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Why Does DC Need a Streetcar System? | Transportation

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Why Does DC Need a Streetcar System?
Transportation
Why Does DC Need a Streetcar System?

Plans for the DC Streetcar system have been in the works for several years and construction has already begun on the Anacostia line, where service is planned to begin in the fall of 2012. As a newcomer to the DC area, I still ask many questions. Here was my question about the streetcar system: huh? Translated, that means: if DC already has Metrorail, Metrobus, the Circulator and Capital Bikeshare, why do we require another separate transportation system? Why not expand the bus system instead? I was flummoxed.

If you too have ever questioned the logic of re-introducing a streetcar system to our beloved city (yes, DC had streetcars right up until the mid-1960’s), here’s a bit of background.

The genesis of the streetcar idea didn’t come out of thin air. There were no secret backroom meetings with someone saying, “Ooh, I know. Let’s go streetcar— soooo retro!” An actual study was conducted by the District of Columbia Transit Improvements Alternatives Analysis to identify DC neighborhoods that lacked adequate public transit. From that study, DDOT commenced expansion of an array of transit services, including the DC Circulator, express Metrobus routes, rapid bus transit and, you guessed it—streetcar.

While the streetcar concept is, indeed, a bit of a throwback, there are specific benefits unique to the streetcar that set it apart from other forms of transit. There are too many, in fact, to discuss in full here. To read the whole story, please visit www.goDCgo.com.

 

Transportation