NJ TransitTake a wild guess: Since the turn of the century, what nation has opened more new light rail and streetcar systems than any other on earth? Germany? Nein. Italy? No. China? 否. France? Non. Russia? Нет. Japan? いいえ. The Netherlands? Nr. It’s actually (drumroll please) . . ..  the United States of America.

Yes, you read that right: The nation that tore up most of its interurban and streetcar systems when (conspiracy theorists and many “trolley jollys” claim) General Motors began buying them up, tearing them up and replacing steel-wheeled vehicles with its rubber-tired diesel buses, has since the Millenium built more LRT and streetcar systems—23—than even France, which has built (no doubt influenced by Alstom) a mere vingt (20).

Mull over that as you munch on your pommes frites (Freedom Fries) at your local burger joint. Viva Les Etats-Unis!

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