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American-made streetcars: Portland company rebuilds lost industry

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  • More than 65 U.S. cities are currently looking into implementing streetcars. Portland, though, is leading the way in public transportation.
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  • Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track
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Jacob Wheeler, People's World

United Streetcar, a union company in Portland, Ore., and wholly owned subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, has built the first American-made streetcar in over half a century. United Streetcar already has a deal in place to build thirteen of its streetcars for the cities of Portland and Tucson, Ariz.

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The initial streetcar was unveiled in July 2009 in a ceremony attended by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called Portland the transportation, streetcar and livable community capital of the United States. "I believe this is the dawn of a new era for public transportation in the United States," said LaHood. "A new opportunity to claim ‘Made in America.' It's a chance to generate good-paying union jobs right here in the region."

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Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track, Hart Van Denburg, City Pages | MN
"Last Friday (April 2), the Council took a big step forward toward make sure we put modern streetcars where they belong -- along the commercial corridors in Minneapolis that used to have them." -- RT Ryback, Minneapolis Mayor