Monday, October 22, 2012

D.C. readies streetcar tests

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Streetcar tests are slated to start this winter in Washington, D.C.'s Southeast, specifically in Anacostia along S. Capitol Street, according to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). But a revenue service startup date is still uncertain.

Testing will not occur along the H Street-Benning Road line, a more visible streetcar route linked to Washington Union Station.

Officials are still conducting environmental and historic assessments to determine if and how the Anacostia line can be extended to the 11th Street Bridge, according to DDOT spokesman John Lisle. Earlier, DDOT officials targeted late 2013 as a startup date for revenue service.

"Our goal hasn't really changed in getting the system up and running as soon as possible, but there are a lot of moving parts," Lisle said.

DDOT is expecting three additional streetcars from Clackamas, Ore.-based United Streetcar, to bolster its existing fleet of three, currently in storage. The first two additional cars are scheduled to arrive next August. Initial operations will require at least five streetcars, with a sixth in reserve.