By: Kendall K Tiffany
With much overdue (necessary) maintenance, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has created a plan to repair and replace faulty equipment within their Metrorail System. The plan, SafeTrack, accelerates approximately three years worth of track work into one. WMATA has condensed the plan into 15 “Safety Surges” with the first segment beginning in June of 2016 with the final segment concluding work in late March of 2017. Commuters who currently use Metrorail will experience extended delays, reduced service hours, and track closures where bus service will be provided to fill the void. To provide commuters with updates on SafeTrack, WMATA has created a blog called PlanItMetro.
Over the next year, WMATA encourages Metrorail commuters to make alternative travel accommodations. Rather than driving alone and spending hours in your car, TransIT has multiple solutions to assist with the transition.
- Ridesharing: Looking for someone with a similar commute to yours but are not sure how to find them? Register for ridesharing at commuterconnections.org. Commuter Connections has a free commuter database covering the metropolitan region from Frederick to Baltimore, Frederick to Washington, D.C. and Frederick to Northern Virginia. Once you are registered in the database with all necessary information – including work hours and commute locations – a match list can be generated based on similar commute patterns.
- Vanpooling: Know a group of people doing a similar commuter? Vanpooling may be the economical solution. There are three different types of vanpools: owner-operated vans, third-party vans, and employer-provided vans; all of which have incentives. Potential incentives for vanpoolers include pre-tax transportation benefits provided by the employer and TransIT offers a financial subsidy for empty seats in the van for the first year of operation.
- MARC Train: Prefer to sit back and enjoy the scenery? The MARC Train Brunswick Line runs from Martinsburg, WV and Frederick (with stops in between) into D.C. Monday through Friday mornings with return service in the afternoon. TransIT also has multiple Meet the MARC shuttles to connect commuters at park and ride lots in both Walkersville and Point of Rocks to the MARC stations in the area. The Meet the MARC service is free for MARC commuters with their train ticket.
Guaranteed Ride Home
Worried about an unexpected emergency as a commuter with no way to get home? If you use an alternative commute at least twice a week, you are eligible for Guaranteed Ride Home. Guaranteed Ride Home provides commuters up to four free rides a year for unexpected emergencies or unscheduled overtime. Sign up for Guaranteed Ride Home at commuterconnections.org.
For more information on commuter assistance services provided by TransIT, visit www.frederickcountymd.gov/transit or contact your rideshare coordinator at 301-600-RIDE or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.