04/03/14 10:22pm

commute_dc_popville
Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel

Yesterday I received a tweet about supporting a dedicated bus lane on 16th Street (I do and you can add your support here). Anyway, it got me thinking about how folks commute – we talked about this back in Jan. 2012 and I’m curious if the numbers have changed since then. At that time about 19% were by car, 31% by metro, 16% by bus, 15% by bike and 15% by walking.

04/03/14 10:10am

BkTWUr8IcAEIxvX

Thanks to @margietime for tweeting us the photo above:

“Both Shady Grove & Glenmont trains were on the same side of the platform.”

Earlier this morning @GraceLambA tweeted us:

“Morning commuters: major fire at DuPont circle #metro station, steer clear”

WMATA had tweeted:

“Red Line: Expect residual delays in both directions due to an earlier track problem outside Dupont Circle.”

03/31/14 11:00am

metro_sign

“Dear PoPville,

Metro has been working on an escalator in the Columbia Heights station for a while, and I finally read the sign they put up. This escalator is between the train platform and the next level up. It is 100% underground, which makes the sign pretty confusing. Does Metro really plan to put a glass canopy over an underground escalator to protect it from the elements, or did they think they needed to put up a sign to inform riders of what they’re doing, without pausing to check whether the sign provides accurate information?

Here’s the text of the sign:

Many Metro escalators are exposed to harsh elements that they weren’t designed for. That’s why we’ve covered them with glass canopies.

These canopies provide shelter for the equipment. And more importantly, for you.
Some stations still need them, and as we replace escalators, we’ll install a canopy to put on a much-needed finishing touch
.”

Hahaha they put the same sign on an underground escalator they are working on at the Petworth metro too. My guess is they just ran out of signs explaining the work they were doing and had extras of these and said ‘screw it, this’ll work…’

03/29/14 3:53pm

Bj6tXEzIIAAm8Es
Photo of 14th and Irving St, NW tweeted by @wowindc

@wowindc tweets us around 3pm:

“expect delays below & above ground around block of DCUSA.”

@metrotransitPD tweets:

“MTPD on scene at Columbia Heights for person struck by n/b train. Preliminary report is the person intentionally left the platform. Col Hghts update: Adult male intentionally placed himself in path of arriving Yellow Line train, fatality. Single tracking continues.”

From @ metrorailinfo:

“Green/Yellow Line: Single tracking btwn Georgia Ave & Shaw-Howard due to a person struck by a train at Columbia Heights.Expect delays.”

Ed. Note: From the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

03/27/14 3:40pm

dc_metro_fare_increase
Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

From WMATA:

“The Metro Board of Directors today approved an FY15 operating budget that includes modest fare changes for Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess starting in July. The budget advances the Metro’s strategic plan and includes funding to provide safer, better, and more service, all while continuing safety improvements, the rebuilding of the Metro system, increasing capacity, and improving the effectiveness of the current rail and bus networks.

Here is a summary of fare changes that will take effect July 1, 2014:

Metrorail

Fares will increase an average of 3% (about 10 cents per trip). Short trips of 3 miles or less will increase from $1.70 to $1.75 during off-peak and from $2.10 to $2.15 during rush hour.
The maximum rail fare will increase to $5.90, from $5.75 today.
A $1 surcharge will continue to be applied for trips taken with a paper farecard.
Passes will increase to the following prices:
Unlimited one-day pass $14.50
Unlimited 7-day pass $59.25
Unlimited 28-day pass $237.00
7-day “short trip” pass $36.00

Metrobus

Regular bus fares will become $1.75, regardless of whether using cash or SmarTrip. Today, fares are $1.60 for SmarTrip and $1.80 cash. (more…)

03/26/14 1:30pm

royal_sprinter

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“I’d love to see what the PoPville community has to say about this venture…”

Washington Business Journal reports on the plan from the owner of Grand Central DC in Adams Morgan and Brickside Food & Drink in Bethesda – the buses have:

“just eight reclining leather seats. Amenities include DirecTV, WiFi and complimentary refreshments. DC-to-NYC service starts April 11 for $90 each way.”

The Royal Sprinter website says:

“Twice daily service to and from DC and NY, leaving DC at 7 am and 9:30 am and departing NY at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, $90 each way.

Our Mercedes Sprinter vehicles are custom-designed and built to exact specifications to exude an atmosphere of optimum relaxation and luxury. Each vehicle can host up to eight passengers, allowing for plenty of personal space, privacy and peace. Diamond-quilted black leather seats line the 170-inch extended model on an angle, so that guests have no one directly in front of or behind them. Each seat not only reclines, but also includes leg extensions so that guests can fully unwind. Dark wood colored floors and overhead cabinets highlight the interior, while tinted windows and special lighting further set the tone for a luxurious ride.

Washington, DC – West End/Downtown
PARK HYATT WASHINGTON, D.C.
1201 24th Street, NW

Washington, DC – Chevy Chase
EMBASSY SUITES AT THE CHEVY CHASE PAVILION
4300 Military Road NW

to

New York City – Midtown Manhattan
LOEWS REGENCY NEW YORK HOTEL
540 Park Avenue (at 61st Street)”

You can read more about the service here.

royal_sprinter_inside

03/20/14 5:00pm

wmata_metro
Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

From WMATA:

This year’s break will take place over four consecutive weekends, beginning Saturday, March 22, and continuing through Sunday, April 13. Trains will run at regular weekend intervals on all lines. During daytime hours, normal weekend intervals are every 6 to 12 minutes. (The only planned weekend work during this time will take place late Sunday evenings, after 10 p.m., when ridership is light.)

In addition, Metro will run more 8-car trains than normal to provide additional capacity. Eight-car trains are the longest possible on the Metrorail system.

Sarles encouraged riders to load value onto their SmarTrip card in advance – especially through Auto Reload, the online feature that automatically replenishes a low balance. In addition, riders traveling to the Tidal Basin are encouraged to use stations other than Smithsonian, which is frequently crowded during the spring season.

On average, Metro ridership increases by more than 15 percent during Cherry Blossom season, and weekend ridership can double to near-weekday levels if the weather is nice.

Metro is at the halfway point of a six-year, $5.5 billion program to improve safety and reliability through the reconstruction of major components of the rail system. It represents the largest capital investment — and work effort — since Metrorail’s original construction in the early 1970s.”

03/19/14 4:15pm

van_ness_metro
Photo by PoPville flickr user thisisbossi

From WMATA:

“Tomorrow, Metro will introduce the system’s two newest escalators at Van Ness Station, the tenth and eleventh new escalators to be installed under the Metro Forward rebuilding program.

The two new escalators serve the entrance of Van Ness Station on the east side of Connecticut Ave and replace outdated units that were installed when the station first opened in 1981. The reliability of the original units had decreased dramatically over time and as such, Metro engineers determined that a full replacement of the escalators was necessary.

The Van Ness project marks the first two escalators under a contract with KONE Corporation to fully replace up to 128 escalators by 2020. New escalators are currently being installed at five stations: Georgia Ave, Columbia Heights, Bethesda, Friendship Heights and Mt Vernon Square.

Under Metro Forward, new escalators have already been installed at Foggy Bottom (3), Dupont Circle (3), and Pentagon (3).

In addition to the escalator replacement projects, Metro has already “rehabilitated” to “like new” condition more than 100 escalators across the system under Metro Forward. Rehabilitation projects result in the replacement of all critical parts, including the escalator’s steps, handrails, motors, controllers, chains, and other moving parts.

As a result of the replacement and rehabilitation efforts, combined with an enhanced maintenance regimen, Metro has achieved some of the highest escalator availability scores in recent memory. Availability averaged 92.2% in 2013, up 3 percent from the prior year, and the best performance since 2010.”