WASHINGTON — Arlington County will be getting a costly reexamination of the need for a streetcar and it will be paying consultant HR&A Advisors nearly $100,000 to determine the need. HR&A will analyze how many people live in the Columbia Pike area or are projected to move there, and whether they would take the streetcar.
“The new analysis will inform the County Board’s decision-making process as it updates the financial plan for the planned Columbia Pike Streetcar that is included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan says in a statement.
Assistant County Manager Marsha Allgeier says the reexamination will also look at whether the ridership will be the enhanced by the fact that the Columbia Pike streetcar will connect at Pentagon City to the Route 1 or Crystal City Potomac Yards streetcar.
Peter Rousselot, of Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit, thinks the study is being conducted in part to “justify having a streetcar to Arlington taxpayers” because the Federal Transit Administration didn’t give the county a grant for the project.