Portland, Ore.— The City Council gave Portland Streetcar the green light Wednesday to purchase two new streetcars, allowing for more frequent service on the system’s A and B Loops connecting Downtown and the Central Eastside. As Portland continues to add new residents at a rapid pace, the additional vehicles will improve Portland Streetcar’s ability to connect people to housing, jobs, and services in the Central City when the new cars enter the fleet in 2020. 

“As the first modern streetcar system in the United States, Portland Streetcar has been an important part of building the city’s international reputation as an exceptionally livable city,” said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “I’m glad to see Portland Streetcar continue to add capacity and improve service as the need for transportation options in the Central City grows.”

The new cars will come equipped with a host of quality-of-life improvements, including additional seating, extra room for mobility devices, and improved signage.

"Portland Streetcar fills an important transportation need in the Central City, connecting Portlanders to jobs, services, and educational opportunities,” said Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat. “These new vehicles will make Portland Streetcar even more valuable and reliable as an option for getting around the city.”

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve service for streetcar riders,” said Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower. “In the past couple years, we’ve added service to the North/South line and consolidated stops to save time and enhance safety. The addition of these two new cars from Brookville will help us take that next step and further reduce the time Portlanders are waiting to board the streetcar.” 

The new streetcars, manufactured by Brookville Equipment Co. of Brookville, Pennsylvania, were funded in-part by $700,000 in contributions from Go Lloyd, the Central Eastside Industrial District, and Northwest Portland parking meter revenue.

“Brookville is eager and excited to provide the City of Portland and its growing ridership with American-designed and manufactured Liberty Streetcars that we hope will enhance Portland’s legacy and success with its innovative, proven system,” said Rick Graham, President. “This is a very big moment for our century-old organization and, we hope, the beginning of a long-lasting partnership between Brookville, the City of Portland, and Portland Streetcar, Inc.”

“Go Lloyd is proud to support Portland Streetcar by contributing funds toward the purchase of additional vehicles,” said Go Lloyd Executive Director Own Ronchelli. “More streetcars will support Lloyd’s ability to welcome new residents and businesses by providing more frequent service to and from Lloyd destinations and the greater Central City.”

About the Portland Streetcar

As the first modern streetcar system to be built in the United States, the Portland Streetcar serves 15,000 riders each day on the A/B Loops and the North/South (NS) Line. Ridership is expected to grow to 20,000 riders per day by 2025.

 

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Take a trip down memory lane as we reminisce about some of the big events from 2017.

January

  • The year started off with a bang when 5 separate snow and ice events put a damper on service in January.


  • January also marked the 10 year anniversary of the Portland Aerial Tram.  Oregon Health Sciences University and the City of Portland partnered on a fun week long celebration.

February

  • We enjoyed the lights and festivities of the 2nd Annual Portland Winter Light Festival at OMSI and the South Waterfront.
  • Broke our ridership record with 16,351 riders each weekday in February.  The highest ever for Portland Streetcar.

March

  • We released the story of Portland Streetcar in "From Concept to Reality", a video telling the story of Portland Streetcar from the 1980s to present day.  The video can be seen in our Video Gallery.
  • Operations performed a run time test on the A & B Loops in an effort to improve schedules and improve reliability on both lines.

May

  • Free Ride First Thursday began its second year thanks to the continued sponsorship of Wave G.
  • TriMet's upgrades at SW 11th & Morrison resulted in a 2 week special service with a bus shuttle on 10th & 11th Avenues.  Streetcars turned around at SW Market using a special signal.

June

  • Streetcar service was provided for the first time ever during both the Grand Floral and Starlight Parades during Rose Festival 2017.
  • We were a proud sponsor of Pints in the Pearl and began rolling out information on the upcoming Hop Fastpass.
  • We held our first ever Scavenger Hunt in partnership with Growler Guys South Waterfront.

July

  • Launched the long awaited Hop Fastpass with partners TriMet and C-TRAN.


  • Held a First Thursday Open House of Streetcar Art by local artist Lynne Leahy.
  • Construction began on the Broadway Bridge to replace the four rall wheels that open and close the bridge.  Construction is anticipated to last throughout 2017.

August

  • Got to know one of the many teachers who make use of the sponsored school field trips. 

September

  • Updated schedules for all three lines increased frequency on the NS Line to 15-minute service beginning at the start of each weekday and increased the reliability of the B-Loop during the PM peak.
  • Held our second Scavenger Hunt in partnership with Growler Guys South Waterfront.
  • We released updated development data outlining the relationship between housing and the Streetcar.
  • Hosted our second First Thursday Art Show of the year.  This time featuring art created by employees of Portland Streetcar.


Photo by Rip City Photography

October

  • We partnered with the Community Streetcar Coalition to bring two advocacy super stars to Portland to talk Streetcar advocacy in Cincinnati and Kansas City and how that applies to Portland Streetcar.
  • We held our 8th Streetcar Mobile Music Fest featuring 10 acts and did our first Facebook and Twitter live videos.
  • We debuted a new "How 2 Ride" video helping answer some frequently asked questions about riding streetcar.  The video can be found in our Video Gallery.

Have questions on how to ride Portland Streetcar?  We have answers!  Our newly released video shows typical Portlandia riding Portland Streetcar and addresses some of the most commonly asked questions.  Learn more about how to deploy the ramp, what fares are accepted and how to share the low floor section of the Streetcar.

How 2 Ride Video
Click Image for Video


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Ever asked how you could get Portland Streetcar in your neighborhood? Wish that you could help get better frequency or improved station amenities? Want to learn more about what works in other communities? Join us as we partner with the Community Streetcar Coalition to welcome two fantastic citizen advocates; David Johnson (Kansas City, Missouri) and John Schneider (Cincinnati, Ohio) to Portland for a discussion on lessons learned in advocating for and building modern streetcar in their cities.

Grab a pint and connect with David & John as they discuss the winding path to modern streetcars in their cities, and lessons learned for Portland as we continue to grow. The interactive presentations and discussion will focus on their role in organizing and advocating citizen and business advocates in their respective cities.   

  • Date: October 19, 2017
  • Location: Ex Novo Brewing: Upper Room 2326 N. Flint Ave
  • Time: Doors open at 5:30, Presentations and discussion begin around 6pm

New data released Tuesday shows that the early vision for a streetcar system that spurs housing development and improves transit access is generating results.  Conducted by EcoNorthwest, the data analysis shows that 3,130 new multifamily housing units were built along the Streetcar corridor in 2016, the most in the system’s 16-year history. Another 5,600 units are currently planned or under construction.  

“It seems simple, but Portland Streetcar is successful because it connects where people live with where they need to go every day,” said Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower. “And as the streetcar has expanded, it’s become a magnet for new housing.  

The link between the Streetcar and housing isn’t an accident—when the route was first drawn in the mid-90s, city leaders and planners envisioned the streetcar running through neighborhoods that filled with housing and where people could get to school, work, or the grocery store without driving across town.

Portland’s housing growth is happening along the streetcar route  

Since Portland Streetcar opened in 2001, nearly half of all multifamily housing built in Portland has been located within ¼ mile of the Streetcar route. As housing construction in the city has exploded in the past couple years, even more new of the city’s new housing is being concentrated in the Streetcar corridor. In 2016, 54 percent of new multifamily units were built along the Streetcar route. Over the past 16 years, streetcar ridership has grown steadily along with housing construction, with over 15,000 riders per day and 4.7 million total riders last year.

The link between the Streetcar and housing construction extends to affordable housing. Over one-third of all regulated affordable housing units in Portland are located along the Streetcar corridor and another 645 regulated affordable housing units are currently planned or under construction on the alignment.

A one-page summary of the housing data is available for download.

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