The links below will give interested people more information about several streetcar systems. Each of these systems is of interest as we consider building a streetcar line in Madison.
The systems in San Francisco and Memphis serve the downtown shopping area, and reach out to nearby neighborhoods or attractions. A local system serving State Street would be similar in this regard. The Memphis system, although serving a much larger city, began as a 2.5 mile line intended to revitalize the central shopping district. Ridership in Memphis doubled within four years, and served as the impetus for extensions of the line.
The Portland Streetcar illustrates a 21st century streetcar linking Portland State University, the downtown shopping district, and an area ripe for development. It is a 4.8 mile single track loop. It also illustrates the funding of a streetcar line using almost entirely non-federal sources.
Kenosha and Little Rock illustrate recently-built systems that serve as circulator or connector systems. The Kenosha system connects the Metra commuter rail station, the downtown shopping area, and the Harborpark area where substantial residential and commercial development is planned. Kenosha, of course is smaller than Madison, but recognized the development potential of the streetcar. The line is a two-mile single track loop, and was built for less than six million dollars.
Kenosha: Workable Light Rail Meets Small-Town Mobility and Urban Development Needs
San Francisco, CA
New Orleans, LA
Little Rock, AR