Public Transit

New DC Metro line declared complete; summer opening likely

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) announced on Thursday that the extension of Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail subway system toward Dulles International Airport was “substantially complete.” 

The airport authority and the Metropolitan Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said the announcement clears the way for a potential summer opening of the much-anticipated railway, dubbed the Silver Line. 


DC Metro Silver Line decision expected Thursday

A decision on the fate of the extension of Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail subway system toward Dulles International Airport is expected to come on Thursday, The Associated Press reports

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which operates Dulles airport and is building the Metro Silver Line that will run toward it, is at the end of a 15-day review period for deciding whether it is ready to accept the railway from contractors.

The contractors who are building the often-delayed Metro Silver Line said on April 9 that the first half of the capital area subway extension is "substantially complete."


DC Metro Silver Line director resigning

The director of Washington, D.C.’s Silver Line Metrorail extension is resigning, The Washington Post reports

The announcement comes as the first phase of the Metro extension is nearing completion. The line will run 11.5 miles in northern Virginia through Tysons Corner to Reston. Another 11.5 miles is scheduled to be built later to connect the D.C. Metro system to Washington’s Dulles International Airport. 

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, which is building the Silver Line and operates Dulles, announced this week that its rail director, Pat Nowakowski, is resigning to take another transportation-related job, according to the report. 


NPR affiliate disturbed by Minneapolis light rail

Minneapolis’s National Public Radio affiliate is complaining about being disturbed by noise from trains on the city’s light railway, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports

The offending trains are on the city’s Metro Transit Green Line extension, which is scheduled to open this summer. 

Minnesota Public Radio said the noise from test trains on the track is rattling windows in its studio, according to the report. 


DOT chief touts Atlanta Beltline project

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx touted a proposed multi-use transportation project in Atlanta known as the Beltline after touring part of the planned development Wednesday. 

Foxx was visiting Atlanta on the third day of his bus tour to push Congress to approve new road and transit projects this year. 

He said the Georgia capital's Beltline, which is a mixture of public transit such as streetcars and bike and walking trails, is the kind of project that can be built if Congress reauthorizes an expiring surface transportation bill before funding runs out in the fall. 


DC Metro Silver Line nears completion

The extension of Washington, D.C. Metrorail subway system toward Dulles International Airport is nearing completion, the Washington Post reports.

The contractors who are building the often-delayed Washington Metro Silver Line are preparing to declare the first half of the capital area subway extension is "substantial complete," according to the report.

The Silver Line was declared complete once before in February, but officials with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) found problems with the railway in several areas and declined to accept it from the construction workers who are building it.


Union to House: Give transit riders a bigger tax break

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is pushing lawmakers in the House to follow the Senate’s lead in reviving a tax break for commuters who take public transportation to work.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to restore the amount of their monthly incomes that transit riders are allowed to set aside before taxes for their commutes to work to $250 until 2015 in a broad package of tax reforms that was approved last week.

The transit commuter benefit had been reduced to $125 on Jan. 1 over the objection of public transportation advocates, who argued that a similar tax break for drivers who park in garages was left unchanged. 


NTSB: Chicago train derailment caused $9M in damage

The derailment of a Chicago subway train at O'Hare International Airport last month caused $9.1 million worth of damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB released the finding in its preliminary report on the March 24 crash on a train on the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line at the subway station for O'Hare Airport.

The accident involved a train entering the station too fast and running through a stopper at the end of the tracks. The train eventually came to rest halfway up an escalator that leads to the airport terminal.


Chicago CTA changes scheduling rules after O’Hare crash

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is changing its scheduling rules for subway drivers after a recent derailment at O’Hare International Airport, the agency announced Friday.

A train on Chicago’s “L” derailed at the O’Hare Airport on March 24 in an early morning accident that has been attributed to driver fatigue. The train left the tracks and ended up halfway up an escalator that leads to the airport terminal. 

The CTA said Friday that it was capping the number of hours its operators could be driving trains at 12 hours in a 14-hour period and requiring that they get at least 10 hours between shifts.