Streetcar named desirable residence maker
A report by the Portland Streetcar company says that since Portland Streetcar opened in 2001, nearly half of all multifamily housing built in Portland has been located within a quarter mile of the Streetcar route.
And as housing construction in the city has exploded in the past couple years, even more new of the city's new housing is being concentrated in the Streetcar corridor. In 2016, 54 percent of new multifamily units were built along the Streetcar route. Over the past 16 years, streetcar ridership has grown steadily along with housing construction, with over 15,000 riders per day and 4.7 million total riders last year.
"It seems simple, but Portland Streetcar is successful because it connects where people live with where they need to go every day," said Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower. "And as the streetcar has expanded, it's become a magnet for new housing."
Conducted by EcoNorthwest, the data analysis shows that 3,130 new multifamily housing units were built along the Streetcar corridor in 2016, the most in the system's 16-year history. Another 5,600 units are currently planned or under construction.
When the route was first drawn in the mid-1990s, city leaders and planners envisioned the streetcar running through neighborhoods that filled with housing and where people could get to school, work, or the grocery store without driving across town.
Over one-third of all regulated affordable housing units in Portland are located along the Streetcar corridor and another 645 regulated affordable housing units are currently planned or under construction on the alignment.