Proposal calls for transforming D.C. region’s rail network

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — An alliance of top chief executives in the Washington, D.C. is pushing a plan for Maryland and Virginia commuter trains to cross jurisdictions to provide more interconnected service.

The Washington Post reports that the plan promoted by the Greater Washington Partnership aims to transform the region’s rail network. The group says having a commuter train system that operates harmoniously across the region could be achieved within a quarter-century. The plan has won support from transit advocates, the region’s passenger railroads and public- and private-sector groups.

A pledge by Virginia to prioritize rail travel and a measure in Maryland to pursue train service into Virginia set the stage for the regional vision. The proposal emerges as planners and elected leaders seek transit solutions to reduce congestion and meet environmental goals.

“The reality is we’ve outgrown our individual passenger transit systems in the region,” said John Porcari, a former Maryland transportation chief who serves on the Partnership’s mobility steering committee. “They should be interoperable. They should be seamless. And we can’t grow as a region if we don’t think in those terms.”

Officials said the goal is to bring the region behind a plan to convert commuter train systems, which focus on peak-hour service, into a network with high-frequency, all-day service that spans the region.

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