DC streetcars begin full service

For the first time in more than 50 years, streetcars are picking up passengers in Northwest.

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- D.C. Streetcars are now up and running!
 
After much delay and over budget the streetcars are carrying passengers.
 
During the ceremony officially kicking off the start of streetcars in D.C. after more than 50 years, people started clapping as the first streetcar pulled away carrying a full load of passengers.
 
"It works! I think it's wonderful."
 
There are eight stops along the 2.4 mile stretch on H Street Northeast between Union Station and Oklahoma Avenue.
 
"I think it's going to be good. A long time coming but it's going to be a good for the community."
 
The streetcar can go as fast as 50 miles an hour but realistically it will go roughly 10-12 miles an hour and carry up to 150 people.
 
There’s still no fare box installed. For now, the rides are free for at least six months until DDOT figures out how much to charge.
 
But that might be a minor issue considering all the set backs, which included streetcars crashing into moving and parked cars.
 
One streetcar caught fire last year and some drivers had to fold in their side mirrors to avoid getting hit.
 
It could go down as one of D.C.'s costliest and worst planned projects.
 
"It says it could take 30 minutes to ride it I can walk it in 30 minutes or less," one person said. "What a joke, an absolute joke."
 
When D.C. Department of Transpiration Director Leif Dormsjo was asked if the cost and delay was worth it.
 
"I think so. It was an important investment certainly would've preferred a better execution and get this up and running sooner," said Dormsjo. 
 
Like it or not the streetcar is here to stay, for now.
 
"The streetcar has a permanence that a bus doesn't have that means the tracks will stick around."
 
A local transit labor union gathered for a small protest across the street during the event. They're supporting the streetcar workers who are not part of the union but say employees are not getting a fare wage.
 
The streetcar will run every day except Sundays. The following are the hours of operation: 
 
Monday-Thursday 6:00 a.m.-midnight
Friday 6:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.
Holidays: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sunday service may be phased in at a later date.
 
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