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.)