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9 CHAPTER THREE Survey Of Streetcar And Trolley Systems Survey Methodology Review Studies, Presentations, and Articles Provided: All studies provided by the interviewees Synthesis reports commissioned by TRB typically include a were reviewed, and follow-up was conducted indepen- survey of stakeholders or transit agencies to obtain first-hand dently, particularly for the five case study systems pro- knowledge of the current state of the practice. filed in this report. For most systems, beyond anecdotal information elicited during the survey, only limited The number of contemporary streetcar systems completed information regarding streetcar impacts on the built in the past 20 years, for which the conditions exist to measure environment was available. changes to the built environment, are limited (a total of 13 systems as described in the Introduction). Thus, this synthesis adjusted the approach to survey each of these systems, using Profile Of Streetcar Systems a detailed survey instrument administered by personal tele- phone interview. The multistep process was as follows: As shown in Table 2, organized in order of annual ridership, the streetcar systems offering fuller commute service show Prepare Draft and Final Survey: A detailed draft a more intensive use pattern, with routes ranging from 1.3 to survey instrument was prepared, based on a series 8.0 mi, and ridership ranging from a low of 450,000 in Seat- of questions and issues raised by the TRB Synthesis tle to a high of 3.7 million in Portland, Oregon. By compari- Panel. The draft survey instrument was reviewed by son, the systems with lower ridership range in length from the panel and revised to respond to additions or dele- 1.0 to 6.7 mi (with half of them less than 2 mi), with annual tions of questions. ridership ranging from a low of 22,000 in Galveston, Texas Identify Interview Subjects: To comprehensively (before inoperability resulting from Hurricane Ike), to a high capture knowledge about the system's planning and of 100,000 in San Pedro, California. These data exclude the development impacts, a transit agency expert with anomalous performance of Tampa, Florida's streetcar with institutional knowledge was identified as well as an a route of 2.4 miles (expanding an additional 0.3 miles in economic development expert or land use planner who December, 2010) with annual ridership exceeding 440,000 had managed the related land use and economic devel- (this systems connects multiple visitor destinations, includ- opment process associated with the streetcar system. ing the convention center and a cruise ship terminal). Set Appointments for Telephone Survey: Telephone appointments were made with these two people in each of the 13 communities. Two-person interviews Planning, Financing, And Managing The System in 12 of the 13 communities were successfully com- pleted, with the exception being the Dallas street- It is difficult to generalize about the planning and goals of car, where attempts to arrange the interviews were each surveyed system, because each has a unique individual unsuccessful. history. As shown in Appendix C, although each system had Administer the Survey: The survey was sent in general goals for streetcar development, few of the systems advance to each interview subject, to aid their under- had identified measurable objectives that were documented, standing and enable them to collect background infor- and almost no objective has been evaluated or benchmarked, mation before the appointed interview. Because the other than ridership projections in some cases. survey instrument consists primarily of open-ended comment questions, the survey administration involved In general, the lower ridership systems evolved from recording all of the comments on the interview form, either a community or business initiative to restore street- as well as follow-up requests for information, studies, cars to attract visitors. One exception to this pattern was and images for each system. The survey instrument Kenosha, Wisconsin, which implemented its limited service is provided in Appendix A, respondents are listed in system after an Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory panel Appendix B, and the survey tabulation is provided in recommended streetcars as one facet of a strategy to revi- Appendix C. talize and stimulate private development on the site of an