I've a habit, when travelling, to sink myself into a copy of The Economist. Hardly holiday reading, I know. This rather interesting article about the growth of light rail systems in the USA appeared in the current issue - but, as the article asks, will Americans abandon their cars so easily?
"Portland, Oregon, is a fabulous city, at least when it's not raining. Trees line the streets, the microbrews are full-bodied, cyclists abound. And then there is the 44-mile (71km) MAX light-rail system, started 20 years ago. Over $1.6 billion went into developing the MAX, mostly from local and federal governments. The handsome payoff includes Portland's perpetual reputation as among America's nicest places to live, and some $4 billion-worth of development near the stations. Since 2001 the MAX has even whisked people from the airport to the centre of town in just over half an hour for under $2—the first “train to the plane” on the west coast."
The Economist: All aboard!