Daily DC streetcar service starts Sunday

WASHINGTON — Beginning Sunday, the DC Streetcar will operate daily and offer more frequent service.

The streetcar currently operates Monday through Saturday and arrives every 15 minutes. With the addition of Sunday service, riders can expect streetcars to arrive more frequently — every 12 minutes — now that the final streetcar is available for service.

The DC Streetcar serves a 2.4-mile stretch of H Street and Benning Road Northeast. There’s no fee to ride the streetcar, which likely has contributed to the growth in ridership since it launched a little more than six months ago.

The line averages about 2,500 riders each weekday and 3,100 each Saturday.

“We’re still waiting for a final tally, but it looks like the month of August will be our best month yet for ridership with over 72,000 passengers, and with the start of Sunday service we expect to continue to build on the momentum we’re seeing,” said Terry Owens, spokesman for the District Department of Transportation.

“We are still assessing a way forward on the fare for the system,” Owens said.

The District is considering long-term plans to extend the streetcar east to the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road Metro stations and west to Georgetown. Although long-range regional plans say that the extension to the Benning Road Metro station could be done by 2020 and the Georgetown extension by 2022, there is no firm timeline on those projects.

On Saturday, there will be no streetcar service, since H Street will be closed for the annual H Street Festival. The District Department of Transportation plans to use the event to promote the new Sunday service and other transportation options, such as the DC Circulator.

There will be modified DC Circulator service Sept. 24 due to road closures related to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opening weekend. The National Mall route will only stop at Union Station, Independence Avenue, and Fourth, Sixth and 12th streets Southwest between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 24.

After 2 p.m. Sept. 24 and all day Sept. 25, the route will run only in a loop from Union Station to 12th Street along Madison and Jefferson drives.

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