DC Streetcars Will Begin Carrying Passengers Feb. 27, Bowser Announces

Streetcars to serve 2.4-mile segment from Union Station along H Street NE; fares will be free at first

After years of delays and setbacks, D.C.'s streetcar system will begin carrying passengers Feb. 27, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday.

Last week, both the D.C. Fire and EMS Department and the District Department of Transportation said they believed the project was ready to open, following a lengthy period of test runs along the H Street NE/Benning Road corridor.

The streetcars' grand opening will begin at 10 a.m. on launch date, a Saturday. A ceremony will be held at the intersection of 13th and H streets NW, and streetcar service will begin shortly after that.

Rides will be free to the public "for an introductory period," according to the streetcar's website. Permanent fares will be announced later.

These will be the first streetcars to carry passengers in the city in more than 50 years.

The cars will run in a 2.4-mile segment from Union Station along H Street NE, to Benning Road NE.

The launch is major news, especially after Bowser's transportation chief suggested last year that the streetcar line might never open. Bowser promised last May that the line would open.

The system had been delayed for years; the streetcars were initially expected to roll out in December 2013.

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