The District Department of Transportation says the first of many planned streetcar lines will be operational by the beginning of 2014, leaving many residents waiting with baited breath.
The H Street line to Benning Road will be the first line to run. City planners have as many as five lines planned — running a total of 37 miles across the District
The new cars, constructed in the Czech Republic, are a far cry from the streetcars that prowled city streets a century ago or more. The system was originally powered by horses shortly after the Civil War, and later converted to electricity, until it was ultimately shut down in 1962 in favor of a more road and sprawl-intensive form of urban planning.
As the city evolves, however, and the tide has swung back towards providing dense, affordable living and car-free transit, the streetcars are poised to undergo a renaissance of sorts. With few exceptions, District residents are enthusiastically awaiting the city’s second coming as a streetcar town.