Systems bring new business to older areas for less money
By Haya El Nasser
Interesting website: http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/index.htmThe streetcars that rumbled and clanged through many American cities from the late 1800s until World War II helped shape neighborhoods. More than a half-century later, streetcars are coming back and reviving the same neighborhoods they helped create.
"Streetcars have sex appeal," says Len Brandrup, director of transportation in Kenosha, Wis., which opened a 1.9-mile line in 2000. "It resonates with folks. … Developers don't write checks for buses."
Streetcar lines cost about $10 million to $15 million a mile, compared with $50 million to $75 million a mile for light-rail lines.
Most streetcar lines stretch for less than 5 miles, compared with 10 to 20 miles for light rail. They've become so appealing that some developers are helping pay for the systems, says Shelley Poticha, president and CEO of Reconnecting America, a national non-profit group that works to spur development around transit stops.
Does your fair city have a streetcar line ?
Do you think they will make the comeback discussed ?