- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

The DC Streetcar soon will provide service on Sundays, seven months after its long-awaited debut.

Starting Sept. 18, the streetcar will run seven days a week with the addition of Sunday service from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The streetcar currently runs from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

“We think the timing for the launch of Sunday service couldn’t be better,” said Terry Owens, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, which operates the trolley system. “It follows the H Street Festival and we’ll be there to make sure that everyone who stops at our booth is aware that Sunday service on the DC Streetcar will begin the next day.”

“This is an important milestone for the system,” Mr. Owens said.

Officials recently announced that the streetcar service, which runs along H Street in Northeast, will make several changes with the aim to provide passengers with a smoother ride.

Since its Feb. 27 launch, the 2.4-mile track has carried more than 400,000 passengers. The line has eight stops from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue and takes 20 minutes to ride from beginning to end.

With the addition of a sixth car, the trolley will increase service frequency from every 15 minutes to every 12 minutes. For the time being, rides will remain free of charge to encourage ridership.

“We continue to be impressed by the ridership numbers and look forward to attracting even more people to the H Street/Benning Road corridor each and every day of the week,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release.

The project, which cost the District Department of Transportation more than $200 million, has long been touted as a stimulus for economic growth and community engagement.

However, H Street business owners and community members often criticize the service for causing a wide range of traffic issues.

A vehicle collided with a streetcar Thursday morning at 17th Street and Benning Road, causing a traffic jam for commuters. One person was examined for injuries, but no passengers were on the streetcar at the time of the crash.

Locals say the streetcars’ frequent stops and slow speed have contributed to the area’s growing congestion issues. For many, the trolley is viewed as a luxury for tourists, not an actual method of transportation for commuters.

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