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The D.C. streetcar has provided more than 140,000 trips along H Street and Benning Road NE since opening on Feb. 27, but ridership was down by more than 3,500 trips between March and April, according to transit officials.
The District Department of Transportation reports that last month, the 8 x 66 feet red vehicles recorded 64,169 trips, compared with 67,853 trips in March. While average Saturday ridership was up (3,235 trips in April versus 3,053 in March), average weekday ridership was down (2,285 trips in April versus 2,419 in March). DDOT says streetcars are still arriving about every 15 minutes and end-to-end runs from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue NE are 20 minutes.
The numbers appear as District planners are set to hold a public meeting next Tuesday at the Carnegie Library to discuss an environmental study needed to extend the streetcar west, from Union Station to Georgetown. The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration will also participate in the discussion. “The study area includes a 3.3 mile long corridor from Third Street NE to 33rd Street NW,” organizers explain online. “The evaluation of transportation improvements for all modes—streetcar, vehicular, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian—are evaluated to determine the best multi-modal enhancements on the corridor.”
During the streetcar’s first ten days of operations, ridership lagged behind that of the X2 bus, which runs along much of the same route as the $200 million, but proceeds downtown. Riders took close to 14,000 daily weekday trips on the X2 in 2015, or about six times more than the average number of daily weekday trips on the D.C. streetcar in April.
The streetcar is closed on Sundays. It cost approximately $200 million to bring into service.