>Streetcars in DC area

>Here’s a list of urban corridors that I think would be a good fit for streetcars to replace their existing bus lines:

Arlington – Columbia Pike (already proposed) — 4.5 miles from Pentagon City to Skyline;
Arlington/Alexandria – Pentagon City to King Street along Crystal Drive and Commonwealth Avenue/Mt Vernon Ave, Braddock Road, Pendelton and Henry St. – 5 miles;
Arlington – Lee Highway from Rosslyn to East Falls Church – 5 miles;
DC – Georgetown to Stadium Armory – 6 miles;
DC – Waterfront to Silver Spring Via Georgia Ave – 10 miles;
DC – Southern Avenue to Union Station – 4 miles;
Alexandria – Landmark to Old Town via Duke/King streets – 5 miles;
Alexandria – Braddock Road – 4 miles;

In total, this is 43 miles of surface rail. This is intended as a much more comfortable, faster bus service. In total, construction of a system like this should run around $15 million per mile, or $650 million dollars. I think this would be a good start. From there, you would want to see what the remaining popular bus lines are, as well as look for major shopping/urban residential areas that still need a high-quality link (I’m thinking Adams Morgan). Streetcar has the potential to turn a 14,000 passenger per day bus line into a 24,000 passenger per day streetcar line, as well as cause the construction density and land values to go way up (see Portland).

They’re more expensive to construct, but the operating costs are about the same per vehicle, and much cheaper per passenger.

Take a look at this for my inspiration.


About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
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2 Responses to >Streetcars in DC area

  1. Michael says:

    >Thanks for reminding me. I had seen it in the past, but I didn’t remember until you reminded me. How close did I get to what he proposed? Meh, I can’t tell from his map. I’m starting on putting actual routes down on Google Maps.

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