted a plan for an entire streetcar system.
- Job Creation: As a rule of thumb, the Department of Commerce states that for every $1 billion approximately 18,000 jobs are created. While a Downtown Streetcar would cost a mere fraction of this, construction and long-term operations would produce valuable employment opportunities.
For these reasons and others, the system envisioned for Los Angeles is a world-class, modern streetcar system that serves as more than a tourist attraction. The Downtown LA streetcar will function as a true transportation circulation and connection system for the City’s urban core — a catalyst for revitalization that provides connectivity between transit modes while enhancing an urban pedestrian experience.
Other Cities with Streetcars Under Development
Below is a brief list of streetcar systems in other cities.