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Gray Confident In D.C. Streetcar Plans

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Mayor Vincent Gray says he's confident the H Street and Benning Road Streetcar line will open on time next year.
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Mayor Vincent Gray says he's confident the H Street and Benning Road Streetcar line will open on time next year.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he's confident the H Street and Benning Road Streetcar line will open as scheduled next year.

In December, a contract for two streetcars was canceled, raising doubts about the city's plans to open the system on time next year. Now Gray says the District will pay the company Oregon Iron Works to manufacture two streetcars, to be added to the three the city already owns.

He says he confident the system will succeed as it has in other cities.

"Portland, for example, has had an extraordinary streetcar program," says Gray. "They've been involved in this, and they've got experience with it. And we're convinced they are going to produce the cars in time for us to be able to start."

The mayor says Portland officials say their streetcar system created $8.5 billion dollars of economic development in once-blighted area.

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