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D.C. streetcar history: A timeline

From 1862 to 2016

Photo via BeyondDC

At one point, Washington, D.C.’s streetcar system was down for the count. The rise of buses led to a more reliable transportation method. At the same time, the final company that owned the city’s streetcar faced multiple strikes stemmed from low wages and poor working conditions.

Recently, the streetcar returned, this time on a 2.2-mile stretch between H Street NE and Benning Road NE. There are also plans to extend the streetcar to Georgetown, but these plans are “on ice,” according to WAMU.

As a part of Transportation Week, Curbed DC has created a timeline that offers a brief snapshot of the streetcar’s history in the nation’s capital, starting from when it first opened in 1862 to when it last opened in 2016.

For a more thorough read on the streetcar’s history, be sure to check out the following publications:

  • “Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C.” by John DeFerrari
  • “100 Years of Capital Traction” by Leroy O. King
  • “Capital Transit: Washington’s Street Cars, The Final Era 1933-1962” by Peter C. Kohler

Can’t see the timeline? Head here.

Capital Streetcars: A Joyride Through D.C.’s Transit History [WAMU]

Driven to fail: Here’s the story of the demise of the District’s streetcars [The Washington Post]

The Demise of DC's Streetcars [WETA]

Traffic Jams Capital in Transit Strike [Associated Press]

The Dupont Underground [Atlas Obscura]

A Transportation Vision, Strategy, and Action Plan for the Nation’s Capital [Department of Public Works]

Transit Alternatives Analysis and Anacostia Corridor Demonstration Project [D.C.’s Transit Future]

A history of streetcar planning in the District [Greater Greater Washington]

D.C. Streetcar Debuts to Mixed Reactions [Next City]