At the opening of the streetcar on Saturday morning, Mayor Bowser spoke and people cheered and waved banners that had been distributed to the crowd.
Among the cheering crowd, there were pockets of anger. I can easily understand this – I had just taken the X2 bus to get there, which has always been a serviceable way to go along the same route as the streetcar but in no way a fun form of transportation. From that point of view, the streetcar seems like a pure upscale indulgence.
The Amalgamated Transit Union was also there with a small organized protest on pay issues.
The first rides were just for VIP’s:
Shortly after that, streetcars started running in both directions, turning around near a patient crowd waiting for rides at Union Station.
The streetcar will be free for the first six months, and run on Monday through Saturdays.