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DC Streetcar Takes Final Steps Before Launching


The DC Department of Transportation will relaunch simulated service for the long-delayed H Street Streetcar this week, and it could have passenger service underway as soon as early to mid-January.

Simulated service, also known as pre-revenue operations, will begin Wednesday morning and run for at least three weeks, the mayor's office announced. During the test run, the full fleet of streetcars will run along the streetcar line, which stretches for 2.2 miles and follows H Street and Benning Road from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue NE. Streetcars will stop at stations nearly every 15 minutes and follow their normal hours of operation, reports the Washington Business Journal.

This will be the second simulated service run for the streetcars, following last year’s run that was marred by a series of mishaps, including collisions with parked and moving vehicles. The project was paused for fixes and received more than a dozen recommendations from a peer review panel led by the American Public Transportation Association.

The long-delayed H Street streetcar is the only line in the works for the once ambitious streetcar plans in the District, but Mayor Bowser has committed to seeing the line open to the public. There is a school of thought that believes the line could expand if the H Street streetcar proves to be a hit and leads to increased commercial and residential activity[WBJ]