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A transportation task force has endorsed the expanded use of rapid bus transit in the Washington region.

A transportation task force has endorsed the expanded use of rapid bus transit in the Washington region.

Flickr user BrettVA, used under Creative Commons license

Transportation Task Force Gives Nod to Five Initiatives

A National Capital Regional Transportation Planning Board task force has recommended five initiatives as showing promise in addressing the area’s transportation needs, giving a nod to bus rapid transit and express toll lanes, while calling for more housing construction near transit centers.

The task force on Dec. 6 recommended that the initiatives be endorsed by the full planning board later this month.

The recommended initiatives include:

  • A regional express toll lanes network with express bus service connecting activity centers.
  • Bus rapid transit networks throughout the region with improved bicycle and pedestrian connections.
  • Improvements to Metro’s core operations, including a complete move to eight-car trains and a new line between Virginia and D.C. through Georgetown. This would also include a second station at Rosslyn and improved bicycle and pedestrian connections.
  • Building more housing and increasing jobs and housing near rail stations and activity centers. The task force noted there should be 130,000 more households in the region to match employment.
  • Encouraging employers to implement teleworking, flexible schedules and transit benefit programs to reduce one-person vehicle trips.

“The recommended initiatives rose to the top for having the most potential to improve the performance of the region’s transportation system and deserve to be comprehensively examined for implementation,” said Jay Fisette, chairman of the task force who also serves as Arlington County Board Chairman.

The task force was formed as a way to identify projects, programs and policies that could be used to help reduce congestion and help people in the Washington area move around more easily. It began with more than 100 initiatives before culling the list to 10, and then the current five.

The full TPB will vote Dec. 20 whether any or all of the recommendations deserve further study and implementation. An endorsement from TPB would not mandate any member jurisdiction to take action.

The task force declined to recommend five other initiatives including a northern bridge crossing of the Potomac River, operational improvements and relief of road “hotspots,” enhancements to regional rail, extensions of Metro, and changes to Metro fare policies.

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