DC Seeking TIGER Grant Funding for Anacostia Streetcar Extension

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Media Contact: Reggie Sanders – 202-437-0809, reggie.sanders@dc.gov

Streetcar Extension Would Spur Job Creation and Economic Development in Anacostia

(Washington D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced today that it has reapplied for a federal grant to partially fund the Anacostia Streetcar Extension from Howard Road / Firth Sterling Avenue to the foot of the 11th Street Bridge.

DDOT requests approximately $20 million of TIGER FY 2014 discretionary grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), under the National Infrastructure Investments—Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, previously referred to as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER). This federal grant will help fund almost one-third of the streetcar extension, estimated to cost approximately $64 million.

“DDOT has applied for the TIGER grant twice in the past for this project,” said Terry Bellamy, the Director at DDOT. “Our most recent TIGER application was submitted for the Anacostia Streetcar Extension project in 2013 and advanced into the final round as one of few ‘overwhelmingly compelling and very strong applications.’ This is our third attempt to secure a TIGER grant, and hopefully the third time works like a charm for the District and Anacostia.”

The Anacostia Streetcar Extension is one of the key components of the 22-mile Priority Streetcar System in the District. It will jump-start efforts to strengthen and to add capacity to the multi-modal transportation network in Anacostia. The project aims to spur economic development and improve job opportunities in the area through the construction of a modern streetcar line that will connect the existing Anacostia community to employment and emerging activity centers in Downtown DC and the region. As part of the package, DDOT plans to use funding to supplement major upgrades—including ADA improvements and streetscape enhancements to improve pedestrian safety—at key intersections along the proposed streetcar line. Unlike bus routes that could shift their paths over time, streetcar is a fixed-guideway transit line. Building a streetcar line will demonstrate the District’s long-term commitment to the communities and businesses in the greater Anacostia area.

This project has been gaining strong support from District officials, community leaders, transit advocates, and local residents. As a long-time DC Streetcar supporter, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) has written several letters urging USDOT to support this effort. In her most recent letter, Del. Norton said the Anacostia Streetcar “will catalyze commercial and residential development through neighborhoods that have experiences under-investment for several decades.”

The proposed streetcar project, in conjunction with future streetcar improvements, will enable a transportation connection between the Anacostia commercial core and major employment centers, such as Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), U.S. Coast Guard headquarters and future developments at the St. Elizabeths campus, Poplar Point and Barry Farm. The project will support each of these federally-supported planned developments and provide better job access, not only for federal workers, but also for the residents in Anacostia. It is estimated that these planned developments will add at least 25,000 jobs to this area by 2030.