Arlington County is planning a modern streetcar system in two key areas - Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Potomac Yard - because it will support:
- Economic competitiveness: Transportation investments, including streetcar, are essential for our long-term growth and sustainability.
- Capacity for growth: Streetcar provides the capacity to serve our future mobility needs and avoid gridlock as we continue to grow.
- Fiscal responsibility: The streetcar funding plan relies on dedicated transportation funds and includes zero homeowner-financed General Obligation bonds.
- Preserving affordable housing: Streetcar will encourage the transit-oriented development we want, while allowing us to preserve Columbia Pike’s diversity and affordability.
During the next 30 years, two-thirds of Arlington’s population growth and nearly half of employment growth will be along the streetcar route. Current transportation options can’t handle this growth. The streetcar is a high-capacity transit system that will connect neighborhoods and job centers to the regional Metrorail network – at a fraction of the cost of a new Metrorail line.
Streetcars fit well with the County’s smart growth, or transit-and-pedestrian-oriented, approach, which has paid huge community dividends. Environmentally friendly, safe, comfortable and accessible, modern streetcars have been found to encourage folks to use transit, and to attract high-quality development.
County government has worked with the community for years to plan and guide future development for Crystal City and Columbia Pike. In each case, the plans adopted by the County Board recommended the building of a streetcar.
- For Columbia Pike we are working to create a more walkable “Main Street” with great transit options that are designed to support thriving neighborhoods and businesses. A modern streetcar is central to achieving this vision. Learn more about planning for Columbia Pike and view a timeline of planning milestones.
- Along the Route 1 corridor, the streetcar will help ensure that Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard remain among the nation’s most desirable and successful commercial areas. Learn more about planning for Crystal City and read the Crystal City Sector Plan.