The Social Aspect of Public Transportation
On top of bringing an incredible amount of economic activity to a region, streetcars bring people together.
Tom Gerand, the executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, said this:
“We didn’t really anticipate this streetcar becoming this social space that is so valued by the people who use it. We hear all of the time from riders, residents and employees how the streetcar is a great place to interact with people from all walks of life, from all over the world.”
In a city like Omaha where riding public transportation isn’t as frequent or accepted as in other big cities, the streetcar can be the gateway for newbies who don’t yet realize how convenient and fun it is.
It’s important to note that Omaha’s streetcar won’t be a party trolley. The Kansas City Streetcar, which marked its 5 millionth ride in September, reported that more than a third of the riders were using it to get to their job.
Omaha’s streetcar can be where residents meet each other, where public art can be displayed, where local musicians can play and where everyone is welcome.