DC Streetcar Awarded Federal Grant to Study K Street Alternatives


DDOT To Evaluate Alignments and Propulsion Alternatives, Department Also Purchasing New Streetcars

Media Contacts
John Lisle, (202) 671-2004

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to study alternatives for extending a DC Streetcar line into the K Street Corridor. The funding will allow DDOT to evaluate possible alignments as well as streetcar propulsion alternatives. It is the first federal grant received by the District specifically for the streetcar program, and it is a critical first step in securing federal funding for the streetcar system. This grant compliments and strengthens DDOT’s concurrent work with private sector partners to leverage private funding sources for future streetcar lines.

“We want to thank the Federal Transit Administration for its trust in us to lead the push for new propulsion technology,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. “We’re already pursuing a vehicle that can operate without overhead wires. This grant will help us accelerate our efforts and could lead to new innovations in modern streetcars.”

The study will review options for connecting the H Street/Benning streetcar route, now under construction, with K Street, NW. The study will also evaluate turnaround options in the Washington Circle area. When completed DDOT anticipates this will be the nation’s preeminent streetcar line, serving one of the largest employment centers in the country with high-quality service on dedicated transit lanes.

The Alternatives Analysis grant program is the first key milestone in the FTA New Starts process – the primary source for federally funded transit projects. The FTA says it reviewed 67 applications from 30 states seeking a total of $73 million in funds. The District’s was one of 23 winning proposals selected and one of only a handful that specifically involve rail transit. To read the entire announcement please visit www.fta.dot.gov.

This is DDOT’s first participation in the New Starts and Small Starts process. To date, the development and construction of the DC Streetcar system has been funded almost entirely with local dollars, but DDOT anticipates future segments of the 37-mile streetcar network will be funded by a combination of local, federal and private investment.

New Streetcars

In addition, DDOT will issue an RFP today for the purchase of 2 additional streetcars. Together with the wireless prototype the department is pursuing, the new vehicles will double the size of the District’s streetcar fleet. The city already owns 3 streetcars which are stored and maintained at Metro’s Greenbelt rail yard.

For more information about the DC Streetcar system, please visit our website at ddot.dc.gov/DCStreetcar.

DC.gov Release