With a marching band from the Eastern High School beside her and cheers from the crowd, Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "Thank you for your patience," this past Saturday. She of course was referring to the amount of patience the District had to endure while witnessing the H Street streetcar face over a year of test runs, over 10 years of planning and missed deadlines, and over $200 million spent funding the project.
Despite all this, it all seemed worth it once Bowser exclaimed, "Let's ride," with the public following behind her to the four trams lined up.
Despite the positive opening, the streetcar did experience a few mishaps. According to Washington City Paper, the door of one of the streetcars had a tough time opening when riders pressed the "open button." Another streetcar hit a curb and later needed repairs.
My @DCStreetcar clipped the platform & lost a panel. Holding at Union Station for repairs. pic.twitter.com/8cBG1E2guB— ♭oſsi (@thisisbossi) February 27, 2016
One rider also spilled their coffee on one of the streetcars. Woops.
First coffee spilt on #DCStreetcar! #thisiswhywecanthavenicethings pic.twitter.com/PEIHAW884F— gary mcleod (@gtmcleod) February 27, 2016
Also, you should maybe feel comfortable touching knees with strangers if you want to ride the line.
Streetcar offers awkward "make a new friend" seats. pic.twitter.com/heriMV6BZA— Will Sommer (@willsommer) February 26, 2016
If interested in riding the red vehicles on your next trip to H Street NE, don't worry about carrying any change. There is no fee to ride the streetcar—at least for the next six months or so.
If you want to get somewhere quickly and don't feel like taking the bus, maybe opt for the bus instead of the streetcar. The Washington Post reported that the average speeds of a streetcar is 12 to 15 miles per hour.
From Monday through Thursday, the streetcars run from 6 a.m. to midnight, while on Friday they run from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., and then on Saturdays, the hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
At each stop, expect a streetcar every 15 minutes, depending on the traffic or the weather. The line is also closed on Sundays.
There are eight total stops: behind Union Station/Hopscotch Bridge; at 3rd and H streets NE; 5th and H streets NE; 8th and H streets NE; 13th and H streets NE; Benning Road and 15th Street NE; Benning Road and 19th Street NE; and Benning Road and Oklahoma Avenue NE.
A full round-trip, starting at the Oklahoma Avenue Stop, takes roughly 45 minutes, according to Washington City Paper.
Here's what you see from DC's new #streetcar. Spoiler alert: no monuments. pic.twitter.com/x6pCCC8Fud— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) February 29, 2016
Expect more changes to come to the streetcar. Bowser still hopes to further extend the 2.2-mile line to Georgetown.
Until then, be sure to read all of the rules and regulations you need to know before you hop on one of the streetcars.
• D.C. streetcar debuts, ‘feels like magic’ [Washington Business Journal]
• Overheard at the D.C. Streetcar’s Grand Opening on Saturday [Washington City Paper]
• DC Streetcar's exuberant opening day, in photos and video [Greater Greater Washington]
• Want to ride the D.C. streetcar? Here's a handy FAQ. [The Washington Post]