Government Relations & Transportation Updates

This July, the Board of Trade has been actively engaging elected officials around the region to advance policies that will help drive inclusive economic growth and hasten economic recovery and renewal. Stakes are especially high given the pandemic’s toll on our economy. Here are highlights of those efforts:  

  • We worked closely with the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Federal City Council, and other business advocacy groups to block a new three percent tax on advertising services proposed by the DC Council. We believed that a new tax was not what businesses needed during these very difficult times when they are struggling to remain open or stay afloat. We expressed our views though multiple joint letters (one example can be downloaded here) and discussions directly with Council members. We commend the DC Council for removing the ad tax from the FY2021 budget.
  • In Maryland, the public-private partnership (P3) managed lanes Draft Environmental Impact Statement was recently released. We are reviewing the impact statement and are in conversations with several organizations in support of this project. Hearings are scheduled in August and we are prepared to testify. Managed lanes would improve mobility throughout the region, connect communities, and support transit services.
  • On July 9, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority adopted the FY2020-2025 Six Year Program, which includes funding for 21 new multimodal transportation projects totaling nearly $540 million over two years. You can read about the update and see the list of approved projects in the press release. The Board of Trade joined the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance in advocating for these projects and is happy with this outcome.
  • On Monday, July 13, 2020, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in Congress held a legislative hearing on bill H.R. 7489. The bill will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to transfer National Park Service lands to the Commonwealth of Virginia to enable construction for the Long Bridge project. The Board of Trade and other organizations co-signed a letter in support of this bill.  Constructed in 1904, Long Bridge is a freight and passenger connector that, once upgrades and construction is finished, will benefit the country and the Washington region by adding much needed capacity to serve current and future transportation needs.
  • The Board of Trade has accepted an invitation to be a partner of the MD5G Partnership. This initiative seeks to grow Maryland’s innovation economy through communications infrastructure and next-generation networks. The Board of Trade believes that a regional approach to innovation and 5G connectivity will enhance our region’s quality of life and competitiveness.

Transportation Updates

Click the links to the agency’s websites for up-to-date information.

National Capital RegionAmtrak: Reduced schedule. Step-Up tickets used in conjunction with VRE multi-ride tickets will not be accepted on the designated Amtrak trains. The duration of this suspension is unknown at this time.
VRE: Reduced “S” schedule.
MARC: “R” schedule with limited supplemental service. Front-door bus boarding resumed, MARC Train, Commuter Bus, and Mobility Shuttle transition to normal schedules.
Metrorail: Mon-Fri 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM (0500-2100). Sat-Sun
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM (0800-2100)
Metrobus: Modified Sunday schedule.
MetroAccess: Same hours as rail and bus services.
Pentagon Shuttle Routes: Modified schedules.
District of ColumbiaDC Circulator: Provisional modified schedule.
MarylandMDTA: Customer Service Centers open, limited capacity.
Commuter Bus: Published “S” schedule, except R201.
Charles CountyVanGo: Running as scheduled.
Frederick CountyTransit Services: Normal weekday schedule for select Connector Routes.
TransIT-Plus: Operational.
Meet-the-MARC: Resumed service for select trains. Connector Peak service resumed
Taxi Access Program: Operational.
Montgomery CountyRide On: Expanded Essential Plus Service.
Prince George’s CountyThe Bus: Modified Schedules. Operational 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (0600-1800)
ArlingtonArlington Transit: Modified Sat. schedule.
AlexandriaDASH: Enhanced Saturday Operating Plan
Fairfax CountyFairfax Connector: Modified Operations.
Fastran: Operational.
Loudoun CountyTransit/Commuter: Modified Services. Service resumed to stops in and around the District of Columbia. Fares suspended on all routes until September 01.
Metro Connection: Free trips on Loudoun Transit buses until August 31.
Prince William CountyOmniRide: Operating at Friday service levels.