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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "updates"

4 organizations that make biking to work a little easier

Westlake Legal Group bike-to-work 4 organizations that make biking to work a little easier updates outside News & Updates News Metro shutdown metro cycling commute byciclist Bike
© Halfpoint / stock.adobe.com

Prior to the start of the Metro’s three-month long shutdown, the city of Alexandria and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) created a plan to make it easier for Northern Virginia commuters to get to and from the District. The plan includes changes for shuttle busses, water taxi service from Alexandria, Virginia Railway Express prices and HOV and bus lanes.

In addition to altering the technology and systems in place that get individuals to work, the plan also encourages people to try biking to their desired destinations. While this helps to decongest the roads, it also gives commuters the chance to squeeze in a workout and even reduce their carbon footprint, too. Here, we share a variety of resources from local groups and businesses that are promoting cycling into the city throughout the summer.

Washington Area Byciclist Association classes
The mission of the Washington Area Byciclst Association (WABA) is to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting, advocating and educating about bicycling in all forms. This summer, the nonprofit is doing just that by working with the city of Alexandria to create more classes for citizens of Northern Virginia and beyond. Classes offered include a basic skills clinic and a confident city cycling clinic, which helps prepare individuals for riding on the busy streets of D.C. // Locations vary; free

Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee mentors
Want to try out the bike but not exactly sure how to get there safely? No worries! As of last January in preparation of the shutdown, the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee launched a mentor program that is sure to help. Each new rider will be paired with an individual who has been biking in the Northern Virginia region for years. The two will work together to reach the mentee’s biking goals, whether that be learning how to commute into the city or simply figuring out the nearest trail. // Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee: 3526 King St., Alexandria; free

Capital Bikeshare discounts
Throughout the duration of Metro’s Summer Platform Improvement Project, Capital Bikeshare will be offering half-price monthly memberships, allowing individuals to take unlimited 30-minute rides for just $14 a month. Only want to try it out once before signing up? No problem. The company also provides a flat rate of $2 for each single trip under 30 minutes. The shiny red bikes can be found in South Arlington, Alexandria and these stations: Crystal City, Pentagon City, Braddock Road and King Street Station. // Locations and prices vary

Alexandria’s dockless mobility pilot program
Just in time for the shutdown, the city of Alexandria has launched a pilot program that allows private companies to operate shared mobility devices, including rentable dockless bikes and scooters, throughout a nine-month demonstration period. While the city evaluates whether or not companies such as Lime, Lyft and Bird can keep their devices in the area, locals will be able to try them out for their morning and afternoon commutes. // Locations and prices vary

Want to take your personal bike and try commuting on your own? The Mount Vernon trail map can help you make it to Washington, DC from NoVA in no time.

This piece is a part of our Summer Platform Improvement Project coverage. See more articles here.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Metro summer shutdown: Where does the money come from?

Westlake Legal Group Buses The Metro summer shutdown: Where does the money come from? updates travel transportation reconstruction News & Updates News metro summer shutdown Metro shutdown metro DRPT commutes bus system Budget
Photo courtesy of Visit Alexandria

The Metro summer shutdown is only the beginning of WMATA’s three-year plan to completely reconstruct 20 outdoor platforms at various stations, spanning across Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.

That’s a whole lot of work. But how exactly are the three states paying for it?

Back in March 2018, Metro received a final vote from Maryland that enabled it to receive an annual stream of revenue of $500 million in order to ensure safety and rehabilitation of the rail and bus systems. With that, plus annual federal funding, Metro’s 10-year capital needs inventory amounts to about $15 billion.

“Two-hundred dollars is the base construction contract for phase one of the three-phase Platform Improvement Project and does not include supporting activities including shuttle bus services, engineering, project management and other related expenses,” says Metro spokesman Ian Jannetta.

According to Janetta, the other portion of the allotted funding for the project will go toward any efforts that may be needed in order to maximize use of track availability for maintenance and improvements as the shutdown continues.

In addition to Virginia’s annual portion of funding for Metro, the state is spending $3.6 million on supplemental mitigation measures for the project, including alternative bus routes, discounted Amtrak trips for local riders and expanded bus and water taxi service, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).

The $3.6 million comes from residual money that was leftover from old, completed projects within the state, according to Chief of Public Transportation for the DRPT, Jennifer DeBruhl.

To determine how the state funds would be allotted, Metro led a year-long process with DRPT  and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

“We evaluated all of the recommendations we received from local government and put together a comprehensive strategy that we presented to the board back in March,” says DuBruhl. “We actually presented a strategy that was voted on the next day, which is a little unusual.”

While there is typically a month lag between presentations and taking action, the need for supplemental service was so significant and timely, that the officials went ahead and put the plans in motion in order to be ready for the summer-long shutdown.

The project has also created the opportunity for new jobs. As a result of the three-month-long summer platform reconstruction project, WMATA has employed more than 600 workers in the region, according to Jannetta.

As for possible delays or other circumstances that may lead to a necessary increase in funding, WMATA and the DRPT are prepared. According to WMATA, the Board of Directors will evaluate any requests and justifications for additional budget support “when appropriate.”

“We are working very closely with the local transit providers to implement our strategies and make adjustments,” explains DuBruhl on behalf of the DRPT. “There may be some strategies that are undersubscribed, so through this dialogue we will be able to move something around if we have to.”

This article is a part of our ongoing coverage of the Summer Platform Improvement Project. We will continue to update and inform the community about the project throughout the summer. See all of our coverage here.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Metro riders react to summer shutdown after one week of outset

Westlake Legal Group Metro-Riders-Red-Line Metro riders react to summer shutdown after one week of outset wmata updates twitter travel News & Updates News metro summer shutdown metro Culture commute
Metro riders wait for a train during a daily commute. (Photo by Larry Levine)

It’s been a little over a week since the biggest Metro shutdown in history began, leaving riders to experience a whirlwind of changes to their daily commutes. While some individuals found joy in trying out a bike ride to work, others were faced with directing their Metro shuttle bus drivers to the final destination. Here’s a look at how the start of the shutdown affected the Northern Virginia region:

This article is a part of our ongoing coverage of the Summer Platform Improvement Project. See all of our coverage here.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com