Washington DC Union Station facilities, convenience and experiences

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I wonder if you could expand on this. From my map reading, it seems like the end of the Streetcar route is Union Station, not inside but at the intersection of H Street and Capitol Street, which google maps says is a 9 minute (1/2 mile) walk from the exit of Union Station. Once aboard the Streetcar, your ride to the H Street Coridor would be direct and take a couple of minutes.
From the Streetcar to Union Station is completely unintuitive:

The end of the streetcar is in the middle of a busy street with fencing everywhere. To enter Union Station from the streetcar, you have to get from the streetcar in the middle of a street to a parking garage on the other side:


There is nothing about the parking garage that indicates it serves as the entrance to a train station. The signage indicates "PARK," "Buses," "Rental Car Returns," etc., but has no mention of Union Station.


You then have to walk through a parking lot of buses until you get to the main bus terminal area, from which there is another set of corridors that take you to the train station.

Going the other way is unintuitive as well:

From the train boarding area, if you want to get to H Street/Streetcar, you don't follow the normal exit signs. Instead, you have to follow the sign "Buses, Parking Garage, Car Rental," which makes no mention of an H Street exit or streetcar service:


It is only once you are nearly to the bus terminal that you see any mention of the streetcar:


And you still have to walk through an unattractive corridor, through an unattractive parking garage, down a busy street, and to the fenced-in median of the busy street to wait for the streetcar.
 
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Going the other way is unintuitive as well:

From the train boarding area, if you want to get to H Street/Streetcar, you don't follow the normal exit signs. Instead, you have to follow the sign "Buses, Parking Garage, Car Rental," which makes no mention of an H Street exit or streetcar service:

It is only once you are nearly to the bus terminal that you see any mention of the streetcar:
There's a sign over the east passageway from the Great Hall. I didn't know WashDC had a streetcar until I saw that sign and asked someone about it.
1669236928607.png


I agree, though, that the walk to the streetcar stop is neither attractive nor obvious.
 

daybeers

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And who wants to use it anyway? The X2 bus is more frequent, more reliable, and faster. Even walking is quicker than the streetcar.
 

Anderson

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And who wants to use it anyway? The X2 bus is more frequent, more reliable, and faster. Even walking is quicker than the streetcar.
I think there are two problems with the streetcar. First is that it doesn't connect very well with anything else (as indicated in this thread). Second is that it's really too short to be "a thing".

If the line were extended to the west to at least Metro Center (I might want to extend it to meet up with one of the Metro lines across the river as well, but I don't know how "bad" that area is), if not all the way to Georgetown, it might serve a more clear purpose. But as things stand, it's something of an isolate in the "system".

[This is a running problem with "modern streetcar" services - they're often either (1) isolated or (2) oddball stand-alone spurs rather than being properly integrated into systems. The fact that Seattle's streetcars are separated (the **** got integrated with the light rail "after the fact" while the other line...really doesn't connect smoothly with anything IIRC) is probably emblematic of that. But in general, as someone else put it, streetcars seem to be treated like "transit toys".
 

flitcraft

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Amusing that your reference to what I assume is the South Lake Union Transit streetcar got asterixed for the acronym. But on the substance, both lines--the South Lake Union and the First Hill lines do connect to the Link Light Rail System, and the First Hill line connects to the Sounder commuter trains and to Amtrak's King St Station as well. Eventually, in a few years, when the connector between the streetcar lines is finished and all the streetcar lines are in dedicated lanes rather than in traffic, as is now the case, they will be an essential adjunct to the rest of the transit system in Seattle.
 

jis

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[This is a running problem with "modern streetcar" services - they're often either (1) isolated or (2) oddball stand-alone spurs rather than being properly integrated into systems. The fact that Seattle's streetcars are separated (the **** got integrated with the light rail "after the fact" while the other line...really doesn't connect smoothly with anything IIRC) is probably emblematic of that. But in general, as someone else put it, streetcars seem to be treated like "transit toys".
I would say that the poor planning of streetcars and transit in general is a North American problem and much of the major transit using nations of the rest of the world do not suffer from such derangement.

Focusing back on the DC Streetcar situation the original plan was for it to be connected to transit at the other end, but the whole plan never got funded, another typical thing in the US where funding has to be obtained piecemeal "as and when we canly" rather than as a part of a rationally packaged project. But all this is, strictly speaking as subject of a different thread as this thread is about Washington Union Station.
 
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