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Streetcar Operator Training Begins on H/Benning

Friday, August 1, 2014
Full Operating Team Will be in Place

Media Contact: Reggie Sanders (202) 437-0809, [email protected]

(Washington, DC) – Next week marks the kickoff of in-traffic streetcar operator training along the H Street NE and Benning Road NE streetcar corridor – a major milestone in advance of passenger service, which is expected later this year. The operator training that will begin Monday, August 4 is a necessary component of the safety certification process.

In-traffic operator training builds on the training and pre-qualification that operators already received at the Testing & Commissioning Site. Each operator will train with supervisors along the corridor under various traffic scenarios in order to be certified to carry passengers on H/Benning. Pre-Revenue Operations, in which service is simulated without passengers, will follow operator training. These elements are required for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to certify its system and be accepted by the State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA). The safety certification process involves several critical steps and is intended to ensure that the system meets safety standards and is ready to carry passengers.

The full DC Streetcar operations team, operated by RATP Dev McDonald Transit (RDMT), will also be in place Monday, August 4. The final team consists of 37 employees, 28 of which are operators. Eighty nine percent of these employees are DC residents, hailing from Wards 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. RDMT hosted two job fairs with the Department of Employment Services for the available positions and received more than 3,000 resumes.

As streetcars are now a permanent fixture along the H/Benning corridor, pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists are advised to use caution when traveling through the corridor, during operator training and at all times. Remember to “Look, Listen, Be Safe!” around streetcar vehicles at all times – look both ways and listen for the streetcar before stepping into the crosswalk, and never walk in front of a moving streetcar.

As a reminder, the Department of Public Works (DPW) is now ticketing cars that are parked in such a way as to impede the path of the streetcar, including cars parked outside of the white lines and illegally double-parked vehicles. The fine for vehicles blocking the path of the streetcar is $100. At DPW's discretion, vehicles may also be towed to clear the streetcar's path and then relocated within the immediate neighborhood.

For more information about DC Streetcar, please visit dcstreetcar.com.