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The Streetcar and light rail are beneficial only when large population is served. In large cities such as New York, London, the mass transit saves commute time, reduce autos on streets & save fuel. On the other hand, in much smaller cities like Portland, the mass transit encourages housing far away from the city center and thus increases the commute & results overall in wasting fuel. Furthermore, the massive infrastructures of Streetcar & Light rail require hundreds of million gallons of fuel for construction.
The small displacement of auto (and small fuel saving) by the mass transit in small cities does not justify colossal wastage of the fuel needed for construction.
Not only massive infrastructures of Streetcar & Light rail require billions of tax payers’ dollars, in small
cities there are not sufficient users to pay the yearly operating and maintenance cost. Therefore the Streetcar and Light rail in smaller cities have to be supported forever by tax dollars which otherwise can be used for much better purposes such as for schools, increasing bicycle lanes, bicycle parking, taking care of pot holes in the streets, increasing Park facilities and walking trails etc.
Luxurious all-electric buses will cost only 5% of the cost to build the Streetcar and Light rail and will also save every year fuel & cost less to operate. Sam Adam & Charlie Hales have done disservice to the City of Portland by squandering several billions of tax payers’ dollars on the Streetcar & Light rail.

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