Housing Complex

DDOT Expects Fare-Collecting, Passenger-Transporting Streetcars by Year’s End

The streetcar waiting game took an optimistic turn yesterday, as WAMU reported that District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy put the odds that the H Street-Benning Road streetcar line will "go live" this year at two in three.

So what exactly does "going live" entail? There are a few things that have to happen before the line is truly operational: test runs, safety reviews, and finally picking up passengers and collecting fares.

I asked DDOT streetcar spokeswoman Dara Ward which version of "live" applied here. The answer? The whole shebang. Bellamy thinks there's a better-than-even chance that the streetcar will be transporting and charging passengers along two miles of tracks by the end of December. (Given all the delays thus far on the streetcar, though, holding your breath is not advised.)

One other streetcar-related clarification: DCist reported yesterday that Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning expects the streetcar to have an absolutely transformative effect on transportation access in D.C.

Tregoning, the planning director, offered a brightening statistic for when the streetcar actually hits the rails. Currently, she said, only 15 percent of D.C.'s population live within a reasonable walking distance of rail transportation; once the H Street-Benning Road streetcar line goes live, that number will grow to 45 percent.

I asked Tregoning if that could possibly be true. The answer is no. Tregoning says that increase to 45 percent comes from the city's Streetcar Land Use study and refers to the entire 37-mile system, not just the initial H Street-Benning line.

Photo from DDOT

  • Tom M

    Is there a casino or other place that will take a bet on this??? I would bet it isn't going to go as predicted....

  • Eric

    When I read that 45% number yesterday I immediately thought it was in reference to the entire system, not just this line.

  • noodlez

    YEAH RIGHT.
    PICTURE THAT!

    WE SHOULD SCRAP THIS BOONDOGGLE AND TAKE A LOSS!
    THE CITY WILL BE BETTER OFF FOR IT!

    ANOTHER FINE EXAMPLE OF THE FAILED FENTY ADMIN!

  • Bill

    A waste of money - fix the roads with all the potholes and cracked pavement first. What a waste.

  • Chris hauser

    I know it's been said before, but what this town needs is a monorail!

    For the youths to ride freely on, to school and such.

    And barhopping.

    And commuting.

    All those things that the monorail can add to the joie de dc.

    Viva le monorail!

  • DC Guy

    And an escalator to nowhere.

  • Viss1

    The remaining 1 in 3 chance is that the line will never get built and the existing cars will become crack dens.

  • mark

    my NW DC residence has no convenient metro stop (40 min walk), bus stop (20 min walk) or future streetcar line (30 min walk). i'll be keeping my bike and car.

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  • Bob

    DDOT is probably trying to figure out how they can collect fares before streetcar transportation actually starts!

  • http://www.newlookmegastore.com guptil

    Oh wow, that's the least self-aware quote I've ever read. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a quote from that very same day advocating the opposite for a cop.
    Fuck man, these assholes think this party'll never end, but the longer it goes the worse it's gonna be.

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