Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Approval seen for study of Columbia Pike streetcar

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The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) is expected Thursday to approve a $4 million environmental and engineering study of the Columbia Pike Streetcar, a five-mile line extending from Washington Metro’s Pentagon City Station in Arlington, Va.

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The streetcar plan, backed by Virginia’s Arlington and Fairfax counties, will overlap and supplement existing bus routes currently handling about 14,000 passengers per day. The streetcar is projected to cost at least $160 million, up from an estimate of $150 million in 2008; it would include 12 stops, according to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, a non-profit public/private partnership pursuing the project under its Pike Transit Initiative subsidiary.

“We’re quite enthusiastic about it in Arlington,” said Christopher Zimmerman, an Arlington County supervisor who sits on WMATA’s board of directors. “For us, it’s one of our top transportation priorities in Arlington. It’s critical to the development planned in the corridor.”