Monday, August 04, 2014

Streetcar testing begins on H Street in D.C.

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Streetcar testing begins on H Street in D.C.

Testing began Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, on the District of Columbia's first modern streetcar line, running along H Street and Benning Road in the city's Northeast.

The testing involved both equipment and, significantly, a new crew of streetcar operators being trained for the service, which now is targeted to begin by year's end. The projected opening has suffered several setbacks.

In all, 28 operators will be part of the training sessions, along with at least nine other employees involved in operations, all being overseen by RATP Dev McDonald Transit. Four of the six streetcars available for the service were being tested; the remaining two "will join them in the coming months," the dcstreetcar website noted.

Both the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and State Safety Oversight Agency will have to sign off on the streetcar line's operational soundness before it can open.

Phase 1 of the H Street Benning Road line runs roughly east-west between Oklahoma Ave./Benning Road and Union Station.

Local media were urging drivers, bicylists, and pedestrians to be aware of the streetcar testing along the route and to use caution. Cars parked in the path of the streetcar along the H Street/Benning Road route will be ticketed, DDOT warned.

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