“The peer review panel concluded that there are no fatal flaws that would prevent the DC Streetcar from starting revenue service on the H Street/Benning Road corridor”


From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced today the findings of a letter from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which conducted a peer review of the H Street/Benning Road Streetcar system last week. The peer review panel concluded that there are no fatal flaws that would prevent the DC Streetcar from starting revenue service on the H Street/Benning Road corridor. A draft report is due to be delivered in mid-April.

“This letter from APTA underscores DDOT’s guiding principle for the DC Streetcar that it will only open once it is deemed safe,” said DDOT Director Leif A. Dormsjo. “The APTA peer review helped give us a pathway toward a Streetcar service that can meet safety certifications and the needs of passengers that it will eventually serve.”

The APTA peer review panel provided a list of tasks for DDOT to complete prior to launch. These tasks include providing additional training for maintenance staff, reviewing operations and maintenance procedures, and augmenting DDOT staff with personnel experienced in streetcar operations. As such, DDOT is currently conducting workshops and analyses to establish a master schedule that will guide the agency toward completion of the peer review panel’s recommendations prior to opening the H Street/Benning Road Streetcar system to the public.

DDOT is also currently undertaking maintenance and repairs to the system, including rail breaks and water drainage mitigation. This work requires that simulated service temporarily cease along the corridor.

About APTA: APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems. APTA typically performs 30 to 40 peer reviews of transit systems annually, assembling teams of industry professionals nationwide to conduct independent and impartial reviews of transit systems.”

19 Comment

  • So the APTA reached the same conclusion reached by anyone who has interacted with DDOT or WMATA…the system and design is fine, it’s just run by incompetent people.

  • “No fatal flaws” doesn’t exactly strike me as reassuring.

  • >.< There's already maintenance and repairs and it hasn't even begun actually running

  • It WILL run. The folks crowing that it would never run were wrong, and can go soak their toes.

    • Nobody is “crowing” that it won’t run. Everyone actually wanted it to run, especially after millions of dollars spent. So what’s your problem?

      • “Nobody is “crowing” that it won’t run. Everyone actually wanted it to run, especially after millions of dollars spent. So what’s your problem?”

        Maybe not you, but there certainly was a crowd that wanted to see the thing fail.

        • It is almost 6 years behind schedule and 50 million over budget. It already has fail written all over it. I think the streetcar fan crowd has fallen to a new low by thinking something that doesn’t have fatal flaws is a mistake.

          It will open, cost the. It’s a fortune to run, further worsen traffic on ah street and be shutdown after a couple of years of embarrassing performance.

          • +1

            This thing was begun when The Sopranos was still running. I always thought Tony would’ve been so happy to have this contract.

          • Cars worsen traffic, not transit.

          • This is the same dumb line of reasoning that fashions Obmamacare a failure because of the bungled roll-out. I regularly walk 10 blocks up H street to Union Station for my daily commute, which ends at Farragut North. The X2 is unbearable. I’d be happy to have a quick shot to back of Union Station. X2 avoidance is key.

        • D,

          No…vehicles that can’t maneuver around slight obstructions in the road, and that travel 5-7 mph as the streetcar has been doing for 5 months, worsens traffic.

          The streetcar doesn’t pull to the lane to pick up passengers like a bus, it sits in the middle of the street, blocking traffic behind it every time it stops. Unlike a bus, it can’t maneuver 2 feet around a turning vehicle or a poorly parked car. All of these issues were clear as day before they even started building the thing.

          No point in denying it, both DDOT and WMATA have publicly stated that traffic has worsened significantly on H street since the simulated service went into affect.

          Again, claiming “success” because a system doesn’t have fatal flaws after all this time and money, is a little funny.

          • Traffic on h st during rush hour is already bad, who cares if it become worse for all the MD drivers rushing out the city, blocking cross walks, etc. let them sit in traffic I say. And all the problems with parking outside the lines, are mostly MD tags, because they never learned to parallel park

          • They should make the streetcar lanes DEDICATED. With regards to those car dependent suburbanites, screw them. Let them lose the lanes permanently. I want the streetcar to run smoothly and dedicated streetcar lanes across the city at the expense of drivers. I can care less about suburban drivers from Maryland and Virginia. Let them wait in traffic while the street cars go by.

          • You are well beyond delusional if you think it’s all commuters from the suburbs.

  • Did anyone read Annex A to the APTA letter- which is the “punch list” of items DDOT has to do? There is some pretty meaty stuff in that list. It made me wonder what the heck DDOT has been doing. Just as examples, the first two items on the punch list suggest that DDOT hire “capable and technically qualified” Project Manager as well as Chief Streetcar Safety Officer. It is a real worry if DDOT has been running a project with neither of these. My guess is that DDOT pays peanuts and therefore doesn’t manage to get capable staff. Perhaps they should seek technical advisory assistance from other cities that run comprehensive transport networks….

    • I always thought that primary evidence of the Mayor’s office and Ddot being serious about developing, constructing and operating a significant streetcar system in the District would begin with hiring experienced managers and engineers from other cities (or transit systems) that have already built-out and are currently running streetcar/light rail networks; e.g. SF, Toronto, Boston, Portland, Philadelphia.

  • Good. Start revenue service, already.

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