Sunday, May 19, 2013
New locomotives could put $300 million in electricity back on the grid.
Amtrak plans to replace a total of 70 locomotives on its Northeast Regional line, which transports passengers between Newport News, VA, and Boston, MA, according to the dcist website. Trains on the popular route, which often involve long lines of waiting commuters at DC's Union Station, are pulled by locomotives that are more than 25 years old and feature outdated technology, according to the article. In a May 13 news release, Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman said, “The new Amtrak locomotives will help power the economic future of the Northeast region, provide more reliable and efficient service for passengers and support the rebirth of rail manufacturing in America.” The new locomotives, dubbed “Amtrak Cities Sprinters,” will …
Monday, April 29, 2013
About 5,000 potholes get filled each year during month-long event in the District.
Bowie commuters driving to and from Washington, DC, during the work week know they face a double whammy in their daily traffic wars -- the volume of cars on the road and the varying quality of the road, itself. Each spring since 2009, the DC government has kicked off its month-long “Potholepalooza” on Earth Day. It may not be as festive as it sounds, but it might make getting from here to there a bit less bone-jarring. For 30 days, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will work to fill any identified pothole within 48 hours. Over the previous four Potholepaloozas, more than 21,000 potholes have been filled. Is there a pothole you would like to see fixed? There are a number of ways you can report the pavement problems to DDOT: …
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Will Virginia’s pilot paid lane program expand to Maryland?
On Nov. 17, the 495 Express or HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes in Virginia - 14 miles of separate lanes stretching between the Springfield Interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road - offered a new pay model for motorists, with lane tolls changing based on real-time traffic conditions. The project's goal was to bring in more revenue to the state of Virginia, while easing traffic congestion. A Maryland Department of Transportation website states that the HOT lanes approach is not under consideration in Maryland, mainly due to “limitations on the ability to enforce lane restrictions and occupancy requirements.” However, Maryland is investigating creating “Express Lanes” which would feature EZ-Pass-like toll collection, and allow …
Thursday, January 3, 2013
A provision of the deal to avert the fiscal cliff restores a public transit subsidy to as much as $240 monthly.
Amidst the fine print of the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” is a provision that could save MARC commuters a chunk of change. The Washington Post reports that Congress has tweaked a portion of the tax code in order to give people an incentive to take mass transit. Employers can now cover up to $240 per month in commuting benefits tax-free, or offer a pre-tax payroll benefit. This benefit was in place as part of the stimulus bill until the end of 2011, when it was allowed to lapse and dropped back down to $125 monthly. The “fiscal cliff” deal restores the benefit to that higher level. The Post suggests that this change could encourage higher usage of public transit, because a tax-free benefit to those who drove and parked had remained at…
Friday, August 10, 2012
A study confirms that driving home on Fridays takes longer than commutes during the rest of the week.
Friday, August 10, 2012
A recent study confirms what Washingtonians have long known to be true—Friday afternoon commutes cause more headaches than your average drive home. A study conducted by an outside traffic research firm for Governing.com shows that Friday afternoons are the worst time to drive in nearly three-quarters of metro areas nationally, including Washington, DC. DC ranked as the ninth worst metro area for Friday afternoon delays of the 100 cities included in the data, according to the report. The average Friday afternoon delay in the region clocked in at 7.47 minutes for a 30-minute commute. Monday through Thursday, the data shows the average delay to be about 5.94 minutes for a half-hour trip. Washington ranked just below Portland, OR, at eighth …