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First they were supposed to run in 2012. Then by early 2013. No? How about mid-2013? Maybe not, but definitely before the end of the year, right? Sorry, it’s going to be spring 2014 at the earliest.
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Thankfully for most D.C. officials, it’s been more than 50 years since streetcars operated within city limits, so most residents have patiently dealt with the constantly shifting promises over when trolleys will finally re-inaugurate service along H Street and Benning Road NE.
The final touches are being put in place, though: Overhead wires to power the streetcars have been strung, a maintenance facility is being built on the campus of Spingarn High School, operators have been trained, and the D.C. Department of Transportation has started enforcing new rules for parking along the tracks. One of the city’s three streetcars is even set to appear on H Street in December, though it won’t yet offer passenger service along the 2.3-mile route.
Despite the delays, D.C. officials are already shifting their views elsewhere: Planning has started on a connection to Georgetown along K Street and a nine-mile route that would link Buzzard Point to Takoma or Silver Spring. When will those routes be done? No time soon.