It’s not the same as a bus or even a train — streetcars are unusual, and ours was built specifically for Dallas.
There are a lot of bugs to work out. Initially, there was only one streetcar, so if that one broke, there was no backup. Now there are three cars, but the streetcar is out of commission frequently.
Here is a list, from City Councilman Scott Griggs, of reasons the streetcar has been out of service:
- Some cases, such as a pesky door problem, took several attempts to trouble shoot and resolve.
- In some cases, the vehicle was taken out of service for routine scheduled maintenance when the no backup vehicle was available.
- In a few cases, the issue is operator error. In two separate incidents in less than two weeks, the operator drove with the pantograph up when it should be lowered (for battery operation). The pantographs were damaged when they struck an overhead object. The replacements parts took time to order and install.
- Two recent cases in less than two weeks involve an unknown rider (or riders) leaving a wet seat, which poses a potential biohazard. A replacement seat had to be installed while the other was cleaned.
- In the most newsworthy case last week, a small electrical fire was discovered on the roof of car No. 302. This one is still being evaluated by DART and streetcar manufacturer Brookeville.