The top urbanism blog from our nation’s capital, Greater Greater Washington, recently published a map showing all of the existing or under construction United States streetcar systems at the same scale. We took this opportunity to add Louisville into the mix of 19 cities that includes Memphis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Charlotte, Little Rock, Atlanta, and others.
Louisville’s streetcar system, in the lower left-hand corner, is shown at the exact same scale as the other cities so you can get a sense of what we’re up against. As should be pretty obvious, Louisville isn’t playing in the same transit league as the cities shown on the chart above. Our city’s once impressive streetcar system was systematically dismantled in the 20th century. There is, however, a citizen-led group—An Old Way Forward—pushing for a modern streetcar line along Fourth Street connecting Downtown Louisville, SoBro, Old Louisville, and the University of Louisville. Follow along with their efforts on Facebook.
Greater Greater Washington noted that Philadelphia and New Orleans’ systems have remained largely unchanged over the decades (The New Orleans St. Charles line started running in the 1830s!) and that some cities like San Francisco have chosen to use “heritage” or old-fashioned streetcars. The site added that newer systems have opted to use modern streetcars—a trend that began with Portland’s system in 2001. Read more about the streetcar systems at Greater Greater Washington.