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Posted at 8:43 AM ET, 02/17/2011

Today's transportation roundup

By Michael D. Bolden

Here's a roundup of some of the headlines from the world of transportation on Thursday.

Ashley Halsey III reports on the development of a new traffic operations center in Greenbelt intended to coordinate all of the traffic and transit data from across the Washington region. It may help everyone -- including you and me -- make better decisions about our daily commutes.

The Post's Ann Scott Tyson is at Metro this morning, where the board of directors is holding the first meeting of its governance committee. Two recent reports by a special task force and the Metro Riders' Advisory Council have said the governing structure is outdated and contributes to the agency's troubles. Check in later to see what the members discuss.

Speaking of Metro, the question of whether capital funding provided by Congress will dry up amid budget cuts is on everyone's minds. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney weighs in on what he believes the wrangling may mean for the region.

The MARC Citizens Advisory Council meets Thursday in Washington. One of the topics is sure to be the recently announced changes in the schedule on the Penn Line, which take effect March 14.

Former D.C. transportation chief Gabe Klein defends the department in a report in The Washington Examiner. Klein was responding to a recent report from the transition team of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray that says the department has "skirted responsibility," suffered from a "lack of transparency," and devised a budget based on "deliberately overstated federal earmarks."

Amtrak announced that is expanding its free WiFi service.

On his Fast Lane blog, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood cross-posts an item he wrote for The Hill that says transportation in America is at a crossroads.

"America's highways will always be essential avenues for travel and transport," he writes. "But we can no longer rely exclusively on a marvel of 20th century engineering and construction to guarantee 21st century economic growth, opportunity, and competitiveness."

The news Wednesday that Florida would reject high-speed rail funds from the federal government elicited a variety of responses from transportation groups and officials, including LaHood. Michael Dresser reports on The Baltimore Sun's Getting There blog that Maryland might compete for a share of the money that Florida turned away.

What else is making news in the world of transportation? Post a comment below.

By Michael D. Bolden  | February 17, 2011; 8:43 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Next: Benjamin to leave Metro board


Governors can be eliminated. Look at Gray Davis, Sarah Palin, or offer them a better job as sought with the resignation of Janet Napolitano. If the governor in Florida wants attention, give it to him. Cut the weeds away from the clean grass that decorates the lawn. If the lawn in Florida refuses water. Give the water to another plant worthy of ripe fruit.

Thomas Chi

Posted by: ThomasChi | February 17, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

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