Washington, DC —Late February Opening Targeted
Management at the District Department of Transportation is targeting February 20 to begin passenger service on the long-delayed, 2.2-mile H Street and Benning Road route, according to documents obtained by Public Radio Station WAMU 88.5 through a Freedom of Information Act request. It would be the first street car service in the capital city since 1962. It is possible the final regulatory approvals will wrap up sooner than first scheduled, and the street car line would open before February 20, according to DDOT director Leif Dormsjo.
Once it starts running, the street car will be free to riders. The fleet of five street cars will run at 15-minute intervals, but there will be no service on Sundays.
The startup date depends on final approval by independent oversight officials within D.C. Fire & EMS. Those officials, led by D.C. Fire Captain Kelton Ellerbe until he retired in December, recently permitted a final testing period that was expected to be completed January 5. It started Dec. 16.
Dormsjo’s, after assuming his post, commissioned a top-to-bottom review of the $200 million project last summer. Months of consultations followed between the agency’s project managers and Ellerbe’s office, known as the State Safety Oversight Office (SSO), just to get to the final test phase.