Corbusier at Architecture + Morality has an interesting post about the role of government and mass transit in this post. We here in New Orleans will be having a similar debate on mass transit in the coming months. But unlike many municipalities deciding whether or not to have mass transit, our debate will be what will be the mix between bus and streetcar.
I realize that streetcar lines are expensive and not a practical replacement for all bus lines but I do believe that expanding the streetcar lines will help greatly to bring back certain areas that were,
- Heavily flooded by Hurricane Katrina, and
- are potential recreational/hospitality destinations for locals as well as tourists.
Let's face it, buses are not a good selling point for visitors, streetcars are.
More resources can be found here and here.