(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Masked by the state and regional agencies that disperse its grant funds and shrouded behind the veil of a federal government bureaucracy with 60,000 employees, the enigmatic and powerful United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) sits at the top of the transportation world. While in DC this past week, I wanted to try and lift that veil with a visit to its home base and by getting to know a few of the people who work there.
My ultimate goal was to sit down for an interview with USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood; but despite being told I was on a short-list, my name never got called. That will happen someday, but on this trip I was more than happy to get a tour of the headquarters building from LaHood’s public affairs staffer Todd Solomon.[Read more…]
An unassuming warehouse in the industrial Navy Yards neighborhood of southeast Washington DC is the headquarters of America’s most successful and largest bikeshare system.
I’ve been using Capital Bikeshare for a week now and it’s fantastic. With Portland set to launch a similar system next year (hopefully), I wanted to find out what makes the system tick. So on Thursday I rented a bike from a station two blocks from where I was staying and pedaled toward the warehouse. I was met by Capital Bikeshare General Manager Eric Gilliland. [Read more…]