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Streetcar Service In D.C. Won't Begin Until 2014

Streetcars are currently being tested in Anacostia, but they won't be ferrying passengers along H Street NE in 2013.
D.C. Department of Transportation
Streetcars are currently being tested in Anacostia, but they won't be ferrying passengers along H Street NE in 2013.

It's been 50 years since D.C.'s extensive streetcar network was dismantled, and there's a delay standing in the way of its planned revival on H Street NE.

Officials with the D.C. Department of Transportation confirmed today that the rollout of the two-mile line has been delayed until early 2014. While city leaders had long promised that the streetcars would roll again before the end of 2013, ongoing construction on H Street and Benning Road NE and delays in the production of two U.S.-made streetcars have made it impossible for passenger service to begin before 2014.

The delay was first reported by WTOP 103.5 FM on Wednesday.

Testing of the city's existing three streetcars on H Street is expected to begin in December, and the final two streetcars should arrive between January and December. Roughly 80 percent of the construction on H Street and Benning Road is done, though a Car Barn at Spingarn High School is still being built.

In July, Terry Bellamy, the director of the Department of Transportation, gave the odds of a 2013 rollout at two out of three.

The H Street/Benning Road line is the first of what officials say is a 37-mile system that will criss-cross the city. The Department of Transportation has started planning a nine-mile line that will connect Buzzard Point to Takoma.


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