If We Still Had a Streetcar System in D.C.

With the reported, though expected demise of the Georgetown (D.C.) streetcar, it’s worth looking at what the streetcar system used to look like:

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I realize there’s a long history behind why D.C. abandoned its streetcar system–and that history occurred before D.C. had meaningful home rule. Still, imagine if we had this now, in addition to the existing buses and Metro. Some of these routes sort of mimic existing Metro stations (though I should probably write that sentence the other way around…), but redundancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Anacostia was neglected, but Upper Northwest was more accessible. And, of course, road lanes used for trains typically aren’t used for cars, which would be good for the environment.

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3 Responses to If We Still Had a Streetcar System in D.C.

  1. elkern says:

    I lived in Philly, 1985-95 and rode the Germantown line (Route 23) a bunch. All it took to block the line was one asshole double-parking; and the number of assholes with cars was >> 1. Streetcars need to be armed with TOW missiles.

    • John Kane says:

      It is amazing what a few tow trucks can do to cure such problem. 🙂 Combined with a bit of traffic police, it gets even better.

  2. The trend is quite different for some other new streetcar systems. In Cincinnati, for example, healthy initial ridership faded after the opening months, while Atlanta had a big ridership dip after transitioning from free to fared service.

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