The National Streetcar Trend

It’s not just us—forty cities across the country are exploring moving to streetcars.  #

36 Responses to “The National Streetcar Trend”


  • No city the size of Charlottesville is considering the installation of the streetcar….to expensive to build, to expensive to maintain and unless you live along the line or within a block either side of the line not practical…Will the street car replace the free trolley which runs from downtown through the university community? or will the street car just be used as a supplement to the free trolley?
    What happens when populations shift from one neighborhood to another? Do you just rip up the tracks and follow the population moves? Not hardly. Seattle is now giving up on their streetcar experiment….to expensive, and the insurance cost are overwhelming.

  • jogger, did you also notice that many of those cities were simply prviding streetcar service for their university communities at tax payer expense? No wonder the local streetcar movement is primarily spurred on by UVA’s Okerlund and Cox. Good resume building. They never want to mention that Charlttesville had a streetcar running along West Main and the riders stopped using it. Why would anybody want to have West Street as a destination anyway?

  • Because people who lived in the city used to work at UVA. Now you have to live out of the city to afford to work at UVA. The great majority of the workers, at any rate…

  • Tsh, tsh, I feel so sorry for the UVA workers who have to live in the hinderland and commute each day to the UVA plantation to work. I for one am tired of the constant complaining and whining the UVA crowd about how bad working conditions are. A street car will not solve your problems or make your life on the plantation any easier.
    The city is now running a deficit of nearly $2M because of high fuel cost which are generated mostly from running empty buses all over the city and county at all hours of the day and night seven days a week. This twin oaks socialism has to stop.
    A street car running from downtown to the University is not and never will be the answer.

  • When the issue of a West Main Street streetcar comes up, there is never any mention of what to do about all the traffic that uses West Main while the street is being torn up to install the tracks. A lot of traffic uses West main, including CTS buses.
    Its time to put this idea in the round file.
    We already have a free bus service between UVa and Downtown. Myself, I live Downtown and have little or no interest in going up West Main Street to UVa. West Main Street is a dreary dump and I do not know why the city keeps pushing it as such a wonderful place. Maybe some developer could shape it up, but its far from that now.
    You make some interesting points Jogger, but we could have done without the gratuitous swipe at Twin Oaks. I agree that CTS leaves a lot to be desired-but the concept of having public transportation is still valid

  • “When the issue of a West Main Street streetcar comes up, there is never any mention of what to do about all the traffic that uses West Main while the street is being torn up to install the tracks.” On the expensive, cosultant-produced video that Meredith Richards was showing around town, the idea was to get rid of parking along West Main, so I guess they would have a lane open going in both directions and temporarily closing the bike lanes. Maurice Cox was sporting the idea of connecting the City Yard and Tenth Street with a road, so maybe they’re planning to put that road in first. These are just the kinds of questions that go unanswered until there appears to be no significant opposition.
    The justification for this project seems to revolve around the recent construction occurring in Portland, OR along its new streetcar route built during the speculative housing boom (post 2001). There has not been shown to be a causal relationship between the two phenomena. Everytime somebody talks about the new construction, I wonder how does that compare to new construction/renovation around the rest of the 1M area. It seems to me that the middle income reclaimation movement of our cities nationally probably has a greater influence upon revitalization.

  • I always enjoy it when streetcar critics say that only residents will ride, or only tourists, or only workers, or only students, or only disabled people, or only poor people, or only rich people, or only hippies who hate cars, or only shoppers, or only young people, or only old people. The reason why streetcars work, why they stimulate development, and why people want them is that just about everyone wants to ride them. If it’s more convenient and enjoyable than any alternative for even one trip, why not ride? Plus, you can still ride the bus, or walk, or bike, or drive. It’s fine.
    Streetcars are more expensive than buses, and they also offer better performance. You get what you pay for. Everything I’ve seen suggests that the Charlottesville region is ready to move forward with a more robust transit system. Great.
    Construction is disruptive and annoying. We see it when lanes are painted, when buried utilities are worked on, and when streets are repaved. It’s not the end of the world though, it happens every day. It’s worked on a section at a time, leaving at least one lane open. Traffic is slowed, and that’s annoying, but it’s temporary. Then you have a better transit system.

    As for West Main being a dreary dump, I have to disagree. There are plenty of great restaurants and shops there. Have you been to Maya? Delicious! From my research, it looks like a streetcar would help the corridor become even better.

    I do worry about how it’s funded, however. I like the idea of land taxes in the surrounding area paying for it, since it will raise land values. I also like an unobtrusive fare that doesn’t slow down loading, like with electronic transponders. I also like the idea of congestion pricing or gas taxes cross-subsidizing transit. On the other hand, I very much disapprove of paying for transit with building taxes, meals taxes, business, or sales taxes. We want people to build and maintain property, eat and serve food, and buy and sell. Why tax them at all, let alone raise taxes on those activities?
    I think this is a potentially exciting project and appreciate the discussion.

  • “The reason why streetcars work, why they stimulate development, and why people want them is that just about everyone wants to ride them” This statement seems obvisou, but is it true. Why did Charlottesville, as did thousands of other cities, get rid of them in the first place? Why would I want to ride up and down West Main all day everyday. What is the destination, Maya? Oh, I get it, I’ll travel a mile and a half to get to West Main and ride for the companionship. After a while, when my jaws get tired, I’ll go back home.
    “If it’s more convenient and enjoyable than any alternative for even one trip, why not ride?” What is so enjoyable about riding on a streetcar? Why is it so convenient for people to find their way to West Main Street and ride up and down?
    “Traffic is slowed, and that’s annoying, but it’s temporary.” It’s even more annoying when the streetcar doesn’t run because that corridor has been closed off because of bad weather, construction, power outage, maintenance problems such as broken mains, or a fire.
    “There are plenty of great restaurants and shops there.” Name ten.
    “From my research, it looks like a streetcar would help the corridor become even better.” What demographics have you generated for this area that would support your argument that you can share?
    “I like the idea of land taxes in the surrounding area paying for it, since it will raise land values.” According to you, all of the tills in shops and restaurants will see immediate fattening, so why not take more out of their tills. Land owners may not see any benefit from land value increases for a number of years. Everybody rides.
    “We want people to build and maintain property…” Wouldn’t it better if the land owner took his pre-sale cash and use it for improvements, construction and maintenance? Higher land taxes will only be passed on to the tenants and their customers, since the land owners will not be getting a windfall until AFTER he sells the property, and the new land owner will be taxed at the higher rate after he’s spent a fortune acquiring and maybe improving it.
    “On the other hand, I very much disapprove of paying for transit with building taxes, meals taxes, business, or sales taxes. Why tax them at all, let alone raise taxes on those activities?” I don’t understand the reasoning behind this statement.
    I have a feeling that some of the people that hang out at the Design Center need to take a few courses in finance.

  • @CvilleEye: Thank you for the thoughtful reply. The answer to why Charlottesville scrapped its trolley system is complex and not well-documented. Nationally, there was a conspiracy by General Motors and related companies such as Firestone to switch out trolleys for GM buses. I have heard that Charlottesville’s system was not purchased by their consortium. More likely our system went under due to lack of ridership as former riders purchased cars and then homes outside of streetcar service. Our system may have been owned by the local utility, as was common at the time, and so was affected by the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 which split transit and utilities and forced streetcars to pay market rates at the same time they were losing business. Also, this was about when major road construction became a part of local, state, and federal government budgets in a big way.
    If anyone has any historical evidence specific to Charlottesville’s streetcar I would love to see it.
    You would want to ride up and down West Main every day if you lived or worked at U.Va., Downtown, West Main, or nearby. And when gas prices start to move up again, you may want to. Currently however, I imagine you live and work outside the central Charlottesville corridor. As long as that is the case, you will only find it occasionally useful to ride the streetcar. I do recommend Maya.

    Riding in a streetcar is enjoyable for a number of reasons. It’s a pleasant way to see the town, it’s social as you note: a good way to bump into people, you can read, listen to radio or an iPod, use a laptop, chat on a cell, or text. It’s also delightfully free of a variety of legal troubles such as parking, speeding, expired inspection, expired license, DUI, and numerous moving violations.

    Yes, I agree that streetcar closings are annoying, though blessedly rare. In Portland, it is standard to hire shuttle buses to cover the routes, which would be done here as well.

    Ten great shops and restaurants in the West Main Corridor (from west to east, excepting the Corner and Downtown which are already understood to be excellent):

    Studio Art
    Asian Express
    Wild Wing Cafe
    Mel’s Cafe (much more sanitary than most local restaurants!)
    Maya
    Harvest Moon Catering
    Blue Moon Diner
    Orzo
    Feast!
    Organic Butcher

    Restaurants I hear are great but haven’t visited yet:
    L’Etoile
    Horse and Hound

    I should note that there are several other shops and restaurants in the corridor which may also be excellent. Hey, that was fun.

    Demographics, eh? I’ve just seen all of the available material that’s been generated on the Charlottesville Streetcar and studied similar streetcar projects across the country, plus done my own independent research on development trends in the corridor (answer: uneven and bunched towards U.Va. and Downtown). I agree with you that much more research should be done to estimate ridership over time.

    Yes, I believe that a bump in sales in the district would likely result from a streetcar, judging from the Portland experience. However, a higher tax on those sales would only distort the market, raising the price of admission for the provision of goods and services and making volume sales less attractive. Grocery stores are a good example of the sort of business that suffers from a sales tax. Businesses can pass on the sales tax to their unfortunate clientele only to the extent that people will stand for a higher price rather than go elsewhere or stop buying the product completely. If you are interested in this topic, I strongly recommend Tax Shift.
    Land owners have probably already seen a boost in speculative land value just based on the idea of a streetcar and will likely keep a death-grip on their land until the tracks are down. Many will then sell and reinvest elsewhere. We will see this in the form of construction. Those that wish to maintain their investment will benefit immediately from higher rents as their land has become more economically productive. That rent can then be captured to pay for the project that created it.

    I think I see where you are having trouble. Land owners enjoy two windfalls from streetcar construction. First, they enjoy higher rents because their land is now a more desirable place to live and do business. Second, their land is worth more money, which can be used either by mortgaging it or by selling it. That’s a pretty good deal for them. No wonder it was the property owners in Portland who championed the streetcar. Many owners will definitely want to build and maintain property in order to cash in on their higher rents. However, some may not, but they will be more likely to sell or build if it is necessary to prevent their asset from becoming a net liability due to taxes. Land owners can try to pass higher land taxes to their renters or customers, but this will only hurt their sales and rental rates, since they will have already been charging market rates. If they choose to price themselves above the market, their revenue will increase per unit sold or rented, but their overall revenues will go down. Their best choice is to use the land as best they can or sell, given high land taxes.

    It was actually that book I mentioned before, Tax Shift, that made it clear to me what the public costs of taxes are, how they disproportionately harm the poor, and the existence of better options. I don’t think that taxes on productive activity make sense to begin with, particularly when destructive activity like pollution and slave labor have a price advantage in our economy, but I especially disagree when there is little or no relation between what is taxed and what is spent, or who pays and who benefits and how much. I believe these are important things to consider.

    I agree with you that education is a good and fine thing and we are all enriched by it.

    Thank you for the conversation, I love thinking about these issues.

  • So, are you saying that a desired outcome of putting in a streetcar is its forcing the landowners to sell, and to help to induce them to sell out, by raising their real estate taxes? Are you advocating getting rid of consumer taxes such as sales, meals and lodging? Are you saying that poor people should not have to pay taxes to dine at Maya?
    Question: how many times a week do you go to a restaurant?

  • BTW, the streetcar was gone decades before the city limits extended to Barracks Road, so suburbanization did not play a role. The streetcar was gone decades before the West Main – East Man corridor ceased to be the primary commercial zone in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Just a little education there.

  • @CvilleEye
    “…forcing the landowners…” Ha, that’s a funny way of putting it. A streetcar (or any other major public investment like roads, schools, parks, or major facilities) induces some landowners to sell so that they can cash in on their investment in land, while others will build to maximize their revenues from the land. This has the positive effect for the community of turning empty lots into productive businesses and new homes. The landowners benefit monetarily. A land tax likewise induces investment or turnover by raising the holding costs of raw land. This tempers the monetary benefits to landowners of public investments, but they do enjoy the benefit of a healthier community and lower productive taxes. The wikipedia page has some good info on how this works.
    Where possible, I do advocate getting rid of consumer taxes and shifting to taxes on pollution and inefficiency.
    And yes, I think it would be a far better town for poor people to enjoy Maya’s delicious food without meals or sales tax.
    It varies, but I go out between 1 and 8 times a week. I have a kitchen and I try to use it as much as I can.

  • Yates you say a land tax benefits monetarily and induces investment, are you trying to say that land taxes are only for raw land on a streetcar corridor? “This tempers the monetary benefits to landowners of public investments, but they do enjoy the benefits of a healthier community and lower productive taxes.” What the hell are you talking about? Do you want the city government to take over all property on a streetcar corridor/route and build public housing projects and parks on either side of the corridor to ensure a healthier community and for sure HIGHER productive taxes from the citizens of the community..i.e. the middle class. Not to mention the higher crime rate. You’ve been hanging around the socialist crowd too long. Perhaps you need to return to the land of reality and leave the land of hallucinations.

  • Yes, the land value tax concept has been discussed probably every 30 years or so, but there has never been a significant number of people who are interested in supporting it. Because of the Virginia’s Dillon Rule, Charlottesville can not vary from its current process of taxation of land and its improvements without approval from Richmond. Nor can it design special taxation districts without permission. I doubt if the landowners in that corridor themselves will support it as well as most other property owners in the city for fear that somebody will come up with the idea of expanding the streetcar to say, Greenbrier or Johnson Village. Since the city does not have the power to implement a LVT, do you have any other suggestions as to how to raise the $70 – $100M for this system?

  • @Jogger:
    Solla-Yates, please. Mr. Solla-Yates if you like. Land taxes are most effective when they are comprehensive, covering all land in an area, but yes, the tax only falls on the land, not the buildings or other improvements. So higher land taxes would apply whether there is a building on the land or not.
    “…city government to take over all property…” That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. If the city can’t afford to build a streetcar it certainly can’t afford to buy all the adjoining land.
    I am happy to see that you and I agree that high taxes are a bad thing.
    What I was saying in your quote is that land owners on the corridor would lose part of the land value and rent windfall to higher taxes, but wouldn’t have to deal with higher sales, building, meals, or other taxes and would enjoy a nicer place to live. They’re still way ahead, in other words.

    @Cville Eye: Oh yes, it goes way back. It’s been successful abroad, and in a more measured form in Pennsylvania (two-rate taxation). Yes, the Dillon Rule would require express permission, as Roanoke and I believe Alexandria have gotten. Just like we got permission to do Transferable Development Rights recently. If people want it, our representatives can probably get permission.

    I doubt that the landowners would like to bear the full cost of the streetcar in land taxes, but they might be open to paying a share to make the project happen, which I think is the best way to go.

    If people want to expand the streetcar and find a way to pay for it, it will probably happen. But yes, I agree that people’s first reaction will be fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

    And yes, I do have some ideas. Thank you for asking. If we wait a while, some state and federal money should come online in pursuit of a new focus on reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), which is where the wind is blowing. This project will definitely qualify for that.

    I think that congestion pricing makes sense for 29 North and Free Bridge (which would be funny). I’ve only seen studies in Virginia on Interstate highways, but I think state roads may find a use for them. The tech is mostly proprietary that I’ve seen, so we would probably need a private partner like Transurban.

    I think there should be a low fare that can be paid with a smart card that people can wave as they board.

    So that’s what I’m thinking. Not all of it will work terribly fast, but some of it will work.

  • Maybe the new transit authority can apply the LVT to all of the land in Charlottesville and Albemarle since every landowner will benefit substantially if the area becomes known as a hip-transit mecca. Especially if they’re going to get a windfall when they sell or rent.

  • I can’t believe that trends in Portland can be seen as potential trends in Cville, which is a tenth to a twelfth the size.

  • @Lyle Solla-Yates, I found nothing in the brochure you linked to that was published in Pennsylvania not on the web sites of Roanoke or Roanoke County that indicates that VA has allowed any locality to implement a land value taxation program. Of course land USE taxation has been allowed since the seventies.
    tomr, haven’t you hear that Charlottesville is “A World Class City?” At least it may be when it grows up.

  • Mass transit is an idea whose time has come and gone….The city of Richmond is eliminating several of its bus routes, Seattle is eliminating its street car system….Anybody who thinks the street car is the answer to their social, economic problems has my permission to move immediately to Portland, Or and take the cure. LOL.

  • @CvilleEye: Eh, it would be harder to draw a relationship between value improvements further away from the project. I expect there will be some generalized boost, but probably not enough to bother much with.

    @tomr: Actually, the first idea was a light rail system, which was shelved because it was too big and expensive for the region. Sadly the plan is no longer hosted on TJPDC’s site, it was interesting reading. You can still find numerous references to it if you google tjpdc light rail study.

    @CvilleEye: Sorry, it’s on the last page. Here’s the quote: “Roanoke looks to itself – LVT Legislative Victory!
    Roanoke is an older post-industrial city of about 100,000 nestled in a lovely valley in south central Virginia. Possessed of great beauty and a great transportation system, Roanoke still suffered during the 90s boom, and the new decade has brought
    problems in attracting investment, homeowners, and business. Happily, the just-concluded legislative session in Virginia saw Roanoke asking for–and receiving –permission to enact two-rate land value taxation with the passage of SB1095. The Center
    will now do a parcel-by-parcel revenue impact study. We’ll follow up in a later issue.”

  • @Lyle Solla-Yates, you’re right the State granted Fairfax and Roanoke cities the right to levy a two-rate tax system in 2003 (www.progress.org/cg/feet5.htm). However, it states that the cities have the right to tax their improvements at a lower rate (but not zero) than they tax the land. They were not granted the right to establish special taxation districts for this purpose; it must be applied city-wide. They were not granted the right to raise the land rate in special tax districts as you seem to imply. Thus, if applied to Cville tomorrow, all improvements would be taxed at $.95/$100 of value and the improvements could be taxed at say, $.50/$100 of value. The city of Roanoke has not enacted this policy to date (http://www.roanokeva.gov/WebMgmt/ywbase61b.nsf/vwContentByKey/N255RS7C513CFIREN). Actually, for the majority of landowners to say that they want a streetcar in a particular area then to raise the real estate taxes of those landowners in that vastly smaller area in order for the majority to have it seems to go against what I’ve been told is what America is about.
    Then, too, the trend of recent development along that corridor has been UVA sponsored (with the exception of three rather small hotelettes) and will probably be the case down to Eighth Street NW. If I’m right, since UVA Medical Center does not submit to land taxation, the onus of the tax burden will be placed on the land owners on the property heading east between the tracks and Ridge-McIntire. That’s a lot of taxes.

  • Mass transit is an idea whose time has come and gone…

    Let us all be grateful for this opportunity to relive the last time “Jogger” made this high-larious claim, in February. The highlight was his assertion that mass transit been a total failure in Manhattan, despite testimony and evidence to the contrary by a baffled, honest-to-god Manhattan resident. Don’t bother Jogger with facts—he’s got his mind made up!

    Good times, good times.

  • @CvilleEye: Good research, that was exactly what I was recalling.
    Yes, I agree that putting the full burden of paying for the streetcar on the adjacent landowners, even if they benefit far more than they pay, would be unfair, impractical, politically impossible and yes, un-American. However, I think paying their fair share is not unreasonable, part of a larger basket of user fees, green fees, and state and federal support. I think this is especially reasonable given the double financial benefits that we have discussed. A useful and legal way of doing this would be through a Tax Increment Financing district surrounding the route, which would finance a loan or bonds with the future increase in property tax revenues. As I have discussed, this would be somewhat problematic because of its partial reliance on building taxes, and would be more effective if we could do a split rate or pure land tax district.
    The issue you bring up with the University is an interesting one. Their students, patients, and employees would certainly use the system, which would also benefit the University as a whole. In addition to/instead of the fares, it may be behoovy of the University to help pay for a portion of construction and maintenance.

    @Waldo: Wow, deja vu.

  • Wld nd Yts cld y bth pls pls bck wy frm th
    hlm tnks. Snds t m lk bth f y hv hd n vr
    xtndd bt wth hlm tnk.

  • I am a proponent of mass transit and rail, and I believe that transit might be on the edge of renewal as opposed to decline. I think that a project such as the streetcar idea is over the top and puts a large amount of money along a limited corridor- money that can be spread over a much larger area. Pollution is a concern, so why not promote hybrid buses. There are several in Lynchburg; I don’t think any other VA localities have followed suit. I a compact congested area such as Cville, hybrids would make sense, and can cover much larger areas with much less investment. Make the bus system work to its fullest and then pursue the little one corridor novelty.

  • Novelty, now there is a word Waldo and Yates have probably
    never even thought of when thinking about why a streetcar
    would revitalize the city of Chville.
    Waldo, censorship, the surest form of flattery.

  • Waldo, censorship, the surest form of flattery.

    When you post something merely to a) insult people or b) to get a rise out of people, you’ll be disemvoweled. Your last post was purely insulting, and I see no reason why I should play host to that. If you want to be an asshole freely and without restriction, start your own website. If you don’t learn to behave yourself, you’ll be banned from this site entirely.

  • Jogger,
    Waldo has helped to make the chalkboard and the virtual
    chalkboard available for “expression”. Many who want to: “a) insult people or b) to get a rise out of people” do it there. Maybe you should consider using those venues for expression.
    Cordially,
    Kevin Cox

  • When this city and county are facing a long term
    water shortage problem and these liberal loons propose a
    streetcar which would serve only a very small portion of
    the citizens, then I ask who is insulting whose intelligence.
    For what this proposed streetcar would cost just to build
    not to mention maintenance we could ensure our water supply
    for decades.
    There are NEEDS and then there are the wants of a few
    leftist nuts.
    rpt myslf, Wld nd Yts bck ff th xtndd bts wth th hlm tnks.

  • Mr. Jogger sir, re: your last post. The distinction I see here is that Mr. Solla-Yates and Mr. Waldo have demonstrated both intelligence and patience. Mr. Cox has done likewise, although if you include “poop” in your public expression, don’t be surprised to have him express his dissatisfaction with your message by erasing part of it. You, from what I’ve seen, have so far failed to demonstrate much of anything other than ignorance.

    Liberal, conservative, osteichthyes, we all need water. No one here has suggested that money not be spent on attending to those needs. The disagreement is on exactly how to go about that, and that’s another discussion. To suggest that we can’t discuss transportation issues because we have water problems makes no sense. If government tackled problems in series rather than in parallel, we would be in much worse shape than we are now. Frankly I’m shocked that you are waiting for government to solve your water problems anyway. Dig your self a backyard well. What are you, some sort of cryptoliberal.

    In response to your ridiculous assertion that public transportation never works, I suggest a trip not too far North to Washington D.C. Sure there are still problems on the roads, but ridership is high, and building is booming along Metro routes. My friends there tell me the bus routes are very handy and ride them often. The system isn’t perfect, but it works very well. It isn’t about to be scrapped, rather it is growing, and the increase in gasoline prices will likely accelerate that growth.

  • If you don’t mind, I’d like to link back to Charlottesville Tomorrow’s coverage of the streetcar report presented to Council in June, as well as pull out two paragraphs here to demonstrate that there is interest among developers for the streetcar to be built:

    Developer Frank Stoner, who owns property along West Main, urged Council to fund the study as a way to jump-start investment on the corridor. Stoner said he has property interests along the corridor.

    “If the City will take a leadership role in funding this, I think private funds will come along,” Stoner said. “West Main Street is a fragile corridor. Progress has been made over the last 20 years, but it’s been intermittent, it’s been at a level that is far below expectations in terms of mixed-use, urban density, and I think a streetcar has demonstrated… to be a huge catalyst for private investment and development.”

  • Fishie,
    The content of the expressions on the chalkboard had nothing to do with my cleaning of the board. I left much that was both profane and poetic on the board, including “Kevin sucks cox” I only erased comments that covered the engravings of the First Amendment and the Thurgood Marshall quote and I erased them all regardless of their content.
    I may not like the crap that is on that board but I didn’t erase it unless it covered the engravings.
    Cordially,
    Kevin Cox

  • Thank you Mr. Tubbs (I seem to be saying that rather frequently) for reminding me of Mr. Stoner. He’s the gentleman I witnessed several years ago recommending that council get involved in building a parking garage in that corridor for future tenants. He’s also the developer that Kevin Lynch wondered why he hasn’t done anything with the property he bought cheaply from the city nearly a decade ago and hasn’t developed. I believe it was some defunct water or sewage treatment plant. Isn’t he involved in the ongoing development of a new subdivision in Albemarle that is without Albemarle’s subsidy?

  • I think that there are people who would not ride a free bus but will, and do ride the free trolley. The trolley is more inviting and just looks cool so they ride. Dumb but true.

    A transportation system that is limited by fixed tracks is not a good idea. It would be much more productive to put money into shuttles that move suburbanite UVa employees from satellite lots 5 and 10 miles out of town to their jobs. People already take shuttles from parking at U-Hall and many would be happy to avoid urban traffic congestion and ride the bus from Greene, Fluvanna, Nelson, Orange, Louisa and all the other bedroom counties of Charlottesville/Albemarle.

  • The concept of public transportation serving the more rural counties surrounding Albemarle does bear looking at.
    I might add that there used to be a lot more bus service going through rural counties and serving smaller towns. When I was a youngster Trailways even ran on Rt 211 through Page, Rappahannock, and Fauquier counties enroute to Washington. In the early 80s there was I believe Greyhound that did a Waynesboro/Elkton/Luray/Front Royal route.
    Now most of the rural counties mentioned here have no sort of bus service except for things like Greene County Transit and Jaunt, The bus companies simply did not see it as financially practical due to limited ridership .
    Still, there are those in places like Luray and Front Royal who could use a bus service for out of town trips. But that is not likely to happen.

  • Jaunt is a complete waste of taxpayers money! I find them
    parked at McIntire Park all the time for no known reason.
    The drivers just jaw-jacking with one another or just sitting
    around.

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