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D. P. Lubic

A couple of comments. . .

One, perhaps a bit of semantics, not all of the cities mentioned have "light rail" (modern trolley systems), but all have rail transit. Those that have rail transit in the form of commuter trains and subways and/or elevated rail transit (but not light rail) include Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC. Although not having light rail as such, there are proposals in all three to bring back trolley cars.

The remaining cities do have light rail or traditional trolleys. Of these, San Francisco and Boston never completely lost their systems; other cities that have what we transit enthusiasts call "legacy systems" include New Orleans, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and a small system in Newark, NJ. Of these, Philadelphia and Newark also have a subway system (Philadelphia), and both are also served by commuter services and intercity rail (Amtrak) via the Northeast Corridor.

The other cities on the list--Minneapolis, San Diego, Portland (Oregon), and Seattle--all have "new" or reconstructed systems; the earliest of these was San Diego, which dates to the 1970s, as does the system in Portland.

Other "new" light rail lines include Buffalo, NY (not the best example), Calgary and Edmonton in Canada, Pheonix (Arizona), Houston and Dallas (both in oil-rich, car-oriented Texas), Sacramento and Los Angeles in California, Norfolk (Virginia), Charlotte (North Carolina) Little Rock (Arkansas), and Tampa (Florida), the last two using replicas of older cars for a tourist attraction that also doubles as a transit line. To a certain extent, lines with older cars that are used as what I would call "dual service" systems include the "F" line in San Francisco, the McKinney Avenue line in Dallas, a small system in Kenosha (Wisconsin), certain services in Sacramento and San Diego, and of course the New Orleans system (which interestingly, never really did get modernized, and parts of which date back to the pre-Civil War era and the use of horse-cars).

There has been talk of reviving the line to Desire in New Orleans.

Other systems have been proposed, but have either been stymied by a lack of funding or political controversy (principle example--Cincinnati, Ohio). Some system proposals are in places you wouldn't think would show interest in this sort of thing (Lancaster, Pa., and Huntington, W.Va.) It's all pleasantly surprising to see.

About the "attractive" city list--several of them--notably New York City, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle--have always had a strong attraction to creative types. Think of the artists, writers, and advertising people of New York City, the architects of Chicago, the creative legislators of Washington (going back to at least New Deal days), San Francisco and its arts scene, and the world of Microsoft and Starbucks in Seattle, and it becomes apparent that some places have always attracted creative people. It's just that times have changed, and these now attract even more creative people--and in the case of certain businesses, such as the advertising agencies in New York, now attract even more of them.

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