Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Walking it back: Uber transportation panic hits D.C.

January 16, 2012 - 11:05 AM
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(Photo: Ben Schumin)

Welcome to the three-day weekend, D.C.! I hope you're enjoying the Monday that so many of you have off work. The District isn't paying attention to the parking meters, and the sun is out shining. The past week has been a busy one, however, full of transportation news, and you should get up to speed before returning to work again Tuesday morning.

What's been occupying people's minds? Here's a review of the biggest transportation stories of the past week:

• How could two days have gone by without legally-in-limbo luxury car service Uber and the D.C. Taxicab Commission talking last week? I asked that question at the close of business Friday after talking to Uber D.C. GM Rachel Holt and Taxicab Commissioner Ron Linton.

• Taxicab Commissioner Linton had first accused Uber of operating "illegally" on Wednesday and said the company "will be dealt with," I reported.

• Meanwhile, Uber ramped up massive support with a social media campaign. Let's look at some of the voices who have risen to defend the costly new transportation option, now a month old in the District.

• Last Sunday, Metro riders ditched their pants as part of the internationally celebrated No Pants Subway Ride. I joined them and presented these 33 photos of the spectacle.

• Virginia Tech conducted a study that contained a lot of good info on Capital Bikeshare's casual users but also on annual members and the region's cyclists generally. I questioned whether the study captured all the District's bicyclists as well as how the Capital Bikeshare data on education, race, and more applied to a common stereotype of D.C. cyclists.

• WMATA announced that it's going to be replacing far more escalators than previously thought. But won't that cost far more?

• Ever hear of the Motor Maids? The organization of lady motorcycle riders has been around for more than half a century. I looked back at when a hundred of so Motor Maids rode to D.C. in 1960.

• Metro is preparing riders for when the Dupont Circle south entrance will close with lots of fancy signs.

• David Lynch frowns on your tailgating habits, in typical Lynchian fashion.

• Gas station owners are still attacking Joe Mamo, now in a new ad.

• But let's cheer up and recall the "coolest flight attendant ever."

• Forget Uber for a sec. Is Taxib Commissioner Ron Linton losing his patience with taxi drivers in general? A couple hundred unhappy drivers showed up at this week's hearing.

• Perhaps WMATA shouldn't have announced a fare hike right after a bunch of bad stuff happened? At the transit agency wished us happy new year on Facebook, I guess.

Last Week: A 56-year-old Alexandria Metro rider killed herself on the tracks just after 7 a.m. less than a week into the new year, the first Metro suicide of 2012.

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