Seattle's Streetcar: Modern, Efficient, Mass Transit (Video)
StreetFilms Visits Flagship Light Rail Project
Lloyd celebrated the return of the streetcar in America back in 2007, even though the Feds tend to favor Bus Rapid Transit over light rail. Now the good folks at StreetFilms are out to spread the word about just how pleasant a modern, efficient streetcar can be with their visit to Seattle's South Lake Union Streetcar - even though the project has not been without controversy...
The streetcar features many top-of-the-line tech amenities, including real time arrival message boards, solar-powered ticket vending machines, and human-activated doors to save energy while the train is in layover mode. If you go to the Seattle Streetcar web site, you can find out the next arrival time and actually watch the streetcars moving via GPS trackers.As you'll see in the film, development is booming along the South Lake Union corridor. "If you build it, they will come" certainly seems to apply here.
However, the streetcar is not without a contentious history, and continues to divide Seattleites as to whether it was a worthy investment. I'll steer clear of taking sides, but one commentary I will offer: these streetcars were made in the Czech Republic. With major U.S. cities continuing to make major plans to build transit, why are there no quality, American-made transit company options to assemble our trains? The Obama administration is busy giving massive bailouts to the auto industry, yet we continue to send money overseas for much of our transit needs. Okay, end of rant.
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