Image by Adam Fagen licensed under Creative Commons.

We have really exciting news: Greater Greater Washington is launching a new partnership with DC Surface Transit to advocate for better transit in DC!

Together, DCST and GGWash will be generating discussions here on the blog, convening organizations in offline meetings, and organizing online and offline action on issues like bus lanes, performance parking, the Circulator, Metrobus and Circulator maintenance site needs, WMATA sustainability and reform, and more. (What do you think we should work on? Post your thoughts on the comments).

What is DC Surface Transit? What is the new coalition?

DC Surface Transit, Inc. (DCST) is a nonprofit organization created in 2005 by business and government to advise DC on its transit programs, particularly the DC Circulator, and assist with marketing. In 2016, the DCST board decided to broaden its mission to include advocacy for improvements to Metrorail, Metrobus service, and other transit options as well as Circulator, and to expand its membership to organizations that share its mission and goals.

Current DCST members include nine of the District’s ten business improvement districts, the Rosslyn BID, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), Events DC, Destination DC, and the Federal City Council. The coalition will be expanding to partner with the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the DC Sierra Club, respected long-time advocates for better transit. It will also invite participation from additional business groups, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and other local government and transit agencies, the DC Council, and others.

I will now be also taking on the mantle of DCST Executive Director (while continuing to advise and guide GGWash's other programs). With the help of the rest of the GGWash staff, we will convene conversations among coalition members to set and advocate for sustainable transportation priorities; discuss the issues of focus here on the blog; involve the public through online and offline activities; and manage projects.

We at GGWash decided a few years ago that talking about issues here on the blog was really important, but many members of our community also wanted to convert those discussions into action. Through a combination of work with partner groups and our own advocacy, we've been doing that on housing through the great work from David Whitehead, including creating a large coalition of organizations at which are pushing for more housing, more affordable housing, and support for communities as DC revises its Comprehensive Plan. Now, we'll have the ability to work with many allied civic and business groups to make a difference on transportation.

What's next? What can you do?

I'll be working with DCST members and other organizations to identify the top priorities we should work on in transportation. Some potential issues include:

  • DC Circulator operational performance and marketing
  • Central DC congestion, including bus priority corridors
  • WMATA sustainability, service improvement, and reform
  • Circulator and Metrobus storage and maintenance needs
  • How technological innovation will transform mobility in DC

Give your thoughts on these and any other priorities you'd like DCST and GGWash to work on in the comments.

Once we really get going on some of these issues, look for more blog posts, opportunities to email and call your representatives, and much more. You can also sign up below to get email updates as we dig into the priority issues. Thank you!

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.