RIDE Issue 2, 2021

ISSUE 2, 2021
Image: Following safety guidelines, a mother holds her child's hand on the station platform. 

RIDE is an award-winning magazine designed to provide service and community updates. In line with other VRE COVID-19 mitigation efforts, this issue of RIDE will be electronic-only.

Message from the CEO

Many things have ground to a halt during the pandemic, but not VRE’s progress on a planned package of improvements that, over the next decade, will enhance our commuter rail service and the passenger experience. Our $818.6 million Capital Improvements Program, which is 86 percent funded, includes improvements to 11 stations, additional rolling stock to expand our fleet, and five train maintenance and storage projects. Read more.

VRE at the Forefront of Regional Transportation –
You Can Plan On It!

Before VRE can even think about the design and construction of any capital improvements (as described in the article below), the projects have to be carefully planned by the VRE Project Development Department. Learn about the planning process, including how the team works with member jurisdictions.

All in Good Time - VRE Capital Improvements Worth the Wait

Next to inquiries about our existing day-to-day service, the most often asked question we receive at VRE seems to be “Why does it take so long to complete our major improvement projects?” In all honesty, we ask ourselves this question, too -- always seeking to expedite improvements to customer service without sacrificing safety, compliance, or fiscal responsibility. Learn more.

Don't Forget to Check Your Transit Benefits

Prior to returning to work, passengers using SmartBenefits need to make sure they have SmartBenefits available for their ticket purchases. Transerve card users need to view their accounts online. Any questions regarding Transit Benefits balances need to be directed to respective Transit Benefits Coordinators. Read more tips to ensure your transit benefits are in place before your return to the office.

While You Were Away ... Crystal City Project Update

While you were away, the Crystal City station improvement project achieved 30% design. Celebrate the project milestone by viewing the base design or reading about what we've accomplished so far. Watch for mid-week social updates on the Crystal City station and other projects. #AtWorkWednesdays

Dockless Scooters

There may not be a need to bring your own scooter or bike onboard a VRE train, although you may. Recent technological advances have made several new opportunities available for commuters who would like to use a bicycle or e-scooter once they get off the train. Learn more about bikesharing programs and dockless scooters.

RIDE by History: Swampoodle

What is a Swampoodle? No, it is not a wet dog as the name implies. Rather, it is the location of an Irish community that once resided where Union Station now stands. Swampoodle was the name given to an area of several blocks around the intersection of North Capitol and K Street which was settled by Irish immigrants in the early 1800s. Learn more.