It's one of those topics that comes up at parties and book clubs — why did the streetcars disappear? They were done in by General Motors, the story goes, to make way for automobiles. But this urban myth is indeed a myth, reports NPR's Dan Charles, who talked with several historians of technology who say the story always sounded good but doesn't hold up. It was public disaffection, bad business practices and the search for profit, they say.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.