(From Albuquerque Residents For Modern Streetcar)
The proposed streetcar would improve Albuquerque’s mass transit system by enhancing overall mobility between the neighborhoods, businesses and major destinations along its route and attracting new riders to the transit system:
The Central Avenue 66 bus route gets the highest ridership of any route in the city and the buses used on it are frequently very crowded. A streetcar system would utilize vehicles that have a much higher capacity, produce zero emissions, are more reliable, quieter and are more user-friendly. By reducing the demand for bus service along the streetcar route, a lot of buses will be free for use elsewhere in the city.
Due to its knack of attracting riders, a streetcar system would also reduce automobile traffic and the demand for parking along the route. This would benefit anyone who travels into the area, whether it’s for work, school, or to have fun. Instead of searching for parking at every place you needed to get to, you can just park once and use the streetcar to get to your destination(s).
Modern streetcar systems are a sustainable operation, as they are very fuel-efficient and will entice people out of their automobiles to completely zero-emission vehicles. Rail systems have also been shown to increase bus usage:* as well as walking. This will help improve air quality as well as our quality of life and help reduce dependence on oil.
Finally, modern streetcars encourage high density, mixed-use development along their routes and support long-term economic growth for their cities. *** In cities that have built streetcar systems, hundreds of millions of dollars in development directly related to the streetcar line have been privately invested. Some cities have reported that their streetcar system generated more in increased sales tax revenues along the route than it cost to operate and maintain.
* Check out these ridership numbers of the Portland Streetcar.
** Does Light Rail “Rob” Bus Service. or Make It Prosper? — from Light Rail Now!
*** Read the development report from the Portland Streetcar website