Pike Transit Initiative
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (January 2013)|
The Pike Transit Initiative is a collaborative project in Northern Virginia between Arlington and Fairfax counties and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to bring transit improvements to the Columbia Pike corridor. Officially known as the Columbia Pike Transit Alternatives Analysis, the project began in 2003. Following three successive defeats of city council candidates who supported the streetcar proposal in 2014, the project was shelved indefinitely.
Pike Ride, a specially-branded set of bus lines, run along Columbia Pike to the Pentagon and Pentagon City Metro stations. Currently, over 14,000 people ride buses along Columbia Pike each day. Service is provided by Metrobus and Arlington Transit.
In 2006, the Arlington and Fairfax County governments approved a "Modified Streetcar Alternative" for the corridor, which involves building a streetcar line while retaining extensive bus service. The 4.7-mile streetcar line is expected to cost $138.5 million. The first streetcar was expected to begin service in 2011.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approved $36.9 million for the streetcar in January 2008. However, since then, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Authority may not collect taxes, as it isn't an elected body. This leaves funding for the streetcar project in limbo.
According to Arlington Now freshman County Board member Libby Garvey was the sole Board Member elected at the last election to oppose construction of a streetcar. Garvey quoted mayor of Toronto Rob Ford's criticisms of streetcars, only to realize his credibility had been eroded due to a series of scandals.
- "About the Study: Pike Transit Initiative - Program Objectives for 2006-2007". Pike Transit Initiative. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Laris, Michael (14 January 2008). "Streetcar Plan Has Money and Desire: Funding Approved for N.Va. Network". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Grass, Michael (14 January 2008). "Columbia Pike Streetcar One Step Closer to Reality". Express Night Out. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Markon, Jerry; Tim Craig (1 March 2008). "Va. Road Taxing Authority Rejected: Unelected Body Violates Constitution, Court Says". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Ethan Rothstein (2013-11-26). "Is the Ongoing Streetcar Debate Slowing Development on the Pike?". Arlington Now. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
County Board Member Libby Garvey — who was elected last year on an anti-streetcar platform and is currently the lone voice of streetcar dissent on the Board — isn’t so sure about Karantonis’ hypothesis.
- Scott McCaffery (2013-04-29). "Streetcar Question of the Day: Who Is Mayor Ford and How Did He Get Into the Discussion?". Arlington, Virginia: Arlington Sun Gazette. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
“I hate those damn streetcars – they are a pain in the rear end,” Ford said in a newspaper article quoted by County Board member Libby Garvey as board members again tussled over the streetcar proposal at their April 23 meeting.
- Ben Spurr (2013-04-30). "Meet Virginia’s Rob Ford". Toronto: Now. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
Armed with quotes from Toronto’s mayor, a local official in Arlington fights an uphill battle against a streetcar to the Pentagon.
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