Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine were in Alexandria on Monday to help unveil a team of new zero emission DASH electric buses.
The new battery electric buses were so quiet that they could hardly be heard running during their unveiling outside City Hall. DASH has committed to having an electric-only fleet by 2035.
Northam congratulated Alexandria for being progressive, innovative and inclusive city.
“Alexandria and DASH are the first to commit to 100% zero-emission buses by 2035,” Northam said. “We believe in global warming, we believe in climate change, and we also believe the quicker we can wean ourselves from carbon the better we will be.”
Valentine said that the unveiling of the electric buses in Northern Virginia represents a critical step toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.
“Incorporating these buses into our transportation network will allow so many Virginians to have a reliable, safe and clean option for generations to come,” Valentine said.
Mayor Justin Wilson said that the vehicles will cut down on hundreds of tons of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions that are generated on Alexandria’s streets.
“This is a very exciting day. You can feel the electricity in the air,” Wilson quipped.
DASH CEO Josh Baker said that the day marks the beginning of the transit agency’s journey toward a zero emission fleet.
“This is a true testament to our community’s passion and commitment to environmental sustainability,” Baker said.
VIDEO: ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) is welcoming the future of cleaner and more sustainable transit at the unveiling of its new zero-emission buses. The event will introduce battery-electric buses to the DASH fleet making it a historic first for the agency, Alexandria and the Northern Virginia region. Who: Alexandria Transit Company and the City of Alexandria What: Electric Bus Unveiling Event Where: Market Square 301 King StWhen: October 19, 2020 | 12:30PM Agenda: 12:30 PM – 12:35 PM Welcome: Josh Baker 12:35 PM – 1:25 PM Remarks: ATC Board Chairman David Kaplan Mayor Justin Wilson Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine Governor Ralph Northam 1:25 PM – 1:30 PM Closing: Josh Baker 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM Unveiling and Interviews
Posted by The Zebra Press – GOOD News in Alexandria, VA on Monday, October 19, 2020
Photos by Eli Wilson
Beyer Wishes Speedy Recovery, Then Refutes Trump Tweet — “We continue to hope that the President is feeling well and will recover swiftly, but it must be pointed out that this is a bunch of nonsense. None of it is true.” [Twitter]
City Offering Free COVID Tests — “In partnership with our friends at @NeighborhoodHth the City will be hosting free COVID-19 testing events every week this month throughout our City.” [Twitter]
DASH Adding Six Electric Buses — “The buses are manufactured by New Flyer of America and Proterra. They are 40 feet in length and rely completely on battery power rather than gasoline.” [Zebra]
Commonwealth Avenue Improvements Proposed — “A portion of Commonwealth Avenue in the Rosemont area is scheduled to be repaved in 2021, and the city is seeking feedback on improvements that could go along with it.” [Patch]
Walk to Bust Breast Cancer Goes Virtual — “This month you may notices some painted angel wings around Alexandria. These wings are part of the National Breast Center Foundation’s new Angel Wing Challenge associated with the annual Walk to Bust Breast Cancer, which looks a little different this year.” [Alexandria Living]
Recreation Centers Providing Childcare for Essential Workers — “There are currently 250 students enrolled in the full-day program at no cost to families. Many of these children have parents who are essential workers.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 73F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies (at night). Low near 55F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Marketing Communications Specialist — “To be successful in this position, the Marketing Communications Specialist must demonstrate strong persuasive writing skills, strong digital layout design skills and be an overall expert in digital and social media marketing.” [Indeed]
DASH increased their services today to 80% of its pre-pandemic service levels, and several of its routes have gone back to their regular routes.
The city’s transit service is currently seeing 35% ridership, according to Whitney Code, DASH’s marketing and communications manager.
“Of course we want to keep up with ridership and passenger loads, and as Virginia and the rest of the country opens up, we will continue to see increased ridership,” Code told ALXnow. “We want to make sure that we’re scheduling our people responsibly, and we want to make sure that we’re paying attention to the trends of other regional partners that we work with, like Metrobus and the Fairfax Connector.”
The move follows the Arlington and Fairfax bus lines resuming full service in late August.
Trips are still free for passengers, and drivers have extra face masks to give away.
“We have a limited supply of face masks that we can give our riders if they board our buses and don’t have them,” Code said. “DASH is continuing to take the coronavirus seriously and we are continuing to take the health of our customers and employees seriously.”
The King Street Trolley, which takes customers from the King Street Metro station to the waterfront, remains suspended until further notice.
According to DASH:
- The AT1 Plus, AT2, AT3/4, AT5, AT7, AT8, AT9, & AT10 will return to regular service.
- The AT2X, AT3, AT4 and AT6 will operate on modified weekday schedules due to continued low ridership.
In an update to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Alexandria bus service DASH said it will resuming increased increased levels of service starting on Sunday, Sept. 13.
“DASH will increase service levels in Alexandria to approximately 80% of pre-COVID service on September 13,” the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission said in materials for an upcoming meeting. “Weekday service will be restored on several routes and limited service will resume on most routes that were discontinued in March.”
The move follows the Arlington and Fairfax bus lines resuming full service in late August.
DASH, which saw decreased levels of ridership early in the pandemic, had scaled down its operations in March. While service was reduced, the bus system did institute some new, long-awaited improvements like a bus tracking app in July.
The next meeting for DASH is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 5:30 p.m. Public comment is allowed after completing a short form.
Beyer Blasts Trump Position on Children and Coronavirus — “Trump does not care that nearly 100,000 American children got sick in two weeks. He has no plan to make schools safe or prevent much larger infections among students and educators.” [Twitter]
City Launches Coronavirus Text Line for Latino Residents — “The resource text line will provide Spanish speaking subscribers with information that is important to them and their families about COVID-19 and keep them up to date about jobs, job training, housing and rental assistance, food assistance, child care, and mental health.” [LocalDMV.com]
Senior Virtual Job Fair on Thursday — “Individuals who are 55 and over, unemployed and looking for work may be eligible for a stipend while training, job searching and skill building. Attendance is free, but participants must register to attend.” [City of Alexandria]
DASH Conducting Coronavirus Ridership Survey — “Last chance to share your COVID-19 transit experience before our survey closes! Take the COVID-19 Ridership Survey today to help us keep moving forward.”[DASH]
Today’s Weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 92F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Finance Manager — “Successful auto dealership looking for positive and motivated individuals to join its team as a finance manager.” [Indeed]
Virginia Launches Coronavirus Tracing App — “Virginia is the first state in the nation to launch such an app. It is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology jointly developed by Apple and Google (Android). Users can download the app from their mobile phone’s app store now. The more people who download and use the app, the more effective it will be in helping reduce the possibility for COVID-19 transmission.” [Alexandria Living]
Beyer Scolds RNC for Trump Candidacy Announcement — Would be an illegal use of taxpayer funds and government property, and one of the most corrupt acts of the Trump era to date. A statement of what their party stands for now?” [Twitter]
Torpedo Factory Opens New Interactive Show — “Melanie Kehoss designed ‘Through the Kitchen Door’ with the idea that her audience would be central to her work. It involves six household scenes from 1790 to the present that viewers can walk through to get a real sense of how America’s history has evolved.” [Zebra]
DASH Reminds Riders to Wear Face Masks — “Masks are required in Virginia, including on DASH buses. #MaskUp to help us protect our operators, riders and community from COVID-19.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Isolated thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 71F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 100%.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Account Executive — “CareClix, a Northern Virginia based company and the world leader in the Telemedicine Space is seeking a few select individuals to join our Resellers and Independent Account Executive salesforce. Successful candidates in this position can expect first year commissions of lower middle to high six figures.” [Indeed]
Del Ray First Thursday Porch Party Today — “The Del Ray Business Association presents First Thursday Porch Party: Red, White, and Blue from 6 p.m. to dusk on Thursday, July 2. In the spirit of Del Ray’s summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards.” [Facebook]
Major Residential Development Breaks Ground — “About 300 residences and a large parking garage are replacing an old office building in Alexandria’s West End.” [Alexandria Living]
DASH Bus Mobile Tracker Launches — “The new mobile-friendly DASH Tracker is finally here with new features and improved information to make finding your next bus a snap! Where will you go with the new DASH Tracker?” [Facebook]
Al’s Steak House Won’t Have Indoor Seating — “As we enter Phase 3 Al’s will continue not to have indoor seating available. Our space is too small to accommodate customers dining in and customers picking up their orders.The social distancing would be non existent. We do offer two tables for outdoor seating. Al’s will continue to accept call in orders and Delivery.” [Facebook]
Rebuilding Together Alexandria Slowly Getting Back on Track — “Our team was looking for a socially-distant project to get us out of the office and back into the community. We mulched the grounds of local nonprofit, Friends of Guest House. Check out the before and after!” [Facebook]
Mason & Greens Grand Opening Moved Online — “When news about the coronavirus began to spread, the Marinos knew they would have to cancel their big grand opening event.” [Alexandria Living]
Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden Open House Saturday — “Explore the history in your own backyard with free, self-guided tours of the Lee-Fendall House on July 4th! Face masks are required and we will be limiting the number of visitors allowed in the museum at one time to allow for social distancing.” [Facebook]
Gade Wins Primary, Faces Warner in November Election — “Gade handily defeated Thomas A. Speciale II and Alissa A. Baldwin in Tuesday’s Republican primary with about two-thirds of the votes cast statewide. In the City of Alexandria, Gade received about 63 percent of approximately 2,100 votes cast.” [Alexandria Living]
The Birchmere Reopening in July — “The Birchmere on Mount Vernon Avenue announced that the Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band will perform July 10… During the public health emergency, there will be a $25 food and beverage minimum and a $5 fee the venue is calling a ‘Covid fee.'” [WTOP]
Two Free Food Distributions Today — “There will be a food distribution this Thursday, 6/25 from 5-6pm at John Adams with ALIVE and World Central Kitchen and this Saturday, 6/27 from 8:30-10:30am at both John Adams and Cora Kelly.” [Facebook]
New Job: DASH Temperature and Wellness Screener — “DASH is looking for temporary Temperature and Wellness Screeners to work full-time and part-time at the Alexandria, VA facility. Medical experience and/or a medical certification is preferred but not required. Temporary assignment will start ASAP with end date depending on business needs related to COVID-19.” [Indeed]
New Job: Police Human Resources and Labor Relations Division Chief — “The Human Resources and Labor Relations Division Chief is responsible for a variety of departmental functions including human resources, budgeting, new police officer training, DCJS mandated training, employee wellness, Peer Support and resiliency programs, and engagement with departmental labor groups.” [City of Alexandria]
Beyer Criticizes Pence Over Second Wave Comments — “Over 116,000 Americans have died. Over 2,000,000 have gotten sick. The person appointed by the President to lead the response (you) flout basic safety precautions recommended by the CDC to prevent spread of the virus as more people get sick.” [Twitter]
Alexandria DMV Opening June 22 by Appointment Only — “The validity of driver’s licenses and identification cards expiring on or before July 31, 2020, is extended for 90 days, not to exceed August 31, 2020. This means that a customer whose credential expired between March 15 and May 31 will have 90 days beyond the expiration date to renew, and credentials with an expiration date from June 1 to July 31 must be renewed no later than August 31, 2020. Vehicle registrations that expire in March, April, and May are extended for 90 days; those expiring in June are extended for 60 days; and those expiring in July are extended for 30 days. In addition, the federal enforcement date for REAL IDs was moved to October 1, 2021.” [DMV]
Mind The Mat Offering Outdoor Fitness Classes — “We’re outdoors! Of course our virtual classes are here to stay but check out our schedule each week to see our outdoor schedule!” [Facebook]
City Pools Opening Next Month With Restrictions — “Outdoor pools will open on July 1 under Virginia’s phase two reopening guidance.” [Patch]
Who Alexandria Schools Are Named After — “Here’s who (or what) Alexandria’s school buildings are named after, with links to learn more information about each person.” [Alexandria Living]
Patagonia Opening in September in Old Town — “Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company, is moving into the Old Town Theater space on King Street. Construction stopped in March due to concerns about coroanvirus, but the company is planning to resume construction in early September and open just a few weeks later.” [Alexandria Living]
New Job: DASH Bus is Hiring — “Join the DASH team! We’re looking for operators.” [Facebook]
Sheriff Makes Statement on Death of George Floyd — “This event is a tragic reminder that we, as a law enforcement officers, must do more to hold each other to the high standard of conduct that is expected and demanded by those we serve. We cannot stand by and remain silent when unacceptable conduct by our peers occurs, no matter how minor or major it is. We must be better for ourselves and our community as lives depend on it.” [City of Alexandria]
Beyer Says Trump Unfit for Office — “The President is inciting violence against the journalists who are showing everyone what is happening at significant personal risk, and against Americans broadly. Trump is unfit for office, and his divisive words make this situation more dangerous.” [Twitter]
ALIVE! Provides Food for 1,060 Families — “We sent 1060 families home with produce eggs and shelf stable groceries today because of your support!” [Facebook]
ACPS Hires Three Principals — “Today Alexandria City Public Schools announced the hiring of three new principals for the 2020-2021 school year. Dr. John McCain will be the new Head of School at Jefferson-Houston, Mr. Loren Brody will be the new principal at Charles Barrett, and Ms. Penny Hairston will be the new principal at Douglas MacArthur. Learn more about them by clicking the links in the comments below.” [Facebook]
DASH Distances from Wraps2Go After Owner Makes Racist Tweet — “We do not support any ideals that promote division, discrimination or racism. We can confirm that we have no ongoing projects with Wraps2Go and will not be doing business with them in the future.” [Facebook]
Fire Chief Congratulates New Firefighters — “Recruit School 50 officially completed their initial training and will begin reporting to their assigned stations tomorrow. Because their graduation ceremony has been postponed, Fire Chief Corey Smedley visited to take questions and give them words of encouragement.” [Facebook]
Tenants and Workers United Advises Arlandria Residents on Rent — “Today we were meeting carefully with more than 100 members of Presidential Greens and New Brookside to follow the next steps to get justice in their homes in their apartment complex in these times of crisis we are in.” [Facebook]
New Job: Part Time Concierge — ” The Concierge will be greeting potential residents, families, visitors, managing both external and internal calls, taking and communicating messages. The Concierge provides an overview of community information to those inquiries in support of the marketing and sales efforts.” [Indeed]
Group to Sue City for Pollution Near Recycling Center — “After a 7 On Your Side Investigation aired about the amount of Styrofoam piling up along the banks of the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, organizers with Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways, a new non-profit, has informed the City it plans on suing.” [WJLA]
DASH Bus Requiring All Riders to Wear Face Masks — “Based on guidance from the Alexandria Health Department, the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) will require all passengers to wear face coverings while using DASH buses beginning Monday, May 18, 2020. The measure will help protect DASH employees and passengers from contracting the COVID-19 virus and is consistent with the actions of the agency’s regional transit partners, including WMATA, Frederick Transit, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Transit. This precaution will remain in effect until further notice.” [DASH]
Fire Department Responds to Eisenhower Avenue Commercial Fire — “Around 3 pm, units from AFD & @ffxfirerescue responded to a commercial bldg fire in the 5600 block of Eisenhower Ave. Units found fire in UPS trailer & outside storage area and extinguished. No damage to bldg itself. No civilian or firefighter injuries. Cause under investigation.” [Facebook]
Congressman Beyer Calls Federal Coronavirus Response a ‘Disaster’ — “Over 87,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19. South Korea, with a population of over 50 million, had their first case on the same day the United States did. The COVID-19 death toll in South Korea stands at 262. The federal response in this country has been a disaster.” [Twitter]
Video: Old Town Jumping on Friday Night — “Looks like @AlexandriaVAGov is open for business…” [Twitter]
Crowded Sidewalks in Old Town Saturday Night — “Crowded sidewalks in Old Town, Alexandria causing concerns tonight two weeks before Northern Virginia is set to reopen.” [Twitter]
Family Celebrate 80th Birthday at Goodwin House — “Sandy Connolly celebrated her 80th birthday at Goodwin House Alexandria with a socially distant visit from family members. Connolly and her husband Jim were able to view the May 7 celebration through a window as children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren held signs and left gifts in honor of the occasion.” [Gazette]
T.C. Williams High School Violinist Wins National Merit Scholarship — “Kudos to Chamber Orchestra violinist Leah Nickelsburg, who is the only TC Williams student to be awarded a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500 in this week’s announcement by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation! She was one of 68 recipients statewide who were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.” [Facebook]
Kindergarten Registration Begins on Wednesday — “Due to the Governor’s stay-at-home order, 2020-21 kindergarten registration will take place completely online. All registration steps, including the enrollment form and providing documentation, must be completed for a child to be able to start school.” [ACPS]
Old Town Businesses Giving Portion of Proceeds to Nonprofits — “Alexandria’s stores and restaurants will give a percentage of their sales to the charities of the customers’ choice. For every lunch or dinner ordered OR purchase made, we will share those profits with clientele’s charity of choice located on the Spring2ACTion website.” [Facebook]
Fire Department Recognizes EMS Week — “Our EMS personnel are facing challenges every day, especially during a pandemic. Their compassion is admirable and their dedication to the profession and community is appreciated. Thank you for all that you do. Happy #EMSWeek. Stay safe and healthy Alexandria!” [Facebook]
Yates Dry Cleaning Donates Cloth Face Masks to Neighborhood Health — “The masks will be distributed to patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus and to their families. Need a mask? Yates has them for sale in both adult and child sizes.” [Facebook]
Kiskadee Starts Spring Sale by Appointment Only — “Kiskadee’s Spring Sale is happening now! Click below to sign up for a private shopping appointment.” [Facebook]
Video: Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub Opens Mini-Market — “Here is a little clip of our Market.” [Facebook]
New Jobs: Alexandria Health Department is Hiring — “The Alexandria Health Department (a division of VDH) is seeking candidates for Communications Officer, Senior Epidemiologist, and two Public Health Nurse positions in the areas of Sexual Reproductive Health and Tuberculosis/Newcomer Health.” [City of Alexandria]
The Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services was repairing a water main break on King Street yesterday when a historical discovery was made.
A work crew uncovered streetcar rail lines from the city’s electric streetcar, which ended in 1932.
“In 1906, 30 daily trains between Mount Vernon and Washington carried 1.7 million passengers, a number that was likely boosted by the opening of an amusement park along Four Mile Run with its own station,” according to the city.
The streetcar was established in 1892 and went from the city to Mount Vernon, and was expanded to Washington, D.C. in 1896.
There is currently a free King Street Trolley that runs from the King St-Old Town Metro station to the waterfront, but the trolley is not running until further notice due to COVID-19.
There is a lot of history buried beneath Alexandria, like when an 18th century ship was uncovered at a construction site in 2018.
For those of you who are missing the King Street Trolley, it looks like Transportation & Environmental Services, City of…
Photo via DASH/Facebook