Streetcar projects opening in 2015

While construction on Kansas City’s starter streetcar line will be complete in 2015, service won’t actually begin until 2016. A few other cities will open new lines or extensions this calendar year, pending final testing and safety certification:

H Street Line, Washington, DC (January)


Underway as both a streetscape and transit project since 2009, DC’s first streetcar line is a standout because it was done without federal funding; most of Portland and Seattle were built without explicit federal funding, but many of the newer lines (including a recent Portland expansion) have received competitive grants or New/Small Starts funds.

  • Length: 2.4 miles (22-to-37 miles planned)
  • Vehicles: Modern (Inekon, Oregon Iron Works)
  • Peak headway: 10 minutes
  • Fare: $1
  • Major transit connection: Union Station (subway, commuter rail, Amtrak)
  • Funding: Local

Gold Line Phase 1, Charlotte, NC (Spring)


The Gold Line will open as early as March and connect the existing Blue Line light rail line that opened in 2007 to neighborhoods. Phase 2 is expected to start construction in 2016.

  • Length: 1.5 miles (10 miles planned)
  • Vehicles: Vintage (initially)
  • Peak headway: 10 minutes
  • Fare: TBD
  • Major transit connection: Charlotte Transit Center (light rail, local bus)
  • Funding: Federal, local

Oak Cliff Streetcar, Dallas, TX (Spring)


America’s first off wire modern streetcar will connect downtown Dallas with the Oak Cliff neighborhood across the historic Trinity River bridge (which originally carried streetcars). A 1-mile loop extension of the existing M-Line vintage streetcar line is also planned to open in 2015.

  • Length: 1.6 miles (Expansions planned)
  • Vehicles: Modern (Brookfield)
  • Peak headway: 20 minutes
  • Fare: TBD
  • Major transit connections: Union Station (light rail, commuter rail, local bus, Amtrak)
  • Funding: Federal, local

South Loop, Portland, OR (September)


A new car-free river crossing will complete the full loop of both sides of the Willamette River originally envisioned in the late ’80s. The cable-stayed bridge will share space for buses, streetcars, light rail, bikes, and pedestrians — the first of its kind.

  • Length: 1.3 miles (Expansions planned)
  • Vehicles: Modern (Inekon, Skoda, Oregon Iron Works)
  • Peak headway: 12 minutes
  • Fare: $1
  • Major transit connection: New Milwaukie light rail line
  • Funding: Federal, state, local

First Hill Line, Seattle, WA (Fall)


The first streetcar line to incorporate a significant bike facility in the same corridor also stands out for lack of federal funding. Eventually a new Central Connector will join the First Hill line with the existing South Lake Union line.

  • Length: 2.5 miles (Expansions planned)
  • Vehicles: Modern (Inekon)
  • Peak headway: 10 minutes
  • Fare: TBD
  • Major transit connection: Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (south), new light rail station (north)
  • Funding: Local

Atlanta opened December 30, 2014 and Tucson opened July 25, 2014, rounding out last year’s new systems. Both used federal funding, modern vehicles (Siemens and Oregon Iron Works, respectively), and are already planning extensions.

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