I had a great day in Colorado yesterday, and today I'm looking forward to another excellent visit. This time, I'll be in Portland, Oregon, where the Obama Administration's stimulus is helping to fund expansion of the Portland Streetcar.
Why so excited?
The thing about Portland is that public transportation is part of the city's DNA. Streetcars, light rail, and buses are all available to take commuters, residents, and tourists almost anywhere they need to go.
The Portland Streetcar has an even more promising angle working for it: a partnership between Portland and a home-grown manufacturing company, Oregon Ironworks.
This company has built the prototype streetcar we’re unveiling here today. And it’s expected to build the new cars that will run along the tracks here two years from now.
These are the first streetcars to be manufactured in America in nearly 60 years. Yes, manufactured in America. Darn right, I'm excited.
This is a new opportunity to claim the “made in America” label. And, a chance to generate good-paying jobs in the Portland region.
Not sure if there will be time enough to take a streetcar, light rail, and bus, but I'm glad for the opportunity to visit a community with a range of transportation options—from highways to bike paths to streetcars—that link home, and work, and recreation, just as Portland does.
Governor Kulongoski and Congressmen Blumenaur, DeFazio, Schrader, and Wu are happy to show off their city's transportation network, and they should be.