Friday, November 22, 2013

D.C. streetcar debut date still in flux

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Construction continues at a fast pace on Washington, D.C.'s first modern streetcar line, even as district officials send conflicting signals on the line's operational launch.

District of Columbia Mayor Mayor Vincent Gray, appearing on a local news show Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, pegged early February for the launch of the H Street/Benning Road line "at the latest," according to a report by dcist. But the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which oversees the project, declined to affirm the mayor's assessment.

"The streetcars will start actually moving around in December," Gray said. "We'll have passenger service probably starting in January, not later than early February when we get an additional car" from Clackamas, Ore.-based United Streetcar, LLC.

Testing and certification will begin next month, and DDOT did allow that revenue service can begin 30 days after the certification is completed. Last week DDOT began stringing up head span wire along the 2.2-mile route.

DDOT has been working to teach local road users to avoid parking on the streetcar right-of-way, reportedly with mixed results so far. Ticketing and towing begins Dec. 1.