05 May 2010

DDOT to Debut Streetcars This Week

Image courtesy of DDOT.

The Department of Transportation will debut the city’s first Streetcar this week. The DC Streetcar Showcase will run Wednesday May 5th through Saturday May 8th at City Center DC, the site of the old convention center (or that giant parking lot at 9th and H Street, NW). DDOT will bring out one of the three cars now owned by the city and give the public a chance to see the shiny new car up close. All are invited to check out the new cars during the showcase which runs 11am to 7pm Wednesday through Friday and 11am to 5pm on Saturday.

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, a vocal streetcar advocate, wants to put more of an H Street, NE spin on the event as the city’s first new streetcar line is set to begin running on H in 2012. So since the DDOT’s new Streetcar will very much stay in the parking lot, the Councilmember will be bringing one of the normally tourist-filled Old Town Trolley buses to H Street to bring streetcar enthusiasts to and from the corridor to City Center.

The Councilmember’s Streetcar event will be held on Friday May 7th. The schedule of events includes:

4:00 pm – The Old Town Trolley will depart Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H Street, NE) for the site of the DDOT streetcar downtown display. The Trolley will make regular shuttle trips between the sites approximately every 30 minutes. The H Street Shuttle will complement the Trolley service when it begins its regular daily service at 5 pm.

5:00 pm – Last Trolley departure from the Atlas before streetcar tour begins.

5:30 pm
– Councilmember Wells will lead neighbors and leaders on a special tour of the District’s streetcar on display downtown at City Center DC (Lot B, 9th & H Street, NW).

6:30 pm
– Councilmember Wells and neighbors will board the last trolley departing downtown for the return trip to the Atlas and a happy hour celebration at SOVA Espresso & Wine (1359 H Street, NE).

7:00 pm
– Councilmember Tommy Wells and other invited Councilmembers will address streetcar supporters.

Should you need even more streetcar in your life this week, there will be a few related events around town.

1.    A seminar on streetcar propulsion technology, hosted by DC Surface Transit (DCST), on Thursday, May 6, 5-7 pm, at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street, NW. The seminar is free and open to the public.

2. The National Train Day celebration at Union Station, on Saturday, May 8, 2010, from 11 am – 4 pm. For more information visit www.nationaltrainday.com.

If you go to see the new streetcars let us know how it went!

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