When Will the H Street – Streetcar Start Carrying Passengers?


A reader writes in looking for an update. Estimates on when the streetcar will start carrying passengers have become notoriously unreliable. The DC Streetcar’s website gives no indication. We do know that testing has starting – but does anyone have any idea when it’s supposed to start carrying passengers? Has anyone heard how the testing is going?

And since I enjoy bets – let’s make some guesses. I’m gonna guess July 2014. What about you?

27 Comment

  • 2015 at the earliest. I’ve heard that there are loads of unforeseen problems.

  • 3rd quarter 2015

  • When was the original proposed run date? Like June 2011?

  • Like realizing that most other streetcar systems have the lanes in the center of the road. “Attention passengers we are delayed due to a car double parked in front of us as someone runs into (insert clever name) Chinese carryout restaurant to pick up their King Pao Chicken, we should be moving momentarily”

    • Meant for anonymous 10:25 PM post

    • I will say that I have seen far fewer double parkers on H than even a year ago. They must really be stepping up ticketing. It used to be like a game of frogger driving down H, but now it doesn’t seem nearly as bad.
      But yeah, middle of the road would have made a lot more sense.

  • July 2017 maybe, and that’s being hopeful

  • justinbc

    I contacted them in February (after they missed their January launch date) and as of that time they were still deciding on what type of fare system to use. So yeah, a good bit delayed.

  • A related question is will it open before the Silver Line? I’m guessing a September 2014 soft launch, with full operational capacity (with all of the ordered cars) by October 2014.

  • I think a better bet would be…which will launch first – the Streetcar or the Silver Line?

  • When I was on H street, I chatted with one of the workers working on the streetcar that is currently parked (they were just going in and out of it so maybe inspecting it). I peppered him with questions and he said the plan was to get it running as early as August 2014 and that it would run for free for about 6 months.

    • For free? Wow what could go wrong with that plan…

      • Why would that be a problem? It will encourage potential riders to try something new. The Baltimore connector buses are free, very popular, and are a lot more and reliable than the regular MTA buses.

  • They still haven’t built the streetcar barn needed at the end of the line for storage and maintenance, though they’ve FINALLY started on it: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2014/04/one-step-closer-ddot-building-the-h-street.html

    But yeah, based on everything I still think 2015 at the earliest. Great job, DDOT.

  • Worst local project–what a waste.

  • sounds like they should get started on the rest of the system now!

  • When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,
    When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves,
    When Daenerys’s womb quickens again, and she bears a living child,
    Then streetcars will return, and not before!

  • Inauguration 2017

  • This joke of a “shiny toy” is 4 years behind schedule at this point. It’s original revenue service date was first qtr 2010. Then we had Gray promising us all last year it would be open before Christmas 2013.

    Considering they just started building its maintenance barn, I would be pretty suprised if it opened before fall.

  • Does anyone know how the signaling will work at the intersection of H and 3rd Sts NE? This is where the tracks move from the outside lanes into the turnaround. Seems to me that this crossover point is where there is a higher probability of accidents or traffic bottlenecks.

  • It has to be this year. The have been working like crazy to get that thing going over the last couple of months.

    I doubt it will be as early as July though. Fall is probably more likely. Although I’m still not sure how they plan to run these things without the car barn built.

    I mostly hope they don’t rush it at the end and it fails because they cut corners to just get it rolling. The biggest concern to me is the ridiculous “connection” at Union Station. Which is to say it drops off an entire load of people in the middle of the road atop the hopscotch bridge.

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