Streetcars return to Washington

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- DC streetcars have reached their first destination: the tracks on H Street NE.

It was the first step Friday night and the beginning of a long-term goal for a 37-mile citywide network of streetcar lines that are expected to, not only move people around but move money in.

Now that the cars have been delivered, unloaded and locked in, crews will begin testing the cars.

"We got to get it used to - the drivers used to co-mingling with the traffic," said Reggie Sanders with the DC Department of Transportation. "We gotta test the tracks, the power source, all of those sort of things," he said.

With safety in mind, the first few months will be about getting the cars used to the city and the city used to the cars. Once cleared and considered safe, streetcars will be running 30 days later - though, there's currently no time table. Unlike the Metro that connects riders to the region, the streetcars will aim to connect people, block to block and neighborhood to neighborhood.

"People are going to use it for short routes, use the busses for longer routes, use the metro, so there's a lot of ways to get around the city," said Sanders.

Northeast businesses that cling to the H street tracks are expected see a economic boom.

"I think the streetcars will compliment the growth and development that we're seeing in the city," said DC Mayor Vincent Gray.

Patrice Kelly recalls riding the old streetcars that used to move through DC more than 50 years ago.

"I used to ride the streetcar a long time ago," said Kelly. "It was nice as a kid going - having fun and going up to the stadium, the old ball stadium they had on Ford Avenue," she recalled.


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