SafeTrack is an accelerated track work plan to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the Metrorail system to improve safety and reliability. SafeTrack accelerates three years' worth of work into approximately one year. The plan significantly expands maintenance time on weeknights, weekends and midday hours and includes 15 "Safety Surges" – long duration track outages for major projects in key parts of the system.
Why is SafeTrack necessary?
Metrorail is currently open 135 out of 168 hours per week, leaving insufficient time for maintenance and other necessary track work. By closing the system at midnight on weekends and expanding weekday maintenance opportunities, SafeTrack addresses FTA and NTSB safety recommendations and deferred maintenance backlogs while restoring track infrastructure to good health. In addition the 15 "Safety Surges" will utilize long-duration track outages through around-the-clock single tracking or line-segment shutdowns that will impact rush hour commutes.
Employees have many options for getting to work during SafeTrack surges. The District of Columbia Government encourages its employees to choose the most sustainable, cost-effective and stress-free modes possible and we're here to help. Please visit the District Deparment of Transportation and goDCgo SafeTrack site, which has many helpful commuter resources and employer services.
Ridesharing means riding together in one car or van. Sharing the ride saves money on fuel, insurance, and car maintenance. Ridesharing can also reduce time spent on the road, because vehicles with enough passengers can use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and 495/95 Express Lanes. Ridesharing also helps reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. View a listing of local ridesharing resources.
The most familiar form of ridesharing, carpooling usually involves a group of people who live and work near each other, commuting together in a private vehicle. Carpool members may take turns driving, and members benefit by not having to drive every day. In some commercial areas, registered carpools get access to convenient reserved parking spaces at reduced parking rates. Although carpooling is usually associated with regular trips to and from work, carpoolers enjoy some of the same benefits when they share a ride to any destination. Increasingly, ridematching services are becoming available that can match drivers and riders for individual trips, not just every-day commutes.
A vanpool is generally formed with the help of an employer or vanpool service. Each vanpool has a primary driver/coordinator and one or more alternate drivers. The vanpool participants share cost of the van and all other operating expenses. Riders usually meet at a designated pick-up location like a shopping center parking lot or a park and ride location. The number of pickup and dropoff locations depends on the nature and needs of the vanpool group.
Vanpools, unlike carpools, are also eligible for federal tax benefits. Under current federal policy, employers may give their employees a subsidy to commute via vanpool; this contribution is then eligible for a tax deduction, and the employer saves over providing the same value in gross income. Or, employees may use pre-tax income to pay for vanpooling expenses, or a combination of both, up to statutory limits. This offers another financial incentive to share the ride.
An interesting side effect of HOV lanes has been the establishment of unofficial carpool-formation areas called "slug lines." Commuters catch free rides with drivers who need additional riders to be able to use the HOV lane along their route to and from work.
Slug Line Resources:
- Slug-Lines.com: Slugging and slug lines information for the Washington, D.C. area.
- Sluglines.com: Bringing community to the slugging world.
- Smartslug.com: Free Web app for slugs and drivers.
Ridesharing and Ridematching Services
Services operating in the Washington, D.C. area that provide ridesharing information, match riders to carpools and vanpools, and assist in forming carpools and vanpools. View a listing of local ridesharing resources.