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What's Ahead in Washington Region Transit

Two stories in today's Post deal with prospects for expanding transit links.

Staff writer Amy Gardner writes about various new frontiers: "new bus lines everywhere, trolleys in Alexandria and Arlington County, and rail lines to Centreville, Mount Vernon and Prince William County."

A daily development: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will receive $77.3 million in federal stimulus money for the Metrorail extension through Tysons out to Wiehle Avenue. This doesn't mean we get more than the $900 million the feds already pledged for this project. But it does get some of the money here sooner.

Staff writer Katherine Shaver discusses developments on the Purple Line project in Maryland. Maryland Transit Administration planners say, responding to community concerns have updated their study, but not in ways that will please those with the concerns.

The planners say that light rail trains would be too slow and unreliable if restricted to a single track along part of the Georgetown Branch trail. The project proposes two tracks is light rail is selected over rapid bus, but some leaders and residents say a single track would limit the environmental impact.

Also, the planners say that tunneling a train route through the east side of downtown Silver Spring would speed up the trains while they were in the tunnel, but would cause disruptions for the residents and for the train riders. Some residents worry that streets such as Wayne Avenue are too narrow to accommodate light rail without seriously disrupting traffic.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  transit  
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