Modern streetcar is a form of rail transit with these characteristics:
- Provides local transit in place of bus with frequent stops
- Exists in urban core areas or other areas slated for high density developments
- Vehicles smaller, lighter, and slower than light rail to reduce construction cost and better blend in with street environment. (Some may be just a single light rail car, rather than multi-car train)
- Fully accessible vehicles with other modern features like air conditioning and automatic stop announcement.
Some of the cities that have modern streetcars also have a larger scale light rail system, and these systems may be compatible and can inter-operate.