EUGENE, Ore. -- In some spots, the old tracks are obvious; elsewhere in Eugene, it takes some digging.
But the pieces of Eugene streetcar history still exist after the cars made their final stops almost 100 years ago in 1927.
Now, other cities across Oregon are starting to revisit streetcars as a transit option, and Eugene could be one of them.
Robert Krebs serves on Salem's equivalent of the Lane Transit District and is the former Oregon Department of Transportation Intercity Rail Coordinator.
He said streetcars were private businesses at the turn of the last century and had to compete with government-run roads and streets. Krebs said that competition proved too tough, and that's why streetcars eventually stopped for good.
But Krebs said Oregon's capital city is looking into streetcar transit now, and on Friday, he explained to Eugene's City Club how streetcars are smart here, too.
"They're clean, they're attractive, and they help with urban development by supporting investment and better quality housing," said Krebs.
"Streetcars have the advantage that they can fit into existing infrastructure so they don't have to take a lot of property off the tax rolls," he said.
But are they likely in Eugene?
"There's a good chance that they could be because streetcars are coming back all over the world," said Krebs.
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy's office said there's interest in street cars here. And Krebs said Eugene can look to Portland as a model of success.
As for funding, Krebs said a basic Eugene streetcar system would cost $50-75 million. Federal and state money could pay for the bulk of it, but businesses and Eugene could also chip in.