Administration Maps Out Districts Transit Future

05/05/2010

Mayor Kicks off DC Streetcar Showcase and Announces More Planned Improvements

 

Media Contacts:
Kate Stanton, (202) 727-2823
John Lisle, (202) 671-2004

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Gabe Klein and other city and federal officials kicked off the four day DC Streetcar Showcase downtown today, celebrating the return of the streetcar to the nation’s capital after an almost 50 year hiatus. The Mayor invited District residents, workers and visitors to tour one of the city’s first new modern streetcars, on display at City Center DC, as he announced plans for more transit improvements over the coming months and years.

“In just two years – by this time in the spring of 2012 – streetcars will once again operate in the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Fenty. “But this isn’t a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The streetcar will be one of the pillars of a modern, multi-modal transportation network that will move the District forward, not backwards. We will be a leader in providing great transit choices for our residents.”

The District is planning a 37 mile, 8 line streetcar system, and construction on two lines has already started in Anacostia and in Northeast DC. The Mayor’s budget for FY2011 includes $63 million to complete work on the H Street/Benning Road line and to purchase additional vehicles. DDOT has also applied for $25 million in federal funding, through an Urban Circulator Grant, to extend the H Street/Benning Road line across the Anacostia River to the Benning Road Metro Station.

In addition, the Mayor made several other significant announcements today about the future of the District’s streetcar program and other transit services:

DDOT is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks advice from industry experts and manufacturers on how best to design a streetcar vehicle capable of operating in the District’s unique environment. As the streetcar program moves past the first two lines, DDOT is committed to utilizing a more advanced vehicle that can operate for limited distances without the benefit of an overhead power supply, to preserve critical viewsheds and areas of particular scenic or historical value.

The District will be hosting the national “Rail~Volution” conference in 2011, bringing together practitioners, advocates, and elected officials from across the country who are all working to build livable communities around transit.

The District is launching a comprehensive planning effort to map out the future of the DC Circulator bus system. The Circulator has seen tremendous growth since its launch is 2005, and the study will guide the service’s future evolution over the next 10 years.

DDOT, in partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), released today the DC’s Transit Future System Plan, Final Report (April 2010) [PDF] which can be found online at ddot.dc.gov/dcstreetcar.

DDOT is very close to announcing a significant expansion of its bikesharing program, adding additional bikes and stations across the city.

We feel our family of transit services, with the addition of the streetcar and alongside the extensive regional bus and rail service provided by Metro, will make us a national leader in providing great choices for people to easily get from place to place in economical and environmentally friendly ways,” said Director Klein.

The DC Streetcar Showcase is open to the public from today, May 5, through Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the site of the old convention center at the corner of 9th and H Streets, NW. Admission is free. The event schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 5, 11am – 7pm
  • Thursday, May 6, 11am – 7pm
  • Friday, May 7, 11am – 7pm
  • Saturday, May 8, 11am – 5pm

For more information about the District’s Streetcar Program, please visit ddot.dc.gov/dcstreetcar.

DC.gov Release