Streetcar Transit Overview
Streetcars key to Crystal City-Pentagon City (Route 1), Columbia Pike visions
Arlington County is planning modern streetcar lines in two key areas – Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City — to help meet the growing demand for transit in these heavily trafficked corridors. Eventually, the two lines will converge in Pentagon City, where riders will have easy access to Metro and to regional transit. The Columbia Pike line is expected to be the first to go into operation, sometime in 2018. The Crystal City line is expected to be in operation sometime in 2019. New stops planned along the routes will serve both buses and streetcars.
Modern streetcars are a strategic investment for Arlington, one that builds on the County’s incredibly successful investment in Metro. Streetcars fit well with the County’s smart growth, or transit-and-pedestrian-oriented approach to development and redevelopment. Environmentally friendly, safe, comfortable and accessible, modern streetcars have been found to encourage folks to use transit, and to attract high-quality development in urban areas. Arlington’s streetcar lines will help fulfill community visions for the Pike and Route 1 as more walkable, transit-oriented areas. On Route 1, the streetcar will help ensure that Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard remain among the nation’s most desirable and successful commercial areas.
Over the past half-century, Arlington has learned that smart growth, or transit-oriented development, pays huge community dividends. By providing an array of high-quality transit options, the County has reduced traffic congestion and created vibrant urban neighborhoods with a high quality of life — great places to live, work and play.
County government has worked together 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 streetcar systems.
Goals of the Streetcar Systems in Arlington
- Improve mobility for corridor residents, employees, customers, and visitors.
- Contribute to and serve as a catalyst for economic development.
- Enhance livability and the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the Route 1 corridor and along Columbia Pike.
- Help achieve Arlington’s goals of creating more walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods.
- Support the development of an integrated regional multimodal transportation system.
- Provide a safe environment for all modes of travel.