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Street Cars and other odds n' ends


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Turning one ways back into two-way streets, reducing bus routes on the Nicollet Mall, and bringing back streetcars is what he sees.

I personally think street cars are a great addition to any city. LRT is fine for suburbs to city connections, but streetcars are cheaper and more effective at getting people around on shorter distances.

The city last had streetcars in 1953, but people have talked literally since then about bringing them back. It looks more and more like they will make a come back in the not-so-distant future.

Are there plans for streetcars (NOT LRT) in other cities?

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I also think that street cars are a great addition to most any city. In Tampa we recently got a 2 mile trolley line in the down town area, and it is great! One neat part about our system (and some other new Trolley lines) is that the whole system is made to support LR, all it needs is the trains; I think it is a great way to build the system, that way if we need a system that can handle more people it is ready other than the trains. It runs trolley cars right now, but has been designed to handle LR trains if the need is ever grown. I do not think that the line that is in place will ever trun to LR, in fact I hope it does not, I like the idea of a trolley circulator in our DT area.

I am so jealous of you guys in Minn.! Your city is so progressive with devekopment in the DT area. The buildings that are going up and the light rail line already in place area so great, I only hope Tampa can step up soon with our rail plans.


A couple of pics of the Tampa Trolley from the NYCsubway website courtesy of Peter Ehrlich



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Transit ridership in the Metro area (Twin Cities) is expected to reach a 22 year high this year with 73.8 million rides expected. This would be the highest since 1984.

That is still below a high seen in the late '70s of 90 million per year due to gas shortages.

It was also reported that ridership was even higher in the 1920s when transit peaked and streetcars criss-crossed the whole metro area. (I believe 500 miles of track were down at one point, but that may be wrong).

Considering that the metro area has increased by 1/3 since 1980, transit ridership should be much higher. With street cars, commuter rail, and LRT, it likely will.

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We have VTA light rail here in Santa Clara County, though I think it is not very good nor and effective means of transit for this area, and I'm not a light rail fan in general. Still, I do love street cars, especially historical ones. The San Jose Historical Museum operates a few, one of which I put in a few restoration hours as part of a civics project years ago, and here she is:


Sadly, I don't think they let them out onto the main lines (at least I've never seen them out....) and just keep them at the historical museum. VTA does maintain them though.

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