Toronto can claim ownership of North America’s oldest continually operating streetcar networks. While many North American cities abandoned trams or trolleys for newer modes of transportation such as buses, Toronto ding-dinged along.

Now more and more cities in the U.S. are building modern streetcar routes, fueled in part by funding available from the U.S. federal government, and partly by a belief that streetcars spur urban development. By 2015 about 30 U.S. cities will have streetcar systems. That’s more than double the amount running at the turn of the millennium.

As a result, comparing this city’s system to other North American efforts is far from a direct comparison.

But we gave it a shot.

Toronto

Status: Opened 1861
Riders: 249,800/daily
Where do they run: Centre lane in mixed traffic, dedicated lanes on some routes
Where to board: From sidewalks across lanes of traffic, platforms on some routes; single door loading on most routes
How fares are paid: Proof of payment with Metropasses or transfers; tokens or change to the operator

Portland

Status: Opened 2001
Riders: 13,000/day
Where do they run: Curb lane
Where to board: From sidewalks, multiple doors
How are fares paid: Ticket vending machines at each stop; proof of payment system

Seattle

Status: Opened 2007
Riders: 3,000/daily
Where do they run: Centre lane and curb lane in mixed-traffic
Where to board: Centre lane or sidewalk platforms, multiple doors
How fares are paid: Proof of payment with passes or transfers, ticket vending machines at all stops, purchase from inspector on board

Washington, D.C.

Status: Under construction
Riders: n/a
Where do they run: Curb lane in mixed traffic
Where to board: Sidewalk platforms, multiple doors
How fares are paid: Unknown

Atlanta

Status: Under construction
Riders: n/a
Where do they run: In mixed traffic
Where to board: Sidewalk platforms, multiple doors
How fares are paid: Unknown