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Regional Transit News

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The Purple Line is hanging by a thread. It should be rescued.
IT’S HARD to overstate the financial, logistical and street-level disasters that would follow the collapse of Maryland’s $5.8 billion Purple Line project, years in the making and midway through construction through close-in suburbs north of D.C.
Editorial Board, August 11, 2020, Washington Post
Judge grants state 35-Day reprieve in dispute with Purple Line contractor
Amid a rancorous contract dispute that threatens to halt work on the Purple Line, a judge in Baltimore has ordered the company in charge of the project to remain on the job.
Bruce DePuyt, August 11, 2020, WTOP
Is it safe to ride public transit during the pandemic?
It depends on a variety of factors, but there are ways to minimize risk.
August 11, 2020, WTOP
Amtrak enlists GWU for COVID-19 response advice
Amtrak has engaged the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) in an effort to provide ongoing technical expertise and guidance to enhance Amtrak’s coronavirus pandemic response.
Andrew Corselli, August 11, 2020, Railway Age
EDITORIAL: Long Bridge is still a good investment
THE GOOD news is that the coronavirus pandemic has not derailed one of the region’s most important transit projects: the construction of a second Long Bridge over the Potomac River reserved exclusively for Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express passenger trains.
August 10, 2020, fredericksburg.com
TSA finding three times as many guns in carry-on luggage as before pandemic
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers last month found firearms in carry-on bags at a rate three times higher than July of last year, despite a significantly lower volume of passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Klar, August 10, 2020, The Hill
From Metro funding crisis to telework's rise, transportation is in historic turmoil
The coronavirus pandemic and the recession it generated have disrupted transportation plans in the Washington region more than any events in memory, officials and analysts say.
Robert McCartney, August 10, 2020, Washington Post
Major NoVa projects stay on track as questions linger about pandemic commuting
Northern Virginia transportation officials painted an uncertain picture of what the region’s mobility tendencies will look like in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but reasserted their commitment to a number of big-ticket projects whose fates could be complicated by falling state and local revenues.
Jared Foretek, August 9, 2020, Inside NoVa
DDOT sets construction date for car free lanes on Martin Luther King Ave. SE
Today, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced that construction of Car Free Lanes on Martin Luther King Jr, Avenue SE will begin August 10, weather permitting.
August 7, 2020, DDOT
Why climate change is about to make your bad commute worse
Something remarkable happened on American roadways during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic: In even the most congested cities, traffic started moving again.
Matt Alderton, August 8, 2020, Washington Post
Amtrak preparing for new locomotives
Amtrak announced this week that it is preparing for the first of its new diesel-electric locomotives as part of long-term planned improvements for fleet, infrastructure, and stations.
Douglas Clark, August 7, 2020, Transportation Today
Weekend road and rail
An improvement project begins on Maryland’s River Road. Virginia Route 28 has new bridge beams being installed. Reconstruction of the New York and New Jersey Avenues intersection in D.C. continues, and there will be closures on Metro’s Red Line.
Mary DePompa, August 7, 2020, WTOP
Va. expands intra-city bus service from downstate to D.C.
Virginia Breeze bus service (dubbed the “Valley Flyer”) between Christiansburg and Union Station in the District of Columbia resumed on July 24 after a COVID-related stoppage, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is unveiling two new bus lines.
August 6, 2020, Inside NoVa
Woman using wheelchair rescued from Metro tracks after fall
A woman who apparently was using a motorized wheelchair fell onto the train tracks at the Suitland Metro station Thursday and was rescued, Metro says.
Adam Tuss, Sophia Barnes, August 6, 2020, NBC Washington
Metro moves up schedule for Huntington Station escalator replacement to impact fewer riders
Metro will take advantage of the current period of extremely low ridership to replace three escalators at the Huntington Station south entrance, moving up the project’s start date by one year to reduce customer impact.
WMATA Press Release, August 6, 2020
Maryland will manage Purple Line construction if partnership falls through, state officials say
Maryland transit officials are preparing to manage Purple Line construction if a public-private partnership on the $2 billion project dissolves amid feuds over hundreds of millions in cost overruns, according to a letter sent Wednesday to the project's subcontractors.
Katherine Shaver, August 5, 2020, Washington Post
Amtrak "Phase VI" livery gets a fresh application
Amtrak diesel-electric locomotives have worn many liveries over the years since the company was founded in 1971.
William C. Vantuono, August 5, 2020, Railway Age
Debate on face masks divides air-travel industry
A debate over whether the federal government should mandate masks at airports and on commercial flights is dividing key industry players and pitting powerful lobbying groups against each other.
Alex Gangitano, August 6, 2020, The Hill
Key Democrats pledge support for more federal aid for transit
Key congressional Democrats on Wednesday pledged their support for at least $32 billion in federal coronavirus relief for public transit, one week after Republicans included nothing in their stimulus proposals for an industry that agency heads warn is on the brink of layoffs without help.
Justin George, August 5, 2020, Washington Post
No answer yet as to what caused July's Metro Red Line derailment
Preliminary evidence has yet to reveal the answer, but it is providing clues as to what caused the July 7 derailment along Colesville Road.
Michelle Murillo, August 4, 2020, WTOP
Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy in U.S.
Virgin Atlantic Airways filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. on Tuesday as it suffers a financial toll during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tal Axelrod, August 4, 2020, The Hill
Metro closes Cleveland Park station due to potential flooding
Metro has closed the Cleveland Park station as part of its severe weather plan in response to the impact of Isaias on the D.C. region Tuesday.
August 4, 2020, WJLA
Senators push for max telework in next coronavirus relief package
All federal employees and contractors who can perform their duties remotely should be doing so,” senators wrote in July 31 letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Nicole Ogrysko, August 3, 2020, Federal News Network
Isaias brings heavy rain, triggers tornado warnings
Isaias is bringing strong winds, heavy rains and the threat of tornadoes to the mid-Atlantic region Tuesday as the storm makes its way up the east coast.
Mike Thomas, August 4, 2020, Fox5
More cars on the road plus summer heat means poor air quality
The summer’s scorching temperatures combined with returning traffic on roadways across D.C., Maryland and Virginia, means the chances of poor air quality are on the rise.
Matt Small, August 3, 2020, WTOP
Air travel picks up alongside strict mask enforcement
Air travel is slowly making a comeback as more passengers appear to be gaining confidence with airlines that are imposing strict rules for wearing masks.
Alex Gangitano, August 4, 2020, The Hill
COMMENTARY: VRE prepares for the safe return of riders
The Virginia Railway Express, the commuter rail system that has served our region for nearly three decades, remains a viable option for those headed north in the morning.
Gary Skinner, July 31, 2020, fredericksburg.com
Residential tower approved at Scotts Run South, the massive project atop the McLean Metro
Scotts Run South, the massive development planned atop the McLean Metro station in Tysons, is starting to come together.
Alex Koma, July 31, 2020, WBJ
Montgomery Co. Ride On bus service increases 40% on weekdays
Ride On bus service in Montgomery County, Maryland, has expanded in an effort to support residents and businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Will Vitka, August 3, 2020, WTOP
Silver Line work accelerating during pandemic
Significant gains have been made toward completion of phase two of the Silver Line during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adam Tuss, July 30, 2020, NBC Washington

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