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Light Rail Success



Light rail is key in the movement toward livable, sustainable cities instead of highways and sprawl.

The safe standard of light rail is typically at ground level on private rights-of-way or in streets, with the flexibility to bridge over or tunnel under when required by traffic or topography.

Portland, Oregon is famous for its MAX light rail and livable downtown imagine if L.A.'s downtown felt more like this, instead of traffic and parking lots.

Sacramento's light rail line proudly passes the State Capitol.

Here is San Francisco Muni's newest, the T-Third Street line, built in the median of Third Street south from the baseball stadium along the bay.

VTA passes through downtown San Jose on the way to Silicon Valley businesses.

Los Angeles's Metro (MTA) has become an extensive light rail system — Long Beach Blue Line (most successful new light rail line in the United States, carrying over 80,000 average weekday boardings), Green Line, and Pasadena Gold Line (left, in South Pasadena). The Eastside Gold Line opens later in 2009. The Expo Line is next.

Here is the San Diego Trolley — the first new U.S. light rail line, opened in 1981 — in downtown, near the new baseball stadium.

Salt Lake City opened in 1999 to great popularity and is expanding as part of the city's "smart growth" vision.

Dallas riders like their light rail so much that 77% voted for bonds to expand it faster in August, 2000! (DART photo)

Houston is the second Texas city to open light rail, with sleek new cars.

(Not shown — Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and the new lines in Phoenix and Seattle.)

(updated 10/20/09)

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