The Portland Streetcar

Each weekday morning, I leave the house at 7:23am to catch the streetcar at 7:39am. I walk from my apartment at 23rd and Glisan to 10th and Glisan so I can ride in the fareless zone. The ride to PSU takes about 10 minutes. If I miss the streetcar, it’s faster for me to walk the rest of the way to work instead of waiting for the next streetcar to arrive.

I like my morning tradition and I enjoy riding the streetcar. However, the streetcar is closed for the next couple weeks as a part of the expansion over to the se side of Portland. While closed, a shuttle bus is running more or less the same route. And this morning, the shuttle bus went quite a bit faster than the streetcar. So why do we have a streetcar?

I’ve spoken with a few people about this and the best answer I’ve heard thus far is that it significantly increased property values along it’s path when it was first installed. This seems like a dubious explanation for a multi-million dollar project. Most people agree that the streetcar is only slightly faster than walking. Without digging deeper, that’s all I’ve got on this.

One thought on “The Portland Streetcar

  1. the street car is all over my neighborhood and let me say this: god forbid you get behind this thing in your car. It literally goes 15 miles per hour and enrages me. So… I would LOVE to learn more on why the street car is so effective. Better fuel economy?

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