O'Toole, over at Antiplanner, notes that Sacramento, which has 37 miles of loot rail yet has seen a decrease in transit use, is thinking Streetcar! That's the ticket! They figure that if they build 18 miles of pokey streetcar lines, that'll entice folks out of their cars and spur billions of dollars in private development at the same time!
"Why, just look at Portland!" they say:
“Over the past decade since the Portland Streetcar line was opened in 2001, more than $3.5 billion in private investment has occurred along this route.”
How cool is that? Except that it didn't; almost all of the "private investment" in the Pearl District was - and is - subsidized. Very little has occurred outside the subsidized district, and one of those efforts is bankrupt. Of course, so is California. Never mind, they'll find the $45 million per mile to construct streetcar lines, even though most people can walk to their destination faster than a streetcar takes them.
Back in Portland, though, one of the light rail cars travelling along I-84 was doing so with a door open. The doors cost $30,000 apiece*; they're not supposed to stay open. But that's what TriMet gets for going cheap. Sadly, it was a missed opportunity, as no gang-bangers fell out.* UPDATE: Recently retired driver Al says the doors actually cost $100,000 a set. See comments, below.