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Last month, the city began laying new tracks for the Portland Streetcar Loop Project, a 3.3-mile extension of the popular streetcar system which will add another 28 stops and serve as many as 3.5 million riders per year.
The new Portland Streetcar line will run parallel to the east bank of the Willamette River, offering access to popular visitor attractions such as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as well as other eastside shops and restaurants. The line is scheduled to open in 2012.
The Portland Streetcar is a good example of the city’s commitment to sustainable transportation. With its creation in 2001, Portland became the first city in the U.S. to introduce modern streetcar service.
The upcoming expansion follows the opening of the new light rail MAX Green Line in September 2009 and the Westside Express Service (WES) commuter rail, which opened in February 2009. In addition to increasing transit options for residents and visitors, the new Portland Streetcar line will create more than 100 jobs at local company United Streetcar, which is manufacturing the cars.