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.
Refund policies for MARC, MTA Commuter Bus, and VRE passes.
March 24, CommuterDirect
DC is permanently changing speed limits on local streets to 20 MPH
The District is lowering the speed limit on Monday, June 1 in an effort to keep more pedestrians safe.
Kyley Schultz, May 29, 2020, WUSA9
Bowser announces new measures for street safety as D.C. reopens
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser outlined plans Friday to reform D.C. streets in an effort to increase pedestrian safety and expand space for social distancing measures as the city slowly begins to reopen.
May 29, 2020, dcist
D.C. doesn't have to become more car-centric after the pandemic
The novel coronavirus has changed the nature of transportation in the District, and choices made now may reshape mobility in our city permanently.
Stephanie Damassa, May 29, 2020, Washington Post
As riders return, Metro outlines how physical distancing and safety will be enforced
As DC and most local counties enter the first phase of reopening in the coming days, Metro’s general manager was asked Thursday how he will stay ahead of demand as more riders return to the transit system.
Tom Roussey, May 28, 2020, WJLA
Metro takes wait-and-see approach as region begins to reopen
As the Washington Metropolitan region takes its biggest step yet toward reopening, Metro plans to keep service limited -- but will adjust if demand for rides exceeds the transit agency’s expectations.
Justin George, May 28, 2020, Washington Post
DOD considers permanent teleworking for some Pentagon staff
For over two months, up to 4 million DOD active-duty and civilian personnel have been teleworking because of the pandemic, and hundreds of offices where unclassified work is done have been vacant.
John Gonzalez, May 28, 2020, WJLA
American Airlines to cut one-third of management, support staff
American Airlines on Wednesday said it will need to cut its management and support staff by 30 percent in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Klar, May 28, 2020, The Hill
The second-life of used EV batteries
Before batteries are recycled to recover critical energy materials, reusing batteries in secondary applications is a promising strategy.
Hanjiro Ambrose, May 27, 2020, Union of Concerned Scientists
Megabus to resume some D.C. service June 1
Megabus will reopen routes between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. on a limited schedule starting on June 1.
Jose Umana, May 27, 2020, WTOP
Fire, smoke billow from Metro headquarters' top floor
D.C. fire crews were called to the scene of a two-alarm fire at Metro headquarters in Northwest Wednesday morning, officials said.
Khalida Volou, May 27, 2020, WUSA9
In age of coronavirus, bikes becoming increasingly popular
Whether they’re used as an alternative transportation method or for exercise, bikes have become increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
Michelle Murillo, May 27, 2020, WTOP
Railroads pin hopes on auto manufacturing as U.S. carloads sustain record decline
The Class I railroads are closely watching the restart of North American automotive production, hoping that the slow ramp-up will not only grow motor vehicle volumes but also improve demand for supplies such as steel and plastics, according to executives at recent investor conferences.
Joanna Marsh, May 22, 2020, Railway Age
Amtrak preparing to cut up to 20 percent of staff
Amtrak reportedly plans to cut its workforce by about one-fifth in the next fiscal year after the coronavirus pandemic reduced ridership and ticket revenue by about 95 percent.
Zack Budryk, May 26, 2020, The Hill
Amtrak says it needs additional bailout of nearly $1.5 billion to stay afloat
Railroad company projects ridership will remain low next year, about half of pre-pandemic levels.
Luz Lazo, May 26, 2020, Washington Post
Watch new Acela train travel at 160 mph
Train manufacturer Alstrom continues advanced testing of Amtrak’s new Acela fleet, reaching another milestone with the first Acela prototype completing a test run at Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado, traveling at speeds up to 165 mph.
Jeff Clabaugh, May 26, 2020, WTOP
Metro closes nine Va. stations for summer
Metro has suspended Silver Line service and closed nine stations in Northern Virginia from Memorial Day to fall, hoping to accelerate construction plans during the agency's summer shutdown.
Sophia Barnes, May 25, 2020, NBC Washington
Safety leaders urge cautious driving as more cars fill the roads
Some drivers in the D.C. area have taken advantage of lighter than usual traffic to flout speed limits and behave more aggressively behind the wheel.
John Domen, May 25, 2020, WTOP
D.C. residents close streets in call for expanded pedestrian, cyclist access
Residents across D.C. closed their streets to cars today in protest with a safer-streets advocacy group, D.C. Department of Transformation.
May 25, 2020, dcist
Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants and pedestrians
The forced distancing required by the coronavirus prompted several cities to quickly close some public roads to make room so cooped-up residents anxious to get outside for exercise could do so safely.
Michael Laris, May 25, 2020, Washington Post
Montgomery Co. parkways are open to pedestrians through Memorial Day weekend
Sections of Little Falls Parkway, Sligo Creek Parkway, and Beach Drive will be open through Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Jess Arnold, Matt Pusatory, May 23, 2020, WUSA9
Advocates to close some District streets to cars in protest on Monday
Climate and safe streets activists will take matters into their own hands Monday when they plan to use cones and other objects to block some streets in the District to vehicles to allow more room for pedestrians.
May 24, 2020, dcist
Local mental health professionals say go outside -- but safely
While social distancing, caution and protection is still very much needed as COVID-19 continues to attack the region, area mental health care professionals want folks to understand that enjoying the outdoors and getting exercise is vital.
Matt Blitz, May 24, 2020, dcist
Metro's summer-long shutdown is underway
Metro’s summer shutdown is underway. The multiyear platform-rebuilding project has moved to the western end of the Orange Line to rebuild deteriorating platforms at Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations.
May 23, 2020, Washington Post
During first week of Metro's mandatory mask policy, most riders comply
On Monday, Metro joined a growing number of transit agencies nationwide in requiring all train and bus riders to wear face masks in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Justin George, May 23, 2020, Washington Post
DC Circulator driver dies from the coronavirus
A D.C. Circulator operator has died due to COVID-19 complications. The news comes a month after WUSA9 confirmed two operators had tested positive for the coronavirus.
May 23, 2020, WUSA9
Memorial Day weekend deals latest economic blow to travel industry
The travel industry is bracing for a dismal Memorial Day weekend, as many Americans are either unwilling or unable to visit popular destinations around the U.S. because of the coronavirus.
Alex Gangitano, May 23, 2020, The Hill
What will summer vacation be like in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic?
This time last year, more than 43 million Americans took to the roads rails and skies, kicking off one of the busiest summer travel seasons in recent history.
Luz Lazo, May 22, 2020, Washington Post
Old Town sidewalks temporarily widened Memorial Day weekend
The City has temporarily widened the sidewalk on the south side of the unit, 100 and 200 blocks of King Street, to allow more room for pedestrians to stay at least 6 feet apart while walking,” the city said in a press release.
Vernon Miles, May 22, 2020, ALX Now
Amtrak continues testing on new Acela fleet
Amtrak’s new Acela fleet, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, continues to progress with its high-speed testing at Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., as the first Acela prototype completed another milestone by traveling at speeds up to 165 mph, although the train’s initial top operating speed will be 160 mph.
Andrew Corselli, May 22, 2020, Railway Age
Hertz files for bankruptcy amid drop in demand
Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid rising debt and a sharp drop in demand for rental cars during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tal Axelrod, May 22, 2020, The Hill
New report strengthens the case for MARC "run-through" service to Virginia
Even with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s recent veto of a bill to study expanding MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) service to Northern Virginia, the potential demand to bring “run-though” rail service across the Potomac River remains strong according to a new report presented to the Washington region’s main planning body this week.
Alex Holt, May 22, 2020, GGWash
Daily talks underway in hopes of preventing Purple Line builders from quitting
Maryland transportation leaders say they are negotiating daily with the builders of the Purple Line in hopes of preventing them from leaving the project.
Michelle Basch, May 21, 2020, WTOP
Metro's summer shutdown begins Saturday
Metro will close nine Metrorail stations on the Orange and Silver lines through the summer starting Saturday in order to begin its platform reconstruction projects.
Mary DePompa, May 22, 2020, WTOP
Greyhound will pay D.C. $125,000 to settle illegal idling suit
According to a lawsuit filed in December by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, Greyhound routinely ignores the anti-idling law and allows its buses to idle at Union Station for much longer than the legal limit.
Jacob Fenston, May 21, 2020, dcist
As the District considers reopening, councilmembers call for plans to open streets
Advocates and some District leaders are frustrated that there are few concrete plans to make streets friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists -- like expanding sidewalks, lowering speed limits, opening lanes of traffic to pedestrians and cyclists, and closing off some streets entirely -- in the mix.
Margaret Barthel, May 22, 2020, dcist
The ReOpenDC report recommends reallocating street space for walking, restaurants, buses
“DC should reallocate sidewalks and streets to support physical distancing for residents and greater outdoor capacity for restaurants and other businesses,” says one section of a new report, released Thursday by Mayor Muriel Bowser, “as well as reconfigure road lanes to prioritize Lifeline Network bus corridors.”
David Alpert, May 21, 2020, GGWash
12 states and DC join forces to curb harmful emissions from cars and other vehicles
With federal action limited on climate change, states have been stepping up to do their part. The latest move is the Transportation and Climate Initiative, an alliance among states from Maine to Virginia, plus DC, to reduce transportation-related emissions.
Ethan Goffman, May 21, 2020, GGWash
D.C. officials see more problems with Union Station expansion
Union Station neighbors, D.C. leaders and one prominent developer are frustrated because they believe federal officials aren’t listening to their concerns about the massive station expansion project, especially as a new dispute has emerged.
Alex Koma, May 20, 2020, WBJ
Md. Transportation Trust Fund faces up to $560 million shortfall
Maryland's already ailing Transportation Trust Fund faces an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year because of social distancing restrictions, and that number could be even higher next year, Transportation Secretary Greg Slater said Wednesday.
Holden Wilen, May 20, 2020, WBJ
Metro gets $876M in federal funding through coronavirus aid package
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will be getting a boost to the tune of $876 million in federal funding, a Democratic delegation from Maryland announced Tuesday.
Will Vitka, May 20, 2020, WTOP
Three years of roadwork to begin on stretch of Route 1 in College Park
$29 million project includes bike lanes and other traffic safety features.
Luz Lazo, May 20, 2020, Washington Post
D.C. parks second-best in nation, Arlington is 4th, according to new ranking
The only U.S. city with better parks than D.C. is Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to new rankings by an organization that advocates for parks and land protection.
Kristi King, May 20, 2020, WTOP
U.S. roadways more lethal during pandemic, safety group says
U.S. highways have been emptier during the coronavirus pandemic, but they have also been more deadly, according to statistics released Wednesday.
Luz Lazo, May 20, 2020, Washington Post
CDC adopts guidelines for transit reopening
Systems should ensure passengers can wash hands in train and bus stations and have access to sanitizer, guidance says.
Justin George, May 19, 2020, Washington Post
Transit agencies in D.C., Md. grapple with enforcing mask policies
During a teleconference with WMATA workers last week, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the mask policy and maintaining social distance on buses and trains is “extremely tough. People are going to do what they’re going to do, but we’ve got to convince them to do it on their own.”
Jordan Pascale, May 19, 2020, WAMU
World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak
The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found.
Seth Borenstein, May 19, 2020, Fox5
Md. making big money with 'porta potty' speed cameras
Over a two-year period, the state collected nearly $24 million dollars in speeding citations.
Adam Longo, May 19, 2020, WUSA9
26 people run the Metrorail system, and their office has major safety issues
In response to major, ongoing issues in Metro’s rail control center, the agency’s oversight committee is requiring solutions to problems that “pose unacceptable risks for Metrorail customers, employees, and contractors” if left unaddressed.
Stephen Repetski, May 19, 2020, GGWash
Drop in state revenue may delay Va. transportation projects
Virginia’s plans to improve its transportation infrastructure may need to be put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic leads to state revenue falling dramatically.
Nick Iannelli, May 19, 2020, WTOP
Md. cracks down on drivers excessively speeding
An unexpected side effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been an increase in the number of drivers reaching triple digit speeds on local roads.
Megan Cloherty, May 18, 2020, WTOP