Finally: District’s new streetcar opens with fanfare

The D.C. streetcar begins service Saturday, Feb. 27. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The D.C. streetcar begins service Saturday, Feb. 27. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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The long-awaited D.C. streetcar opened Saturday with much fanfare. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley) (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley, file)
d.c. streetcar
The D.C. Streetcar. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley) (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
d.c. streetcar
D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
Eastern High School marching band at the D.C. streetcar opening ceremony. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Eastern High School marching band at the D.C. streetcar opening ceremony. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar ceremony
Crowd for the D.C. streetcar opening ceremony. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
An empty D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith)
An empty D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar
Inside a D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar
Inside a D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar
D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
D.C. streetcar
D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar
A look from the inside of a D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
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The D.C. streetcar begins service Saturday, Feb. 27. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
d.c. streetcar
d.c. streetcar
d.c. streetcar
Eastern High School marching band at the D.C. streetcar opening ceremony. (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar ceremony
An empty D.C. streetcar. (WTOP/Max Smith)
d.c. streetcar
d.c. streetcar
d.c. streetcar
D.C. streetcar
d.c. streetcar

WASHINGTON — The District has been struggling to get a streetcar system up and running for about a decade, but finally after years of delays, it opened this weekend with much fanfare, including marching bands and speeches from elected officials.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other dignitaries gathered at H and 13th streets, in Northeast Saturday morning for the unveiling of the system, which  runs along H Street and Benning Road.

Rides will be free for passengers for at least six months.

“What we want to do is look at the ridership and look at the customer feedback at the six-month mark,” says District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo.

“Right now we’re in a promotional period.”

The streetcar line stretches 2.2 miles, but there are plans to eventually extend it.

It will run six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli and Max Smith contributed to this report.

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