D.C. Has Concerns About Parking and the Cost of Maglev Proposal

Washington, D.C. officials are urging modifications to key components of a proposal to build a maglev system between D.C. and Baltimore, citing disruptions to neighborhoods and cost concerns.

1 minute read

August 18, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A maglev train undergoing testing by Central Japan Railway at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Track.

A maglev train undergoing testing by Central Japan Railway at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Track. | Northeast Maglev

In comments submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Washington, D.C. "is urging federal officials to modify key aspects of a proposed high-speed maglev train line before deciding whether to support a project that would take passengers between Washington and Baltimore in 15 minutes." As reported by Luz Lazo, the Northeast Maglev project aims to be in operation by 2030 and could be part of a future system "that eventually would carry passengers between D.C. and New York in an hour." 

However, "[a]mong the District’s biggest objections is a 1,000-parking space garage proposed for Mount Vernon Square," which the comments call "an antiquated and inefficient way of managing transportation demand to the station." D.C. officials "echoed concerns raised by Baltimore and other project critics that the service would only be available to wealthier residents. The expected average fare would be $60 for a one-way trip, although it could vary between $27 and $80 per trip, project documents indicate."

Rather than building a new train system, critics argue, "the region should invest in improving existing rail operations, such as Amtrak and MARC commuter train service." The District's comments also called for "better pedestrian and bike connections, as well as links to the Convention Center, and to Metro stations at Gallery Place and Metro Center."

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 in The Washington Post

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