A couple of updates to tie up on the transit scene – and then I need your help!
Pedicabs on the Mall: You all remember our report on the harassment of the pedicabs by the Park Police? Well, I’m happy to report that since then, there’s been no further incidents, according to Ben Morris of National Pedicabs. So go and enjoy the ride around the Mall! I’ve also gotten word that a new pedicab company is starting business this weekend as well, so please support this great eco-friendly way to enjoy the Mall. (The grass could use the break, frankly…)
DC, Metro and money: WTOP reported this morning that the District has racked up a tab of a whopping $1.2 million in unpaid expenses to Metro, all centered around the Southeastern bus garage located a block from Nationals stadium. The District had said it would cover the cost to move all the Metrobuses out of that garage and operate them from other facilities. (This is known as “deadheading costs.”) The city’s cost is $400,000 a month, and the deal stretches back to the fall of 2007.
In February, the DDOT notified Metro it wouldn’t continue funding the costs. However, the deal wasn’t ended, according to Peter Benjamin, who is head of Metro’s Finance, Administration and Oversight Committee. The District is currently debating taking the difference from a future real estate deal between the city and Metro – expected to be DC Village – but nothing has been formalized. Meantimes, the District continues to rack up debt.
Metro supporting “Bike to Work Day”: On a more positive note, WMATA began installing hundreds of new bike racks at various stations in order to improve access and accommodate more cyclists who use the transit system. All told, there’s an increase of 20 percent in the number of racks at various stations and stops. The project is expected to be finished by Friday for Bike to Work Day.
Tourist Tips: For our next transit feature, I want to have a list of some great tips by our readers for the tourists about to hit the area this summer. Let’s be proactive about this – in comments, give us a great tip (or more) for tourists to keep in mind when using transit / transportation in the area, if only to keep us locals from biting their heads off. I’ll compile all the suggestions and post them in two weeks!
(If you don’t want to post in comments, simply send them in an email to bhrome [at] welovedc [dot] com. You can use that email to give any other heads-up regarding transit in our region as well.)