Capital Trails Coalition Lauds WMATA Decision to Allow Bicycles
Bikes on Metrorail means more bikes on trails
WASHINGTON, DC – January 11, 2019 – The Capital Trails Coalition applauds the recent Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) decision to allow bicycles on Metrorail trains at all hours of operation. The WMATA policy change implemented this week is welcome news to the Capital Trails Coalition, which is dedicated to seeing the completion of the Capital Trails Network, an 842-mile connected system of multi-use trails in the greater Washington region. The Capital Trails Network, as envisioned by the Capital Trails Coalition, covers Washington DC, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Arlington County, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria—areas all served by Metrorail. The Capital Trails Network includes the trail priorities established by each of those jurisdictions. Many of these trail priorities will provide connections to Metrorail stations.
By allowing bicycles on Metro trains, trail users will now be able to better use area trails for traversing the region. Once the full Capital Trails Network is completed, riding from point A to point B will be possible for more people. Thanks to the WMATA policy update, gaps in trail travel plans can now be filled by a ride on Metro.
WMATA’s policy announcement proves the importance of walking, biking and trails as viable transportation modes for area residents and tourists alike. With Metro’s 600,000 daily users through 91 stations in DC, Maryland and Virginia, cyclists will now be better able to move about the area.
“This decision by WMATA officials is welcomed by the Capital Trails Coalition, and we’re confident that the new policy will enhance the tourist experience,” said Aaron Marcavitch, past chair of the Coalition and Executive Director of Maryland Milestones Heritage Area.
Today, there are 456 miles of existing trails and 386 miles of planned trails in the Capital Trails Network. The planned trails will close gaps in the regional trail network and connect smaller trails to high-capacity trails, especially those that connect to Metrorail stations and work hubs.
The Capital Trails Network also includes and connects to larger regional trails, such as the September 11th National Memorial Trail, the East Coast Greenway, the American Discovery Trail, the C&O Canal Towpath, and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
A world-class, seamless trail network will provide safe places for people to exercise; encourage active transportation; save people money on transportation, exercise, and recreation; provide an option for folks who cannot afford other transportation options; help regional jurisdictions meet environmental goals by reducing congestion, decreasing vehicle miles traveled, improving air quality and lowering carbon emissions. WMATA is helping the region get closer to reaching these goals by encouraging active transportation.
About the Capital Trails Coalition
The Capital Trails Coalition, founded in 2015, seeks to create a world-class network of multi-use trails that are equitably distributed throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. The Capital Trails Network will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities.
The Capital Trails Coalition is a collaboration of over 60 organization members, including the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, various business improvement districts and citizen groups. The National Park Service and other government agencies serve as advisory members.
Find the press release here.