Things That Have Happened Since DC Streetcar Started Running One Year Ago

by Prince Of Petworth February 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm 25 Comments

streetcar 1

From DC Streetcar:

“It’s our anniversary! Thank you for the support during the first year of passenger service.”

Also during Streetcar’s first year of service – Donald Trump was elected President. Metro service has shit the bed to an extent even some pessimists couldn’t have imagined. Prince and David Bowie died. Argonaut and Millie & Al’s closed…


  • MadMax

    Without the streetcar we would have never lost Bao Bao.

    • Death by a 1,000 cuts!!

      • textdoc

        At first I read that as “Death by 1,000 cats.”

        • hahaha that would be worse!!

          • textdoc

            I love cats, but a thousand of them makes me think of Wanda Gág’s excellent children’s book “Millions of Cats.” :)

  • JoDa

    For all the problems and then snark about the streetcar, I finally took it a few weeks ago, and it was nice. Smoother and quieter than the bus, and busy! But so much faster than the bus re: boarding and exiting, since it’s level and people can use all the doors, and there’s no on-board payment. With how frequently they run, it was a good alternative to walking over 10 blocks. I wouldn’t take the X2 for that distance, since it would probably take longer than walking, but waiting 3 minutes and riding the streetcar saved me a couple minutes, so overall big thumbs up.

    • What’s a $100+ million if you can save a couple minutes…

      • textdoc

        Actual LOL.

      • Anony

        Closer to $200M and about $9M per year operation cost since it does not have a plan to charge a fee for at least 4 years!!

      • JoDa

        The bungling was bad. But streetcars don’t have to cost so much. Maybe once people realize it’s a pretty good transportation option, we can properly install more at a reasonable cost, since we ain’t getting any new Metro lines and buses have gotten worse right alongside overall traffic.

        • gotryit

          I’ve had good experience with buses. Even better if we can work on signal timing and dedicated bus lanes (WITH ENFORCEMENT). Streetcars are just not needed, unless you’re trying to gentrify– I mean boost economic development in an area.

          • kd21

            That’s not even remotely true — streetcars are valuable components of a transit system. Streetcars have a much higher capacity than buses, and so, can move more people through a given corridor. And, they have a much lower operating cost than a bus. And, rail transit attracts more riders than buses do.

          • Urbaniste

            Once you make the lane dedicated, the bus service has to support the cost of maintaining the lane. The street car does not like so hideously expensive (relatively) when the bus no longer gets it ROW infrastructure for free.

            That is why the usual dig at streetcars is that they don’t make sense in mixed traffic.

        • Urbaniste

          One of the reasons the cost is so high is because you have a maintenance facility all for this one short segment – but the facility should support a longer line, maybe even a larger system,

    • mharding01

      It’s not faster when some idiot parks in its path and the operator has to call the tow truck. If this happens between stops, the operator has to get permission to open the doors and let passengers out if they don’t want to wait. Or else you just sit there.

  • Neil

    Other numbers: $8,000,000 in operating costs = $8.83 per ride. $0.00 collected.

  • anondad

    Our school renovation got delayed again! Thanks for taking our money, streetcar!

  • Urbaniste

    The good news – High ridership!!

    The bad news – but that is only with no fares – bad investment, boo!

    The good/uncertain news – but that is with only a piece done, which was never meant to stand alone – will be much better when the entire One City Line, including transit only lane on K Street, is complete.

    So, too soon to say, as Chou En Lai did or did not say.

  • how many cars have been towed? and how many doors smashed?

    • TinkerTaylor

      Yep, this is the infographic I wanted to see

  • CoHi Contrarian

    How much of this data can be attribute to the Streetcar? About half their data regarding actual ridership seems legitimate. The other points are arguably hyperbolizing the Streetcars direct/indirect utility.

  • Jay

    is this thing usually fast? I was walking from union station to the rock and roll hotel recently when I saw the streetcar pulling up close near third street… it never caught up to me and I walked the 10+ blocks faster than the streetcar… I mean, I know I walk relatively fast, but does this even save small amounts of time?

    • anon

      It’s because of the long signal they have to wait for when the streetcar is coming down from the Hopscotch bridge onto 3rd & H St. Once you pass that hurdle, it runs pretty fast, in my experience.

  • northeazy

    Can we talk about the Argonaut closing? This hasn’t received enough attention. I want a change.org petition or something. The owners need to work it out. They are being selfish and petty.

  • Reality

    I like the streetcar and want them to extend it through the rest of the city.


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