When Asked When H Street Streetcar Will Run, D.C. Officials Stick With 'Soon' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

When Asked When H Street Streetcar Will Run, D.C. Officials Stick With 'Soon'

D.C. first streetcar in 50 years will run, well, sometime in 2014.
D.C. Department of Transportation
D.C. first streetcar in 50 years will run, well, sometime in 2014.

You probably won't be able to ride the District's first streetcar line in 50 years until next spring or early summer, but D.C. officials are refusing to estimate a precise date now that the launch has been pushed into next year.

Ask the District Department of Transportation's chief engineer when the streetcar on H Street and Benning Road NW will carry its first passengers — and this is the best answer you'll get: "We will get passenger service going as soon as can."

Nick Nicholson used those words often during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday. "As soon as I can," he said to repeated questions about when the 2.2-mile streetcar line — the first in D.C. since the 1960s — would be ready to roll.

Nicholson said that he would not estimate a start date because the process of finishing the line contains so many variables, the most pressing being safety testing. He said he expects that the testing will begin in December along a very busy commercial corridor chock full of jaywalkers and double-parked delivery trucks.

A somewhat similar streetcar project in Tampa took three months to certify as safe and ready to go, but, again, Nicholson opted not to speculate what that would mean for D.C. "There is no precedent in D.C.," he said.

Another issue that remains unresolved is how much fares will cost, the hours of operation and how passengers will pay. All of those are being addressed as the District works with H Street merchants to prepare for the big changes to come in parking and deliveries.

The line is the first of what city officials hope will be a 37-mile network crossing from H Street to Georgetown and from Buzzard Point to Takoma or Silver Spring.

NPR

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Boyhood is about a boy in Texas whose parents have separated. Filmed over 12 years, audiences watch him grow up — and his worldview evolve. The cumulative power of the movie is tremendous.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.