Washington, D.C.'s Streetcar Is Delayed Again After an Engineering Report Raises Safety Concerns

Another chapter in the saga of this 2.4-mile rail boondoggle in the nation's capital.


A 2.4-mile streetcar that will run along H Street and Benning Road Northeast in Washington, D.C. has been delayed again, according to the district's top transportation official, and a blistering new report by the American Public Transportation Association has found multiple problems with the project.

As The Washington Post reports:

District officials set a year-end target for opening the line to passengers. The project is now on its fourth mayor, and the public has still not been able to ride.

The industry group, organized by the American Public Transportation Association, listed numerous problems the system has faced, including: poor coordination among, and oversight of, contractors; shortcomings with the system's design; and a variety of safety concerns. City officials have been working to address an initial list of findings for months, and the final report adds new details.

A key finding in the report, for example, is that no one in the District Department of Transportation had clear responsibility for the project.

For more on the D.C. streetcar—and some background on why rail projects almost always turn out this way—watch Reason TV's recent documentary, "The Secret Scam of Streetcars: How to Sell a 100-Year-Old Technology as the Future of Transportation:"