Accessibility links

Breaking News

Dateline: Light Rail Revival

In 1888, Boston, Massachusetts, became the first American city to replace horse-drawn trolleys with electric streetcars. Streetcars, which look similar to train passenger coaches, clanged their bells, rattled around corners and carried almost 14 billion riders at their height in 1920.

Old photos show overhead wires criss-crossing almost every U.S. city. Then streetcar ridership declined steadily as Americans took to automobiles and communities replaced trolleys with buses. But now it seems cities can't lay streetcar tracks fast enough.

In this Dateline report listen why a streetcar ride is a hot ticket once again.