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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

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@livemore COMMUTE LESS & IMAGINE LIFE WITH MORE TIME TO LIVE

Exploring Virginia’s wine country Short sojourns to culture and flavors Transit means business Re-imagining the Capital Region around transportation Gourds and gathering west of the ridge Autumn harvest fests in Clarke County A bridge to employment The astounding daily volume crossing the Potomac Hello Luray It’s not just the caverns anymore Need transportation help? We speak your language. Necesita consejo sobre transporte? Hablamos su idioma.

A publication of the Dulles Area Transportation Association


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

WE’RE HIRING!! Advertising Sales Opportunity @livemore

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inside @livemore features Transit Means Business

Terrific opportunity to sell for a new fun, upbeat bi-monthly magazine serving Northern Virginia. Seeking candidates for a part-time position who have dynamic personalities and a high comfort level with learning cloud-based sales app, and experience with InDesign or similar software. TO APPLY FOR THIS POSTITION: Send a summary of your qualifications, including your sales and design experience to: editor@livemore.us.

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A Gourd Experience & A Gathering For All

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Virginia Wineries Now Leading Tourism Destinations

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on the cover

CONNECT WITH

@livemore @livemoreVA livemorecommuteless www.livemore.us

Tarara Winery. Photo courtesy of Loudoun County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Discover History Sipping Virginia Wines

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Time to Rediscover the Caverns

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La Esquina de Ericka | Ericka’s Corner

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DATA Member Voices

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Reston Limousine Moves the Capital

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Bridges, Tunnels and Congestion, oh my!

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World Games Uses All

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Splash with DASH


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@livemore published by the Dulles Area Transportation Association

From the CEO’s Desk

EDITORS Doug Pickford David Lillard DESIGN Aundrea Humphreys ADVERTISING SALES Hugh Barton Barbara Barton Kelly Woodward

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Got a story idea?

Email editor@livemore.us

For advertising info, hugh@livemore.us barbara@livemore.us 703-370-3868

Contact DATA

Jim Larsen, Executive Director/CEO jlarsen@datatrans.org

Kelly Woodward, Director of Sales and Marketing kwoodward@datatrans.org

Lynn Bostain, Director of Employer Outreach

Autumn in the greater Washington region is one of the most enjoyable seasons of the year. The weather moderates, opportunities abound to enjoy nature, sports, travel (during a “semi-low” season) and to explore the burgeoning local viniculture industry. If you have lived here for any length of time, you also know fall marks the beginning of what is typically a challenging transportation season. We all know that fall traffic is the bear in the woods! @livemore is here to help you find solutions to your transportation challenges, while highlighting the great things happening in and just outside of our region. Live More Commute Less is a lifestyle—when you embrace it, you’ll learn about ways you can improve your quality of life while still living in one of the world’s greatest regions. This edition of @livemore highlights some excursions you can explore for a day or weekend. Some of you may be taking children back to college, or wanting to take a weekend to go visit. We’ve got you covered-check out our story on great places to visit. We have also highlighted a variety of vineyard destinations in Loudoun County, a place in close proximity to DC and its suburbs, but you’ll feel like you’ve landed in Tuscany. We also have some great adventures on the “other side of the ridge,” like Luray, Virginia. The air is cooling and the leaves will be

turning beautifully vibrant. If you haven’t experienced autumn in Virginia, now is the chance to do it. And you can leave your car behind when checking out some alternative, fun ways to get away. A variety of charter bus and limousine services in our area specialize in taking small, medium and large groups on tours of vineyards, fall foliage and excursions throughout our region. Letting someone else do the driving, and decreasing the number of cars on the road on weekends is the way to do it!! On a personal note, I recently took a water shuttle from Old Town Alexandria to Nationals Park. It was an awesome, relaxing, fun excursion that really made the trip and game into a seamless, great adventure. The Potomac Riverboat Company runs shuttle services to a lot of destinations on the Potomac, like Georgetown, Nats Park, National Harbor, and Mt. Vernon—to mention a few. A great alternative to driving and a perfectly relaxing, enjoyable adventure. Check it out. As always, our goal is to help you Live More Commute Less—come spring, summer and, now, fall. This is the best time to be so close to the mountains, rivers, sports and the city. So stay tuned as we continue to provide you with wonderful transportation and lifestyle alternatives @livemore.

lbostain@datatrans.org

4160 Pleasant Valley Road Burgess & Niple Building, Suite 200 Chantilly Virginia 20151-1226 Phone (703) 817-1307 Fax (866) 652-0847

@livemoreVA

James N. Larsen Executive Director/CEO Dulles Area Transportation Association


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Transit Means Business Access to Transit Drives Dulles Corridor Growth

“The old adage in real estate-location, location, location-is rapidly being transformed into a new adage, which should be access, access, access,” said Shyam Kannan, managing director of the Office of Planning at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency (WMATA). The opening of Metrorail’s Silver Line last year gave businesses from Tysons Corner to Reston greater access to all that the region has to offer. “In order for businesses to thrive, they need access. Not just access to capital, but access to deep pools of labor, access to customers and access to things like amenities. Many businesses, particularly in this R&D intensive, innovationbased economy, really crave proximity to transit,” said Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. That desire for access is fueling development along the Dulles corridor, including the area between Reston and Ashburn Station in Loudoun, where six additional stations will open in 2020. “Over the last three-and-a-half

years, we’ve attracted more than 9 million square feet of new commercial development and $2 billion in private investment,” said Buddy Rizer, director for economic development in Loudoun County. “Loudoun’s population is expected to grow by another 50,000 people by 2020, yet our unemployment rate remains very low, among the lowest anywhere.” Speaking at the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s Transit Means Business forum in May, Rizer called the Silver Line an economic game changer. “What transit does—what Metro does—is put us in a conversation that heretofore Loudoun has not been part of. When we talk about GSA (General Services Administration) contracts for big deals, when we talk about Fortune 500 companies and . . .when we talk about football stadiums, we’re in those conversations now because of Metro,” he said. “Transit certainly makes sense and means business, and we look to locate all types of our developments near some type of transit hub,” said Maggie Parker,

Reston Station is a planned transit oriented development that is a public-private endeavor between Comstock Partners and Fairfax County. director of communications and community outreach for Comstock Partners, LC. Reston Station and Loudoun Station—transit-oriented, mixed-use developments— are recent additions to the company’s portfolio. Reston Station, the result of Comstock Partners’ public-private partnership with Fairfax County, is leading the transformation

of the area around Dulles International Airport into a transit-oriented employment corridor. The company built the new transit center and 3,500-space parking facility at the WiehleReston East Metrorail Station, one of the first five to open on the Silver Line, to serve as the foundation for its 1.5 million square foot Reston Station development.

“The first of the high-rise buildings will deliver in February of 2016 and is a 448-unit, 21-story apartment building. Construction on the signature office building designed by Jahn starts this winter,” said Parker. Loudoun Station, another Comstock Partners development, sits not far from the airport, near the planned Route 772 Metrorail Station.


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 “Although we were rezoned about 15 years ago, we went into the ground about four years ago with luxury apartments and ground-floor retail,” said Parker. “We just delivered our fourth building that has a state-of-the-art 11-screen movie theater, a terrific restaurant, and 50,000 square feet of Class A office. We were a bit ahead of the curve there, delivering something very urban into beautiful and successful Loudoun County.” Existing transit and the promise of new transit weigh heavily into B.F. Saul Company’s decisions about where to locate its hotels. Such proximity allows the firm’s Hospitality Group to attract both hourly and salaried employees from a wider geographic area and makes its hotel properties more attractive to travelers. Transit attracts knowledgebased employers, the most important market segment for business-class hotels. “A robust and effective transit infrastructure is at the heart of the hospitality business

and we need it to evolve, grow and become more efficient,” said Mark G. Carrier, senior officer of B.F. Saul’s Hospitality Group. “Effective transit drives employment development and, frankly, robust employment generates hotel demand.” With nearly half of its hotels near local airports, B.F. Saul’s strategic positioning will provide a competitive advantage when the Silver Line station at the airport opens in 2020. The company’s Tysons hotels have profited from the Silver Line’s opening. Recognizing the benefits that accrue from public transportation, businesses in Northern Virginia, “are very supportive of transit, not only verbally, but through our wallets,” said Carrier, who serves as board chair of Tysons Partnership. Businesses in special taxing districts have helped fund construction of the Silver Line and “a significant amount of our retail and hotel lodging tax goes to support transportation,” he

potomac

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said. “So, we put our money where our mouth is and our guests’ money too.” There’s no doubt in Buddy Rizer’s mind that transit plays into businesses’ locational decisions. “We have to keep remembering that businesses have choices. The workforce has choices. So, we have to keep investing. We have to keep working to make sure we are delivering the quality of place we can use to attract business, to attract that workforce,” said Rizer. “I think that’s what Metro does. That’s what the improvements to the road networks do. That’s what thriving airports do. And, that’s what we’re committed to capitalizing on.” Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne concurred. “A world-class transportation system that has a range of transit options is essential for the Commonwealth of Virginia and this region to be competitive nationally and globally,” he said. “An investment in transit is an economic investment in the Commonwealth.”

Courtesy of Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), the area’s premier transit resource. NVTC works to ensure that Virginia businesses and residents have

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A Gourd Experience And A Gathering For All The Virginia Gourd Festival and the The Gathering in Clarke County offer a cultural experience west of the Ridge.

Virginia’s chapter of the American Gourd Society, the Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society, is gearing up for its 14th annual Virginia Gourd Festival where gourds meet laughter, fun, friends, and education! In partnership with Sanctuary on the Trail™, the VLGS will celebrate the harvest, Native American culture, and a highly versatile crop, gourds, during The Gathering to be held at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, Va., October 30- through November 1. The Gathering promises to be an incredible harvest weekend of storytelling, Native American dance and music, a ceremony honoring American military veterans. The Gathering begins with oral histories, then select children and elders from Native communities bring in a fall harvest of corn, squash and apples. The Spirit of The Gathering is sure to catch you as you watch elders helping our youth of all colors (red, yellow, black and white) connect to the land. “Native American Indians and non-Indians are invited from the four directions to participate and celebrate in

this spirit of Thanksgiving and humanity,” says Rene White-Feather, one of the primary organizers of the Gathering. Grounds open at 9 am Friday (education day), Saturday and Sunday. The Virginia Gourd Festival is held the first weekend of November to coincide with National Native American month. It was founded to connect the diversity of hard shelled gourds to the historical and cultural aspects of agriculture. Eventually, educational displays and a gourd marketplace led to classes at the festival along with vendors. Local gourd patches of VLGS members sprouted to keep the learning growing throughout the year. Gourds are members of the Cucurbitaceae family of fruits. Edible members in this family are squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. The hard-shelled gourds are the inedible members of this family. Historically, hard-shelled gourds were used for storing supplies, hauling water, as watering cans, cooking and eating utensils, musical instruments and birdhouses. Over time, their hard, wooden-like outer shell was discovered to be

an excellent medium for art. The indigenous peoples of the Americas began decorating their gourds by hand-carving or using a hot stick to burn designs onto the outer shell. Many fine works of art are still produced using these methods. Today, other gourd artists use electric wood burners, paints, dyes, stains and various embellishment materials to create beautiful works of gourd art including ornaments, sculpture, vases and wall art such as masks. “No longer considered just a craft medium, gourd art is now featured in art galleries and magazines. Gourds, often called nature’s canvas, are a remarkable gift to mankind,” said Janice Kiehl, president of the Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society, This year’s Virginia Gourd Festival has two buildings of vendors and classes. Member Pat Hochmuth, gourd grower, will have a wide variety of gourd shapes and sizes for the gourd enthusiasts and artists. Gourd suppliers, Blue Whale Arts and Giraffes Laff Art & Crafts, offer products to use for unique and simple techniques alike: inks, microsaws, woodburners, natural

trim materials, books, beads, linen and wax threads…. almost anything to make a gourd project special. Not sure what to do with a gourd, or how to use art supplies? The Virginia Gourd Festival has a 3-day line-up of interesting classes where gourd crafters and artists alike can learn new skills to make gourd projects for gifts or personal use. You can take the Gourd Basics class, or learn to make a primitive snowman. In the Trim-aTree class, you can learn to make a reindeer and cow ornament.

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The festival is a popular place for early Christmas shoppers, too. And there is a live auction Saturday at noon—preview the auction items at www.vlgs.org. Admission to the festival is $5 (4 years old and under free). Experience a gourd time with family and friends as you celebrate the harvest with Native American harvest dance and regalia, storytelling, and living history exhibitors. Visit www.vlgs.org and www. harvestgathering.org for more information.


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Virginia Wineries Now Leading Tourism Destinations Northern Virginia now recognized as a distinctive world wine region

Touring Virginia’s wine country has become such a popular pastime that many of us have forgotten the time, not so long ago, when the term “Virginia wines” referred to a handful of vineyards near Charlottesville. Now there are more than 230 vineyards and wineries in the Commonwealth. “Virginia is fifth in the nation in wine production, according to a recent issue of the Wine Business Monthly magazine,” said Carl Brandhorst, president of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. “Quality has grown along with the number of wineries. In California they use to say, ‘Do they grow grapes in Virginia?’ Today they say, ‘Did you bring the Viognier?’” As recently as 1950, there were only 15 acres of commercial wine grapes under cultivation in Virginia. That’s not because the Commonwealth was a vintner’s backwater with no viticulture. It’s because the industry had been destroyed by the Constitutional amendment commonly known as Prohibition—a nationwide ban on the sale,

production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. Generations of Virginians—most notably, Thomas Jefferson, who grew wine grapes in Monticello but never produced a bottle of wine—had toiled to match varietals with climate and soils throughout the state. And progress was made. By the late 19th century Virginia wines were rising on the world stage. Then, according to the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, a Virginia Norton wine was named “best red wine of all nations” at the Vienna World’s Fair in 1873. Then came a gold medal for Norton at the Paris World’s Fair of 1889 when the Eiffel tower was constructed. Then . . . came the women’s temperance movement to snuff it all out. The movement tried to outlaw coffee and caffeinated beverages, along with alcohol. Imagine life without your morning java. Coffee was spared, but the nation’s vineyards were left to nature. After Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, only half the breweries in the U.S. reopened—the rest were bankrupt. And it would take another generation for

vines to begin producing the quality wines that led to the early rebirth of the Virginia wine industry in the 1970s, most notably those of Waverly Estate in Middleburg and Barboursville Vineyards. The incredible growth of wineries in Northern Virginia has redefined the area as a world wine region. It means countless opportunities for weekend touring because each tasting room, like the wines it serves, has a unique character all its own. Whether your weekend travel plans call for an elegant patio in the Italian tradition, a rustic former country cottage, or an authentic Virginia barn, you can find what fits your weekend. The wine boom has provided two big benefits to wine lovers and the winecurious. First is the variety of options. Northern Virginia is in a different climate zone than the Piedmont, which differs from the Western Mountain zone. The soils range from granite-based to sandy loam, and the combination of climate and soil lends a distinctive flavor to each grape and the wine produced from it, something the French call terroire. In English: There are wines for every palate. The second benefit is price. Like most locally crafted foods and beverage, you can expect to pay a little more per bottle. But there are Virginia wines in every price range. Sometimes, though, just the chance to tour the countryside, enjoy the view, have a picnic and glass of vino, and— if you’re lucky—lose cell coverage for an hour is one of the best benefits of all.

Around the Vine

A selection of events at local vineyards Doukénie Winery Fall Music Concert

9/12 @ 6–9pm 14727 Mountain Road, Purcellville, Va. Bring chairs, blankets, your family and friends to enjoy beautiful scenery and amazing music. The bandstand is the Gazebo, so you will be relaxing right by our beautiful pond and listening to music under the stars! Glasses and bottles of wine will be sold. No tastings are given that evening. Rain or shine. Admission includes: entrance into the concert, a wine glass to take home and one glass of Le Vin Rouge. General Public $20 per person in advance, discounts for kids; $25 at the gate. Ticket sales via Eventbrite or by calling maria @ 540-6686464 x 202.

North Gate Vineyard Autumn events

Music events, an oyster fest, greyhound rescue evening and much, much more at northgatevineyard.com. 16031 Hillsboro Road, Purcellville, Va., info@northgatevineyard.com, 540-668-6248.

Breaux Vineyards Harvest Celebration

10/17, 11am–6pm. 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, Va. 800-492-9961. Come be a part of the area’s longest held wine events. October is such an exciting time of the year at Breaux Vineyards, and is also Virginia Wine month. Wine tastings available all day, food for sale, live music with Carol Gaylor, craft vendors, and more. No admission fee, $10 tastings. Vineyard tours, weather dependent, are available on the hour between 11am-4pm for $5.

Souvenir glass and wine tastings from  North Mountain Vineyard

      

Mountain View Vineyard Desert Rose Ranch &Winery Quievremont Wine

and...

 Live music all day by Billy Caldwell & The Duskwhales Chef demonstrations

 Wicked Oak Farms & Vineyard  Food & artisan vendors  Historic House Tours Winchester Cider Works Hunt’s Vineyard

Winding Road Cellars Tickets available now at www.bellegrove.org Wine Tasting Ticket ~ $20 in Advance, $25 at Gate Admission without wine tasting ~ $10

Belle Grove Plantation 336 Belle Grove Road ● Middletown, VA 22645 540-869-2028 ● info@bellegrove.org


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Discovering History Sipping Virginia Wines

Wine Barrels at Boxwood Winery. Photo courtesy of Loudoun County CVB.

American heritage and wine tours don’t often come up in the same conversation. Then again, the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley, maybe more than any landscapes in the country, contain the storyline of the American experience and rise of wine in our culture. East of the Blue Ridge and within the mountains, nothing illustrates this

like the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. The corridor stretches from Gettysburg to Charlottesville, roughly following U.S. 15 most of the way. Here you’ll find sites dedicated to the founding of the nation, the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Emancipation and the 20th century’s struggle for equality and equal protection, and the

Grapes on the vine at Boxwood Winery. Photo courtesy of Loudoun County CVB.

story of land conservation in America. You’ll also find the heart of Northern Virginia’s wine industry in Loudoun County south to Jefferson’s own Monticello. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground partnership makes it easy to explore. Their website has itineraries based on interests and activities. You can plan a weekend of visiting museums

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and sites focused on, say, the American Revolution or the African American experience, and overlay that with stops at wineries. You can have breakfast in a classic diner, have a morning nature walk through historic gardens or a scenic natural area, then lunch sipping vino and nibbling cheese. Learn more about Journey Through Hallowed Ground and the travel experience it offers at www. hallowedground.org. West of the Ridge is the Valley. It’s the history of Westward Expansion, the movement of Virginia’s founders from the Tidewater plantations to what would be America’s breadbasket through mid-20th century. From Clarke County south, still living are farm kids of the 1940s who remember pre-dawn work in dairy barns to get milk to Washington, D.C. on the morning trains. Many of their children and grandchildren operate the farm stands and agricultural tourism destinations we visit on weekend sojourns in the countryside. The Valley is also home to

the Commonwealth’s next emerging wine region, with its own distinctive flavors and varietals. Learn more about Valley wineries at http:// shenandoahvalleywinetrail. com. The wine and culture connection goes a lot deeper than cobbling together a weekend weaving together wine stops and heritage sites. The wine industry is providing the venues for the best of roots music, American craft, and locally distinctive cuisine that fuse Southern heritage with locally sourced ingredients and Europeanstyle agricultural practices. Think wine and cheese! Virginia is producing some amazing cheeses (another @ livemore article forthcoming). Those craft cheesemakers— yeah, that’s what you call them—have broadened their market by association with the growth of Virginia wines. October is Virginia wine month. The Commonwealth has more than 230 wineries. You can’t visit them all in October, but you can get a taste of the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley with a jaunt or two.


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Time To Rediscover The Caverns Time for you to pass on a family tradition you enjoyed

You have been there before but now you have children and family who you want to hear say, “Wow, look at that,” at one of the most exciting destinations on the Eastern Seaboard—and it’s pretty much right around the corner. It’s Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia, of course. Just drive down I-66 to Front Royal, turn left and you are almost there. But first, like any experienced traveler, go to the website to see the growing list of attractions at the Caverns and in the surrounding countryside . . . and the array of accommodations for your overnight stay. Besides the Caverns (where the word “awesome” was first coined) there is the Car and Carriage Museum, The Garden Maze, Toy Town Junction and a Rope Adventure. Every day of the week all year round the caverns open at 9am, and in September/October close at 6. Tours depart every 20 minutes. The closest hotel to the caverns is the graceful newly refurbished

Mimslyn Inn. Owned by a German family that owns the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown and started in the hospitality industry in Georgetown 40 years ago (anyone remember the Piccadilly?), the Inn has a food-first philosophy that works wonderfully. The inn’s restaurants, with executive chef Chris Harris at the stove, turn out memorable meals at modest prices that attract many locals as well as inn guests. The philosophy is counter to that of many hostelries that concentrate on decor and room comfort. Not that the Mimslyn’s rooms are not comfortable, it’s that the food is special. The property, a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, has many packages available with some of them linked to special events such as an annual Oyster Festival in the fall. So check your calendar and your checkbook, noting that by saving money on your commute, you can book that family weekend in Luray. Enjoy!

Double Column at Luray Caverns. Photo courtesy of Luray Caverns.

Join us for a FUN event with a message! Thursday, September 24, 11am-2pm @Reston Town Center

featuring... * experts who can show you how riding the Silver Line, Carpooling or even Biking or Walking to work can give you a life with more time to live *exhibits from your favorite Reston Town Center merchants *free health screenings *food and entertainment *a $250 Reston Town Center give-a-way

Advertising in @livemore Advertising in @livemore is an effective way to reach 20,000 readers who are looking for ways to enjoy life more. They are curious, open to new ideas, ready for something new. @livemore is published six times a year, and distributed in highvisibility sites in the Dulles area, including Reston, Leesburg, Chantilly and Centreville and public libraries. Distribution sites include shops, office buildings, and Live More newspaper boxes at Metro stations. Advertising is easy. An @livemore ad sales exec will walk you through the process. Don’t have in-house design capabilities? We can design an eye-catching ad for a modest fee. We make payment simple, too. We can email you an invoice for secure online payment or payment by check. For information contact sales@livemore.us.


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La Esquina de Ericka | Ericka’s Corner

Here to help DATA staff offers help to commuters in English and Spanish BY ERICKA AMADOR

El tráfico no es problema en El Paso, Texas, donde me crié, o incluso en Las Vegas, donde yo vivía y enseñaba la ciencia para estudiantes de escuela intermedia por un año. De hecho, era lo último en que pensaba al hacer planes para ir a trabajar, reunirme con amigos o ir a cenar. Di por sentado que yo podría saltar en el coche y estar a mi destino en un plazo razonable de tiempo, sin tener que sacar cualquier pelo o perder la calma en el camino. No es difícil imaginar mi sorpresa entonces, cuando me mudé aquí hace dos años para encontrar que

tenía DC tráfico de área metropolitana que lidiar. Todavía no he acostumbrado a los estacionamientos instantáneos en la carretera o a horas largas viajando al trabajo. Es por eso que estoy tan entusiasmada con mi nuevo cargo como Coordinadora de Rideshare por DATA. Como Coordinadora, visito los empleadores, los centros de empleo, organizaciones de fe y de base comunitaria y residencias multifamiliares para difundir información sobre las distintas maneras de viajar por la región. También ayudo a las personas a

inscribirse para nuestro programa de Rideshare en el que formamos coche compartido y camionetas con la esperanza de reducir la congestión en las carreteras. Ya sea que esté motivado por la reducción de gases de efecto invernadero o por la cantidad de estrés causado por el viaje a su trabajo, en mejorar su viaje, tiene un impacto directo y positivo en el entorno natural. No importa su razón para unirse a un carpool o vanpool, estoy emocionada de reducir nuestra huella de carbono y aliviar la congestión un viaje a la vez!

......................................... Traffic isn’t an issue in El Paso, Texas where I grew up or even in Las Vegas where I lived and taught science to middle schoolers for a year. In fact, it’s just about the last thing I thought about when making plans to get to work, meet friends or go out to dinner. I took it for granted that I could just hop in the car and be at my destination in a reasonable amount of time, without pulling out any hair or losing my cool to road rage. It isn’t difficult to imagine my shock then, when I moved here two years ago to find I had DC metro area traffic to contend with. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t yet become accustomed to instant parking lots on the highway or hour long commutes. That’s why I am so excited about my new post as the Onsite Rideshare Coordinator (ORC) for DATA. As the ORC, I visit employers,

employment centers, faith and community-based organizations and multifamily residences to spread information about the various ways to get around. I also help people sign up for our rideshare program in which we form carpools and vanpools with the hope of reducing congestion on the roadways. Whether you’re motivated by reducing greenhouse gases or the the amount of stress caused by your drive to work, by improving your commute, you have a direct and positive impact on your environment. No matter your reason for joining a carpool or vanpool, I’m excited to reduce our carbon footprint and relieve congestion one commuter at a time! Do you or your business need help making commuting choices? Call DATA’s bilingual Onsite Rideshare Coordinator Ericka Amador at 703.817.1307, ext. 6.


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

DATA Member Voices Car sharing and vanpooling: transportation options for commuters Enterprise Holdings, through the family brands of Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, is the world’s largest provider of passenger vehicles and an industry leader in the future of sustainable urban mobility. Our mission is to be the best transportation service provider in the world, to exceed our customers’ expectations for service, quality and value, to provide our employees with a great place to work and to serve our communities as a committed corporate citizen. Enterprise Holdings represents the world’s largest fleet of passenger vehicles, with 1.5 million vehicles on the road and 8,600 locations around the globe.

Riding to work, together

than 35 U.S. states, Canada and the U.K., on nearly 100 university campuses, 40 dedicated government and business programs and hundreds of business accounts across the country. Enterprise CarShare has a retail presence in several markets including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Toronto and Washington, D.C. As a member of the CarSharing Association, Enterprise CarShare offers fuel-efficient vehicles, delivering car-sharing technology’s speed and economy to organizations looking to enhance their fleet management operations along with their fiscal and social sustainability initiatives.

Virtual Car

Enterprise has been delivering transportation alternatives right where people live and work since 1957. Forty years later, Enterprise Rent-A-Car trademarked the term Virtual Car®, after recognizing the strength and energy of local service, regardless if it is for an hour, a day, a week or longer. This intuitive neighborhood business model now features a wide variety of programs, including car rental, car leasing, vanpooling, car sharing and online ridematching, in towns and cities of all sizes. This means Enterprise is able to provide affordable and accessible transportation options to consumers who rely on mass transit during the week in large urban markets, and to those who simply cannot afford to purchase or maintain a vehicle of their own. Such convenience is made possible by Enterprise Holdings’ unique grassroots Sharing Comes Naturally network, which includes more 6,000 Enterprise CarShare is a natural extension fully staffed neighborhood and airport of the local car rental service that offices—all located within 15 miles of 90 Enterprise Rent-A-Car pioneered more percent of the U.S. population—and more than 55 years ago. Enterprise CarShare than 1 million vehicles in operation from offers a variety of clean, well-maintained coast to coast. To bring vanpooling or car sharing to vehicles at an affordable price, when and where customers need them, whether it is your company, contact Michelle Landrum for an hour, a day, a weekend or longer. at (301) 212-3111 or Patricia.M.Althoff@ Enterprise CarShare is available in more ehi.com. By taking cars off the road, the Enterprise Rideshare vanpooling program reduces traffic congestion, commuter time and driving costs, as well as vehicle emissions and fuel consumption. A typical Enterprise Rideshare vanpool program involves five to 15 coworkers riding together, with each paying a low monthly rate. Enterprise Rideshare works especially well for companies that also have an Enterprise CarShare program in place, thereby providing a solution for first- and last-mile transportation to and from work, and for errands during the day. In fact, many employers have leveraged Enterprise Rideshare’s vanpool programs as an added benefit for employees, providing a competitive differentiator for recruiting and a way to improve their corporate sustainability profile.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

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Reston Limousine Moves The Capital When Christina Diederich, program manager at national destination management company Allied PRA, requires transportation services for corporate clients that have large groups traveling into the Washington D.C. area, she calls Dulles-based Reston Limousine. “What I look for in a shuttle transportation company is the relationship with the supplier, responsiveness, quality of drivers and vehicles and their ability to work with special needs and group requests,” Diederich says. Reston Limousine fits the bill. She cites as an example a recent job where an association client had staff flying into the nation’s capital from around the country. “We had shuttles scheduled from 9am to 9pm from Reagan National Airport to the JW Marriott that were scheduled to depart every 20 minutes. Severe weather was hitting multiple areas of the country affecting inbound flights throughout the day, until the weather finally made it to D.C.—completely shutting down the airport for an hour. Through the entire day, Reston Limousine’s drivers were upbeat and accommodating. It gives me peace of mind knowing even though things are constantly changing inside with flights my drivers outside

will be ready to go when I give the call,” Diederich says. That level of customer service is just one of the company’s main differentiators that have helped it grow over the last 25 years from five vehicles to the 12th largest in the nation with a projected $23 million in revenue this year. President and CEO Kristina Bouweiri has been the primary driver behind the growth of the family-owned company, which counts more than 200 vehicles in its fleet including sedans, SUVs, limousines, vans, Van Terras and buses. That diversity of the privately owned fleet contributes to the company’s ability to serve a variety of markets, from charter to corporate to contracts. Charter clients include school groups, wedding event planners, and churches – basically the general public, according to Director of Business Relations Barry Gross. “Those folks are really looking for a couple of things. First, they usually find you through the Internet or social media and they use your site to gauge where you look like you know what you’re doing,” Gross says. “That said, the next thing they look for is the price. They are largely about the price.” However, other factors come into play when

negotiating services with charter clients, such as the company’s superior safety ratings from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense. The latter requires a rigorous audit of all aspects of an operator’s safety performance, qualifying the company to transport military personnel and federal, state, city and county agencies. For clients with huge event weddings where cost is not a prime factor, what counts are the availability of equipment, the ability to deal with multiple changes and the ability to get the job done, Gross says. Corporate customers also seek assurance of quality service. “They want to deal with a professional company and not worry about service – they don’t want to hear about problems on their complex jobs,” Gross says. For example, one large DCbased hotel chain contracts with Reston Limousine about five times a year for big events such as their day of service. “That job called for 38 buses going to different places so their employees could go out and do community service such as building homes for Habitat for Humanity, beach cleanups, and working at homeless shelters.” That corporation “calls us

because they want to deal with quality, professional people—money’s not an object for them. Obviously they want to get a decent deal; they want to feel like they’ve gotten value for their money. But more important is they have a good service for their people and that it runs well,” Gross says. “They also want one point of contact that can get everything done. Very few companies own 38 motor coaches, so they know that we’re going to be assembling and vetting our affiliate transportation operators, they know we’re going to have experienced staff on the ground, and they know we’re going to do a professional job of handling everything.” For contracts, “They want a company with a solid reputation that’s done

it before –experience is very valuable. For example, someone who looks at us for a contract, they can look at our shuttle services for George Mason University and Howard University. They can look at any one of a dozen contracts and know we know how to run a revolving type service, essentially a closed loop. “But, price is important to them too. We’re rarely the lowest price but thankfully most contracts are scored not just on price, but on experience, company size and reputation. We score points with the fact that we’re a woman-owned business and that we’re on a GSA schedule because it’s like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

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Bridges, Tunnels and Congestion…oh my! BY DOUG PICKFORD

Every once in awhile, when you’re sitting in traffic at the (you fill in the blank) bridge bottleneck (or riding on METRO for that matter) and the tunes die, or NPR is doing its fundraising week, you might be thinking, how many @#$% people are doing this each day? Well, we’ve got your answer: and it’s A LOT!! Commuting to DC from Virginia? Maryland to Virginia/Virginia to Maryland? It doesn’t really matter where you live or where you are going, most likely you are crossing the greatest natural asset we have in our region—the Potomac River—and the biggest bottleneck we deal with daily. Be it rail or road, there are only 11 crossings, and all seem to be bottlenecks these days. A recent Virginia Department Of Transportation (VDOT) study shines a lot of light on how many commuters are crossing the Potomac and where the biggest bottlenecks occur. About 230,000 vehicles cross the American Legion Bridge on I-495 daily. Placed bumper to bumper, that is enough vehicles to wrap three lanes of the entire 64-mile Beltway—more than twice! That doesn’t even include the more than 200,000 vehicles that cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge each day. Between now and 2040, VDOT projects that the American Legion Bridge will experience the greatest growth in use of all the river crossings.

METRO plays a key role for Virginia commuters, as well, serving about 38 percent of all trips into the District each morning (28 percent to Virginia from D.C. in the evening). The vast majority of these trips go through the Rosslyn Tunnel, accommodating over 160,000 riders each day—which is the current capacity of the tunnel. Switching train lengths to 8 cars could bring about 15 percent more capacity, but that’s it. There is no more wiggle room for METRO in the Rosslyn Tunnel. In conclusion, the VDOT study notes the following: “Significant investment is required in the future to further address core capacity issues on WMATA; staff recommend that extending HOV lanes across American Legion Bridge to I-270 spur be the top priority for addressing western Potomac River crossings;” and that pursuing this initiative “does not eliminate the benefits of a future ‘outer’ crossing to address the needs for interconnectivity /crossing Potomac River.” Unfortunately none of these recommendations are either in short term plans or funded. What do you think the region should do to alleviate the bottlenecks? Email editor@ livemore.us with your suggestions.

TOTAL VOLUMES ON CROSSINGS

Source: VDOT, Potomac River Crossing Conditions Study

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

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World Games A Model For Event Transportation BY HUGH BARTON

The athletes arrived from more than 80 countries by air, rail and automobile to participate in the World Police and Fire Games recently held throughout the Washington area. Headquartered in Reston they and their families traveled to sites far and wide by Metrorail and bus, limos and minibuses, DASH bus, the King Street Trolley, Potomac Riverboat watertaxi and even by Dragon Boat!

Transportation is the key in successful major events including conferences and conventions, sporting events with multiple venues, even family reunions and weddings. An example was Reston Limo. Marketing Manager Therese Howe said the company provided some of its 200 vehicles for teams from a number of countries including Russia and Sweden. Athletes and families also toured DC, Mount Vernon and Tysons

for shopping and local wineries and craft breweries, Howe added. The area is fortunate to be rich in all these modes. The Fairfax County Convention and Visitors Bureau found that out when almost six years ago they put together the successful bid for the 2015 World Police and Fire Games. According to Barry Biggar, CEO of the bureau, they were able to put together a transportation web that reached throughout the County and Northern Virginia, into downtown DC and onto the Potomac River. Probably the most colorful of venues was on the river smack in front of the exciting National Harbor complex with its five existing hotels, the Capital Wheel, many restaurants and retail stores and more and more residents moving in. With the rising MGM Hotel and Casino as a

backdrop men and women athletes loaded into the long sinuous dragon boats to race with the thumping drums measuring their strokes. According to Bruce Gudenberg, VP Marketing for National Harbor, it was a spectacular day with perfect weather for dragon boat racing. Cheering crowds lined the waterfront, many of whom had come over from Alexandria on the Potomac Riverboat water taxis and others who were staying in the hotels. Gudenberg said, “Some of the participants looked as

if they had done this before and actively trained” while others were clearly there for a great day of fun and hard paddling. The Games have come and gone . . . on to Montreal in 2017. The athletes and their families and friends have gone back to work defending lives and safety in their respective communities in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, China and all their home countries. They worked hard, won medals, and went away with happy memories of the Washington area.

SAVE THE DATE! 14th Annual Golf Tournament A Celebration of the American Spirit! Friday, September 11, 2015 Westfields Golf Club ▪ Clifton, Virginia For information, e-mail kwoodward@datatrans.org


ALEXANDRIA BUS LINE MAKES SPLASH The familiar blue and gold DASH buses in Alexandria jumped into action in July and August when a neighborhood pool was closed for maintenance. Thousands of kids and families rode free on the AT10 from their homes in Arlandria, Potomac Yard, Del Ray, Rosemont and Warwick Village to the city pool in Old Town in a program heralded by the Mayor and City Council as SPLASH WITH DASH, a co-op with DASH, The Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics, the city’s Dept of Parks and Cultural Activities and USA Swimming. When DASH General Manager Sandy Modell heard that the Warwick pool would be closed for the summer she went into action. Her staff reorganized the AT10 route so it would go direct to the Old Town pool on Cameron. She put out the call to area sponsors to help cover the $20,000 cost of the program. They responded within days with more than $22,000. And the kids and families started boarding with whoops and hollers for their free ride to the pool.

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@livemore September/October 2015  
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