Portland’s streetcar system is considered the gold standard in the U.S. However, even this model train has some glaring inefficiencies:

  • The streetcar has cost overruns of almost $27 million.
  • A recent audit concluded, “the City does not fully report Portland Streetcar operations and maintenance costs, and it has authorized [Portland Streetcar, Inc.] to possess public dollars that are not managed in compliance with Oregon law.”
  • A 2013 study by the Portland City Budget Office showed the streetcar collected only half the fares originally projected. Forecasts showed that revenues would continue to fall short for 5 more years.
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