Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

Sad to say that I saw the 2 $10s for a $20 scam in action on the platform at Union Station today. I was about 15 feet away and on an important call and wasn’t 100% sure I had correctly recalled this as a scam so I didn’t intervene.

Only when the tricked guy and I both got on the train did I think to google “PoPville $20” – and sure enough, it pulled up the picture of the guy and his walker. It’s done so, so adeptly – and the man really does appear disabled and in-need – that I frankly doubted my own memory and hesitated on intervening. I showed the scammed guy the picture. He actually reacted pretty graciously (“Well I hope he needed it more than I do.”).”


Photo by PoPville flickr user C Buoscio

From the Attorney General’s Office:

“Attorney General Karl A. Racine today filed a lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. for allowing buses to idle at Union Station for longer than the legal limit, polluting the air and endangering the health and safety of commuters and workers. A joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) documented 50 Greyhound buses parked, stopped, or standing at Union Station with their engines running for longer than the three-minute legal limit, many for more than 20 minutes. With this lawsuit, OAG is seeking to collect at least $216,000 in penalties, reimbursement for costs of the investigation, and a court order to stop Greyhound from violating the District’s air pollution control laws moving forward. Read More


This is the old Sugar Factory space on the first floor.

Hotel Chocolat’s website says:

“When the very first Hotel Chocolat shop opened its doors to guests in North London in 2004, it was the start of a revolution in British chocolate. Two entrepreneurs, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, were on a mission to make chocolate exciting again.

Today, we have 103 shops as well as cafés and restaurants, Read More


Photo by Emily Gallt

Emily asks us: “Hey PoPville have you heard any updates on how the Amtrak and wmata negotiations are going here? It’s getting ridiculous!”

WMATA tells me this morning:

“OK good news: things are moving forward. Metro received approval from Amtrak to access their property and install new pipes to restore chilled air service. Our crews underwent Amtrak-required training last night, and work starts today. 6-10 days to install new pipes, recharge the system and get it back online.

The chiller system at Union Station dates back to the original construction of Metro, meaning it has been in service since 1976. It is scheduled for full replacement this winter.

This video from a few years ago provides some background on how a chiller system works: Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user washingtonydc

“Dear PoPville,

Any news about the broken air conditioning at the Union Station metro? It’s been months. One of these days someone is going to faint on the platform.”

I inquired with WMATA’s spokesman who tells me:

“There is a leak in the pipe that feeds chilled water to the system. (As background, Metro’s underground stations are not “air conditioned” in the traditional sense, but use what is called a chiller system that relies on circulating water to knock down the temperature 6-10 degrees below ambient outdoor air temps.) The leaking pipe is off Metro property, in an area of the station controlled by Amtrak, so we need their approval in order to fix the issue. On June 12, we submitted plans to Amtrak and asked for their approval to do the work, which should only take a few days. We are awaiting their response, and have followed up as recently as today.”



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