Need for Subways

Pennsylvania Avenue Postcards

Pennsylvania as it appeared with Streetcars.

Public Transportation

The corner of 15th Street NW and Pennsylvania Ave in front of the Treasury Building.

Starting in the 1880s, electric streetcars were a mainstay in downtown Washington. Although buses had started encroaching on their turf, in 1944 streetcars were still one of the most dependable ways to get around. Sixteen lines stretched across the area, a boon to commuters who did not drive due to a wartime gasoline tax. The large increase in usage and population led to a demand to rethink how roads were divided amongst transportation options. 

Streetcar Subways Streetcar Subways Streetcar Subways
Need for Subways