Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sensible street cars vs. dumb

NewsLanc has heard favorable comments about the Charlotte, N.C. streetcar system. To find out more, it interviewed Ron Tober, Executive Director of Charleston Street Trolley, Inc. and learned the following:

In Charlotte, street cars will run in their own right-of-way, not in city streets.

They share rails with a high speed transit system, so they only operate week days between commuter peak hours plus all day and evenings on week ends.

The route is approximately 2 miles, similar to Lancaster’s proposal.

Although the original cost estimate was $20 million (the same as for Lancaster), it ended up costing $40 million.

They operate one rebuilt vintage trolley and three replicas.

The fare is $1.30.

The regional transit system (similar to Red Rose) operates the street cars.

Trolley operations are subsidized as part of the overall transit system subsidies.

They are very popular with tourists.