Regional transportation news stories compiled by CommuterPage.com. Subscribe to a daily email with the most recent news, recent ACCS blog posts, and upcoming events. Every CommuterPage.com News email includes an "unsubscribe" link.
Crowdsourcing safer streets
The crowdsourced information on things like distracted driving, excessive speeding, and the blocking of bike lanes and crosswalks, will help identify, record, and aggregate information about unsafe conditions that can be used by local governments, transportation planners, and advocacy organizations.
January 26, 2020, FABB
Two arrested after fatal stabbing at Union Station Metro
Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that occurred Sunday morning at the Union Station Metro following an argument that began on the mezzanine level of the station, a transit agency spokesman said.
Fredrick Kunkle, January 26, 2020, Washington Post
Metro's next-generation rail cars will not be made in China
Metro is no longer considering China’s state-owned rail-car manufacturer to build its next series of rail cars after Congress, concerned about cybersecurity risks, passed legislation prohibiting transit agencies from making such purchases.
Justin George, January 25, 2020, Washington Post
How Va.'s $3.7 billion rail plan fits Amtrak's long-term vision
The state exemplifies Amtrak’s growth strategy of focusing on adding short-haul trips that compete with car rides and flights in dense urban corridors.
Luz Lazo, January 25, 2020, Washington Post
Youth Ride On usage has doubled since Kids Ride Free expansion
Six months after the county government made Ride On and Metro bus services free for children, usage among people younger than 18 more than doubled.
Caitlynn Peetz, January 24, 2020, Bethesda Magazine
How Metro found out it had a bad number to reach D.C. emergency response
Three incidents on Metro in the last 60 days led to the discovery that the transit agency was using a bad number to reach D.C. emergency dispatchers.
Megan Cloherty, January 24, 2020, WTOP
I-66 usage drops as traffic slows, tolls rise
The number of drivers using Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway at rush hour fell significantly this summer, as tolls rose and speeds slowed.
Max Smith, January 24, 2020, WTOP
Montgomery County looks to predict, prevent traffic crashes
The county just approved the use of a Predictive Safety Analysis tool to search for high risk driving areas before a crash occurs.
Michelle Basch, January 25, 2020, WTOP
VDOT's I-95 plan eyes up to $1.7B in road improvements, including new rush-hour lane
The Virginia Department of Transportation is recommending nearly $1.7 billion in road improvements and up to $444 million in other projects to provide relief to travelers on Interstate 95, particularly supporting those drivers stuck in traffic jams in Northern Virginia.
January 24, 2020, Inside NoVa
Metro touting big changes to real-time data feed
The update will allow customers to see detailed transit schedules, live departure and arrival times, and the current location of buses and trains in a wider selection of apps, Metro says.
Elliot C. Williams, January 24, 2020, dcist
DDOT installing corrals for all those errantly parked dockless scooters
The corrals will be installed over the next several months, and they’ll be placed across all eight wards, per DDOT.
Natalie Delgadillo, January 24, 2020, dcist
Md. lawmaker proposes tax credit for those with long commutes, no access to transit
A Maryland lawmaker has introduced a plan aimed at appeasing commuters forced to drive to work because they lack access to public transit.
John Domen, January 23, 2020, WTOP
Capital Bikeshare trips slide as rides on dockless scooters, bikes grow
Thousands of people appear to be using shared dockless scooters or bikes in place of Capital Bikeshare, posing a challenge to the publicly-owned system that remains popular with regular users.
Max Smith, January 23, 2020, WTOP
D.C. has some of the longest commutes in the country
While the average American commutes about 27 minutes (a record high), the average D.C.-area worker spends 43 minutes getting to and from work.
Eliza Berkon, January 24, 2020, WAMU
House committee members decry FCC plans to open vehicle safety-restricted radio frequency for general use
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recently denounced a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to open more than half of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed operations.
Chris Galford, January 24, 2020, Transportation Today
Metro used outdated D.C. emergency number for years
Metro was consistently calling an outdated number for 911 in D.C., and at peak times, emergency calls from the transit agency were put on hold.
Megan Cloherty, January 23, 2020, WTOP
On-time delivery of new Acela train sets at risk, Amtrak inspector general says
Amtrak’s plan to roll out new high-speed trains on its Acela line in early 2021 may be derailed, according to an audit by the railroad’s inspector general, citing delays in the delivery of the trains, testing and training.
Luz Lazo, January 23, 2020, Washington Post
Transportation Commission endorses bus overhaul, worries reforms lack teeth
While Alexandria’s Transportation Commission endorsed a WMATA-backed plan to overhaul the region’s bus system, that approval was accompanied by concerns that the project won’t be able to achieve its lofty goals.
Vernon Miles, January 23, 2020, ALX Now
Arlington to advance Vision Zero Action Plan with open house
The open house is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 5-8 p.m. at Washington-Liberty High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).
Vernon Miles, January 23, 2020, ARLnow
Self-driving Ubers arrive in DC, but they won't pick up rides
Uber is bringing self-driving cars to the streets of D.C. starting Friday, but the vehicles won’t be driving themselves, and they won’t be picking up passengers either.
Michelle Basch, January 23, 2020, WTOP
Traffic safety group ranks D.C., Md., Va. efforts to prevent deadly crashes
At a news conference Thursday, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its annual report evaluating progress being made by 50 states and D.C. in implementing 16 laws related to child passenger safety, teen drivers, impaired and distracted drivers, motorcycle helmet requirements, and primary enforcement of front and rear seat belt laws.
Kristi King, January 23, 2020, WTOP
New Acela fleet to enter service in 2021
New Amtrak state-of-the-art, high-speed trainsets are scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, as Amtrak and Alstom have partnered to introduce the new Acela fleet.
Andrew Corselli, January 23, 2020, Railway Age
In Montgomery County, students are taking advantage of free public buses
Kids are riding public buses more in Montgomery County after officials made Ride On and Metrobus service free at all times of the day for people under 18.
Margaret Barthel, January 23, 2020, WAMU
Caucus of 48 Md. legislators will push transit funding, pedestrian safety, more
A new caucus of legislators plans to work together this year to advance priorities around funding more and better transit, ensuring oversight of highway widening projects, and much more.
Alex Holt, January 23, 2020, GGWash
Woman trapped under Metro train after being hit at Court House station
WMATA said initial video review shows the woman may have had a medical emergency before falling from the platform.
Laura Wainman, January 23, 2020, WUSA9
Fairfax to kick in funding for Route 7 bus initiative
The Fairfax County government will toss in $140,000 in support of the next phase of a plan to develop high-quality bus service in the Route 7 corridor.
January 23, 2020, Inside NoVa
Silver Spring will get a bunch of bike projects
Silver Spring has seen a big expansion of bike lanes in recent years, but it may only be the beginning.
Dan Reed, January 23, 2020, GGWash
Prince George's Co. lawmakers want more speed camera exceptions
This year, the county delegation has put forth bills that would allow for speed cameras along Church Road between Old Stage Road and Dunwood Valley Drive in Bowie.
John Domen, January 23, 2020, WTOP
Why the streetcar from Union Station to Georgetown died (mostly)
The once-proposed DC Streetcar extension in dedicated lanes from Union Station to Georgetown didn’t just die. It basically died years ago.
David Alpert, January 23, 2020, GGWash
Air bag woes force Honda, Toyota to recall 6M vehicles
Two different air bag glitches have forced Toyota and Honda to recall over 6 million vehicles worldwide, and both problems present different dangers to motorists.
Tom Kriser, January 23, 2020, Frederick News-Post
Alexandria eyeing roads for complete streets transformation
Even while the debate still rages on over the Seminary Road diet, the City of Alexandria is looking at other locations that could be altered to be more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly.
Vernon Miles, January 22, 2020, ALX Now
Man killed after he was hit by train in Germantown
A man was struck and killed by a CSX freight train in Germantown Wednesday evening, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue.
Dan Schere, January 22, 2020, Bethesda Magazine
Electric buses in Md. could make Va., D.C. go green, too
Montgomery County says electric RideOn buses will start running routes in Takoma Park and Silver Spring in March.
Pete Muntean, January 22, 2020, WUSA9
DC Streetcar to Georgetown is dead
Plans to extend the DC Streetcar to Georgetown have been effectively scrapped.
Max Smith, January 22, 2020, WTOP
Md. Transit Caucus unveils package of bills designed to offer transportation options
“Our state functions better for every single person — drivers included — when people have safe, reliable and efficient transit options” said Del. Brooke Lierman, whose district is in Baltimore City, and who is one of the leaders of the Maryland Transit Caucus.
Kate Ryan, January 22, 2020, WTOP
Bill aims to make Md. roads safer for pedestrians
One of the bills getting support from a group of Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis would increase minimum fines for traffic offenses involving pedestrians, but it’s not enough for proponents who want a broader approach to making roads safer.
Kate Ryan, January 23, 2020, WTOP
Amtrak ends policy resulting in $25,000 bill for activists
Amtrak announced Wednesday the suspension of a pricing policy that resulted in a $25,000 travel bill for a group of wheelchair-bound activists heading to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois from Chicago for a conference and rally on disability rights.
January 22, 2020, WTOP
Va. bills would ban holding phone while driving, prevent racial targeting
Unlike previous failed attempts to tighten the law, this year’s bills would take steps to attempt to ensure that people of color aren’t disproportionately targeted.
Neal Augenstein, January 22, 2020, WTOP
New bill would repeal Montgomery's mandatory bike registration
After a viral video and a social media campaign by state Del. David Moon, five Montgomery County council members proposed changes to a mandatory bike registration law.
Kate Masters, January 21, 2020, Bethesda Magazine
Small business owners along Purple Line worry they won't reap light rail's benefits
“There’s a general anxiety that this will be the project that forces them to shut down,” says Javier Rivas, manager of the Resilient Commercial Corridors program at the Latino Economic Development Center.
Sasha-Ann Simons, January 21, 2020, dcist
Metro issues service updates for bus routes affected by Cinder Bed Road strike
Metro issued a service advisory Tuesday evening for bus routes previously affected by the Cinder Bed Road strike, ending confusion for some riders unsure of when their buses would go back to normal service.
Margaret Barthel, January 21, 2020, WAMU
This app pays you for commuting. Here's what happened when I used it.
For the last few months, I’ve been getting paid to commute to work.
Jon Steingart, January 21, 2020, GGWash
Arlington to kick in funding for Route 7 BRT study
The Arlington government will toss in just under $40,000 in support of the next phase of a plan to develop high-quality bus service in the Route 7 corridor.
January 20, 2020, Inside NoVa
County Manager: ART-bus changes a step in right direction
So far, so good, as the Arlington Transit (ART) system has a new contractor settling in.
Scott McCaffrey, January 21, 2020, Inside NoVa
Potential Metrobus route cuts concern D.C. communities (video)
People living in parts of Northwest D.C. say they feel blindsided by Metro because some of their bus lines may be cut to save money.
January 20, 2020, NBC Washington
Under new bill, more Md. counties would gain veto power over toll roads, bridges
A new bill introduced in Maryland’s General Assembly would require the state to get the “express consent” from any county where it wants to build a toll road or bridge, which has been the case in the nine counties on the Eastern Shore since the late 1970s.
Martin Austermuhle, January 20, 2020, WAMU
Criticism mounts over proposed parking in Union Station's $8 billion overhaul
It may be years, if not a decade, before construction begins on a proposed multibillion-dollar redevelopment of Union Station. But debate has already been heating up over a parking garage planned as part of the overhaul.
Luz Lazo, January 18, 2020, Washington Post
Metro moving forward with naming rights deals
Metro plans to reach a deal to sell naming rights or similar sponsorships, despite a false start in November that happened when the transit agency failed to communicate with key officials.
Max Smith, January 18, 2020, WTOP
New electric Capital Bikeshare bikes may be semi-dockless
Electric bikes are returning to Capital Bikeshare sometime early this year, and they will likely include the option to leave them anywhere riders choose rather than only at a dock.
Max Smith, January 19, 2020, WTOP
Alexandria mulls making proposed pedestrian-only King St. permanent
Alexandria officials are still working through the details, but there’s an unmistakable air of excitement from city staff and leadership when it comes to turning part of King Street into a pedestrian-only zone.
Vernon Miles, January 17, 2020, ALX Now
Bankrupt contractor blamed for delayed escalator canopy at Dupont Circle station
A spokesperson for Metro said the project encountered a "non-Metro delay" when the company contracted to provide glass panels declared bankruptcy.
Heather Graf, January 17, 2020, WJLA
Metro puts 22 bus lines up for 'elimination.' Will your route be cut?
Metrobus riders are telling the transit agency not to cut or change dozens of bus lines in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia by this summer. But WMATA says it needs to save money by getting rid of routes it calls inefficient.
Pete Muntean, Jordan Fischer, January 17, 2020, WUSA9
D.C. rule overhaul could cut some regulations for taxis
The regulation changes set for public comment in coming months would take the taxi rules from about 400 pages to about 200 pages, and would lift requirements that cabdrivers get medical physicals, meet dress codes and get rid of cars that are over eight years old.
Max Smith, January 17, 2020, WTOP
Montgomery County leaders plan road safety town hall after recent pedestrian deaths
Despite Montgomery County, Maryland, being one of the first county governments in the U.S. to create a “Vision Zero” plan, a recent spate of pedestrian deaths involved two just this week on Rockville Pike.
Kristi King, January 17, 2020, WTOP
WMATA Inspector General finds $87,000 worth of lapel pins in storage closet
A new report from the WMATA Office of the Inspector General found $87,000 worth of unclaimed lapel pins in a Metro storeroom, marking the second unfavorable report on the transit agency this week.
Colleen Grablick, January 17, 2020, dcist
Metro signs digital ad contract it says will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars
Metro has signed a contract with a digital advertising network that the transit authority says will add hundreds of new LCD screens across the system and pay the agency at least $325 million over the next decade.
Justin George, January 17, 2020, Washington Post
Purple Line is chugging along
Now, an eastern portion of the 16-mile line, from New Carrollton to College Park, is expected to open in late 2022. The other section, from College Park to Bethesda, won’t be carrying riders until June 2023, according to state officials.
Margaret Barthel, January 17, 2020, WAMU
CDC to begin airport screenings for cases of new Chinese virus
Public health officials are implementing enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States from Wuhan, China, in response to an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus.
Nathaniel Weixel, January 17, 2020, The Hill
Which bills could improve transportation in Va.?
Two of the more transformative bills before legislators may be HB1414 in the House and SB890 in the Senate, both of which encompass the Governor’s big plans to revolutionize mobility across the Commonwealth.
Wyatt Gordon, January 17, 2020, GGWash
Delayed vote on funding for Silver Line could push back its opening
Board member Michael Goldman said it is now unlikely the extension will open this year without “heroic circumstances.”
Justin George, January 16, 2020, Washington Post
Alexandria's new electric school buses will help feed power grid
The new “vehicle to grid” energy workhorses will not only carry children to and from the classroom. They will be feeding the power grid and reducing emissions as Dominion Energy moves forward with the nation’s largest electric school bus deployment.
Mary Wadland, January 16, 2020, Zebra
Why an East Falls Church Metro bike rack under construction for five years isn't finished
Metro has been building a Bike & Ride facility at the East Falls Church Metro Station for nearly five years, and the project still is not finished.
Sam Sweeney, January 17, 2020, WJLA
DC-area school districts will soon have electric school buses
Local school districts that will get some of the 50 electric buses in phase one include Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Prince William County.
Jeff Clabaugh, January 16, 2020, WTOP
New details on Silver Line issues that could contribute to opening delay
A quality control leader on Silver Line construction has provided new information to Metro’s inspector general about the thickness of concrete panels in stations, as the watchdog finalizes a report on one of the key issues that could further hold up the opening of the extension to Dulles International Airport and Ashburn.
Max Smith, January 17, 2020, WTOP
Funding to build trail tunnel at Bethesda Purple Line station dropped from county budget proposal
Montgomery Executive Marc Elrich (D) has included no money in his capital budget proposal for the county’s long-promised plan to build a tunnel to carry cyclists and runners on the Capital Crescent Trail beneath busy Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.
Katherine Shaver, January 17, 2020, Washington Post
MLK Day of Service trail cleanups
Join in a Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day on the Capital Trails Network.
Ursula Sandstrom, January 16, 2020, WABA
Union votes overwhelmingly for worker contract, ending strike at Metrobus garage
Members of a transit union have approved a worker contract at a Metrobus garage in Northern Virginia, formally ending an 82-day strike and setting the stage for the return of regular service on several bus routes that had been canceled by the work stoppage.
Justin George, January 16, 2020, Washington Post
Metro board weighs fare increases, service changes in proposed budget
The Metro Board met today to review the transit agency’s proposed 2021 budget, which includes possible fare hikes and bus and train service changes.
Margaret Barthel, January 16, 2020, WAMU
Safety Commission tells Metro to do its own work on Silver Line
The commission responsible for safety oversight of Metro is telling Metro that it will not do the transit agency’s own safety work and contract negotiations on Silver Line construction problems.
Max Smith, January 16, 2020, WTOP
Va. tries again to ban handheld devices while driving
A broad transportation safety bill assigned Tuesday to a Virginia House Transportation subcommittee would make it illegal to hold cellphones and similar devices while driving.
Sophia Barnes, January 16, 2020, NBC Washington
Greenbelt mayor: Maglev train is all pain and no gain, except for rich people
The high-speed project is in the final stages of its approval process.
Mke Valerio, January 16, 2020, WUSA9
Big changes for Va. drivers could include fuel-efficient car fee, speed cameras
New fees, speed cameras and a handheld cellphone ban are some of the measures on the horizon for Virginia drivers under a wide-ranging transportation bill proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam and Democratic leaders of the state’s General Assembly.
Max Smith, January 15, 2020, WTOP
Metro ridership continues to rise, statistics show
The transit authority’s latest data shows steady passenger growth after years of decline.
Justin George, January 15, 2020, Washington Post
Union Station future plans have too much parking, leaders say
A number of local leaders including DC Councilmember Charles Allen and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission say that the station is on track to have too much parking, a move which would stifle its function and role in a larger city.
George Kevin Jordan, January 15, 2020, GGWash
VDOT to begin planning study of Shreve Road in Falls Church
Since 2015, there have been 42 crashes on the roadway, 19 of which involved injuries. An additional 30 crashes per year go unreported in cases where property damage is less than $1500 and no one is injured.
January 15, 2020, FABB
New Capital Bikeshare station coming to Wakefield High School
Wakefield High School students will soon have a new way of getting to and from school: Capital Bikeshare.
Vernon Miles, January 14, 2020, ARLnow
Police investigating death on Yellow Line train
Police are conducting a death investigation after a person died on a Yellow Line train Tuesday evening.
January 14, 2020, ARLnow
Metro details proposed fare hikes, bus cuts
Metro is providing additional detail and estimates on its plans to cut or reduce service on more than 40 bus lines and to eliminate some early-morning weekday trains, but add some bus service on other lines and restore some late-night hours cut a few years ago.
Max Smith, January 14, 2020, WTOP
D.C. will extend shared moped permit program through fall 2020
The District Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced that it’s extending the pilot program for what it calls “motor-driven cycles,” otherwise known as mopeds.
Natalie Delgadillo, January 14, 2020, dcist
Metro releases first operating budget for Silver Line extension
Metro will need $24 million from the District, Maryland and Virginia to begin hiring employees and preparing for service on the Silver Line extension, according to an operating budget proposal for the project released Monday.
Justin George, January 13, 2020, Washington Post
Va. to build new bike/ped bridge with Long Bridge expansion
Virginia will assume about one-third of the cost, using existing rail funding and additional discretionary funds available through the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
January 14, 2020, WashCycle
Audit finds contractor did not provide daily cleaning services to Metro parking garages
Overall, WMATA spent more than $2.2 million for cleaning services that weren’t performed over a two-year period, according to the audit.
Josh Rosenthal, January 13, 2020, Fox5
Va. to object to some Metro fare hikes, service cuts
Virginia is joining Maryland to push back on proposed Metro fare increases for long-distance commuters.
Max Smith, January 13, 2020, WTOP