Washington, DC — LRT Groundbreaking
Rail Transit Online, December 2004
District of Columbia elected officials officiated at a
groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 13 for the Anacostia Light Rail Demonstration
Project, a six-station, 2.7-mi. (4.34 km) line that will serve the Anacostia
area in southeast Washington. “It's a great day for the neighborhood,” said
D.C. Department of Transportation Director Dan Tangherlini. “After a
42-year hiatus, we return streetcars to the city, and we will begin the
process of reconnecting our neighborhoods.” The route will use an existing
CSX right-of-way along the east side of the Anacostia River between Bolling
Air Force Base and Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition to trackwork and
stations, the project, estimated to cost between $30 million and $40
million, will include a maintenance facility, two substations and three
light rail vehicles similar to those now running in Portland and Tacoma.
Service is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006 with projected ridership
of 3,000. “It reflects, I think, a renaissance in the city — kind of a
turning around of our fortunes, a place that people want to be, a place that
people are clamoring to get around,” Tangherlini told The Associated Press.
He said talks are continuing with WMATA to operate the line but no
agreement has been signed. The Anacostia line is part of a planned citywide
LRT system designed to improve internal transportation.