Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Tale of Two Streetcars

Last week I survived a journey on a jam packed street car which included a concert by howling drunk college students who were belting out everything from pop tunes to the "Star Spangled Banner" at the top of their daiquiri soaked lungs. Yes, this scene was set in New Orleans- a beautiful city which is notorious for sometimes not having its act together. As we rattled down St Charles early Thursday evening, sometimes the bare naked light bulbs that illuminate the cars blinked out; sometimes there was a crack and spark of electricity above the overloaded little vehicle, but we all made it to our destination in one piece- even the girl who almost passed out, and the kid who was leaning backwards with his head dropping out the open window.

Back in Washington DC, we have a more modern, state of the art street car system running on brand new tracks. Only problem? Nobody is on board. Our last mayor hoped to have the big opening before he left office.  Bureaucratic delays may be inevitable, but it's been eight years since this project started, and over a year since testing began in December 2013. Today's news brought nothing but uncertainty about what will happen next. More reviews. More testing even though for months now the cars have crept its petty pace up and down the two mile track on H Street Northeast, carrying no passengers and going absolutely nowhere.

And I'll bet the windows don't even open.

 October 2014

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