The Streetcar, A Thing Of The Past, Is Now The Next Big Thing

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Vox, BoldRide and Outside.

Everything you need to know about the streetcar crazeVox

There's a streetcar craze? I grew up with my grandmother telling me about how she used to catch the streetcar in East L.A. for a nickel, so that word instantly makes me think it's 1935.

Some advocates say the operating costs of streetcars are lower than buses over time, after the capital costs of putting down tracks. The office of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, for example, has said the streetcar in that city would cost $1.50 per ride, compared to $2.82 for a bus line. Those operating costs can be lower in part because streetcars tend to carry far more people than one bus can, and streetcars also don't require gasoline. That said, for lower operating costs to offset the high up-front costs would take a very long time given the high price of streetcar construction.

Are Auto Shows Still Relevant? Post-NY Auto Show MusingsBoldRide

It's been a week since we were at the New York Auto Show, and everyone has this discussion after complaining about how much their feet hurt from walking the floor. I agree with this one, there's a lot for the typical car buyer at NY. Just not a ton of flashy stuff for us.

Auto shows are, however, a great way for sites to bring traffic and offer new goodies to the auto enthusiast crowd. For gear heads, these exhibitions are like Christmas. You might see something that excites you as much as that pony you asked for when you were six, but there's also a lot of boring releases that fall under bare necessities. This year's Chevy Trax for instance. I would compare the Trax to receiving socks and underwear from Grandma. While not bringing a thrill, Chevy will probably sell a ton since they fit a necessary market segment.

Why Google Glass Sucks for the OutdoorsOutside

Off-topic, but as a reminder you look silly wearing Google Glass while driving (and it may or may not be legal). You look really stupid wearing it rafting.

While in Argentina, my wife and I spent a few days in Los Alerces National Park in Argentina, a beautiful place where massive alpine lakes connect via gin-clear rivers filled with mammoth trout.

On our first day, we floated the Rivadavia. I stripped out fishing line, put Glass on, and looked down to make sure the line wasn't tangled at my feet. Glass fell off. Thankfully, there was no water in the raft (and I wasn't leaning over the side), but I tucked the non-waterproof gadget back in my pack and never put it on again. I wasn't ready to lose $1,500 just for a photo.

Photo: AP Images