Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mass transit porn

Charlotte's trolley system had a great opening day last week. From the Charlotte Observer's Steve Harrison:

CATS expects the state's first light-rail line will handle 9,100 passenger trips on an average weekday in its first year. Saturday, it handled 34,000 trips in the first four hours -- well above capacity -- and 60,000 by evening, CATS estimated. Trains rolled into stations with people standing nose to shoulder, often allowing only inches for new passengers to board. Riders waited as long as two hours at the I-485/South Boulevard station for free rides.

For photos of people who aren't jaded subway riders, click here. Except for the casual dress, this might be how people behaved when the first electric trolleys sped along Boston's Beacon Street in 1889.

I attended a conference in Charlotte a few years ago and found it to be a friendly city with some charming restaurants, but I was disappointed by the lack of pedestrians on downtown sidewalks. (There seemed to be a lot of indoor passageways among hotels, malls, and offices.) Maybe the light rail will help change that.

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