APTA Streetcar and
Seashore Trolley Museum Logo
Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Washington - March 2017

[Back to Washington]

Washington, DC — What's Needed for Extensions

March 2017

WAMU reports that planners working on the extension of the DC Streetcar are looking forward to using wireless technology along some or all of the prospective routes. The report to
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser says that the 3-mile extension west to Georgetown would benefit from current onboard energy storage technology now being used in a growing number of cities.

Being studied is technology that would use overhead charging points at each passenger stop along the route. However, the extension would not see service until the 2020s.

“Advancements have been made in charging times where a 30-second passenger stop is sufficient to achieve a full charge. The fact that batteries are now considered a proven technology represents a major advance since the previous assessment in 2014,” the document said.

Streetcars would cost up to $500,000 more than the current ones due to the expense of the batteries and related electronics. Dedicated lanes would be desirable to reduce energy-wasting deceleration and acceleration due to traffic.

The expense would be partly offset by the savings from not having to build foundations, poles, and trolley wire along off-wire stretches.

The eastern extension of the current line across the Anacostia River could be built either with or without off-wire segments.


[Back to Washington]