7 things Washington DC’s $200m streetcar taught us about public transport

Published on CityMetric.com on 31 March 2016

Last month, Washington DC was graced with a shiny new form of public transport. It promises to zip eager passengers around the capital of the land of the free at astonishing speed and great value.

Or, at least that’s what the city’s transport authorities would have you believe. As it happens, DC’s new streetcars – trams, to those of us on this side of the pond – are the ultimate in damp squib infrastructure involvement. The city spent an estimated $200m on just  2.4 miles of line, running along H Street from behind Union Station (yes, behind) to about halfway along Benning Road NE, where it intersects with Oklahoma Avenue. (A second route, the Anacostia line, was partially constructed in 2009-10, but then abandoned; other lines have been proposed, but so far nothing more.)

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Spectator Podcast: Stepford Students

I was a guest on the Spectator’s podcast, ‘The View from 22’, in the edition released on 10 March 2016 to coincide with their magazine release on the same day.

In discussion with Mick Hume, who wrote a piece in the magazine entitled ‘The left will eat itself: Politically correct students are now falling victim to the censorious climate they helped create’, I was asked to speak as a former founding editor of The Stepford Student on the topic of student politics, so-called ‘no platforming’, and whether the toxic culture of student politics poses a threat to the ‘real’ world.

You can listen to the full podcast here, with the debate between myself and Mick from 25 minutes in.