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DC Streetcar to start serving riders next week

Photo: Flickr user mariordo59

After a series of delays and cost overruns, the streetcar system in Washington, D.C., will open for full passenger service Feb. 27, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced yesterday.

The news follows more than a decade of planning, construction and testing, DDOT officials said in a press release.

The first segment of the DC Streetcar system will be the 2.4-mile H Street/Benning Road Line, which will provide service between Union Station on the west and the Anacostia River on the east. Eventually, the segment will be one piece of the One City Line that will traverse the city from east to west.

Rides on the streetcar will be free for a while, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

DDOT previously contracted with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to conduct a review of the streetcar program. Although the review documented numerous issues, there were no "fatal flaws," which meant the streetcar system could move forward after the issues were addressed.

 "After years of overspending, mismanagement and lack of direction, we made it happen," said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo.

The city has spent $200 million on the project so far, the Washington Post reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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