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Journal of Public Transportation



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Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning


Planners and policymakers in dozens of U.S. cities are considering making streetcar investments in the hope of promoting economic development, encouraging tourism, carrying transit riders, and/or achieving a host of other local objectives. Most observers look to Portland, Oregon, as a model of successful streetcar development, but this paper considers the experiences of two less successful communities, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Tampa, Florida. Using a combination of key informant interviews and local and national transit data, the authors assess the goals of streetcar implementation and the performance of the streetcars in these two cities, seeking to understand the reasons for their performance and identify lessons for other communities.


This article was published in the Journal of Public Transportation, volume 18, issue 1, 2015. It is also available online at

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.