Light rail is truly the wave of the future - just ask any government planner. And next month in London, they plan to celebrate a century and a half of green, sustainable progress:
A steam train built more than 100 years ago took to London's Underground system at the weekend.
Transport for London is operating a service on 13 January to commemorate 150 years since the first London Tube journey.
That's right; they didn't have green, sustainable electricity from coal-fired power plants 150 years ago - so they used green, sustainable steam to power the first trains in their new undergound light rail lines.
Meanwhile, closer to home:
Transit use in metro Portland dropped 1.1 percent in September to November 2012 compared to a year earlier, even as national transit use grew 2.6 percent. The Rose City has struggled with labor strife and service cuts,as detailed here by Oregonian columnist Joseph Rose. One result was MAX light-rail use dropped in Portland (which ended its downtown free-rail zone) while bus use grew.
Hard to believe as it may be, it seems that if you take away the free train rides, transit users will take a bus. As has been mentioned here often during the years, investing in quality bus service makes a lot more fiscal sense than spending billions of dollars on light rail lines.