WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Martin Di Caro

Transportation Reporter

Di Caro has been WAMU's transportation reporter since February 2012. He covers local and regional issues challenging the residents of the heavily-congested, transit-friendly Washington metropolitan area. Martin often focuses on how transportation, land use, and public policy converge to shape the face of the region and the lives of its traffic-weary residents. Before coming to Washington, Di Caro worked at some of the most popular radio stations in the country's largest media markets. As a general assignment reporter at New Jersey 101.5 FM he won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best New Series after reporting on the severe illnesses suffered by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. Di Caro also works for the Associated Press Radio Network in D.C. and New York.


Articles Written by Martin Di Caro

WAMU 88.5
A Metrorail operator fired for running a red signal on the Red Line was rushing to get to his break at a location with plenty of good restaurant options, the transit authority’s chief safety officer said on Thursday in the most detailed description to date of the incident on the evening of July 5. The operator, whose name has not been released, nearly ran over two track wor...
WAMU 88.5
As Metrorail operators overrun red signals at an increasing clip, the transit authority is considering ways to keep the drivers focused on their jobs — more than a year after outside experts came up with 18 recommendations designed to reduce distractions. But as the critical safety violations pile up, Metro management is under pressure to explain why it has not fully adopte...
WAMU 88.5
Five years after the District approved funding for a pedestrian safety study, transportation officials say they are moving closer to making major changes to slow down traffic cutting through a historic neighborhood – one of the first projects that may serve as a model for the city as it pursues the goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities over the next decade, known as Vision Zero...
WAMU 88.5
Martin Di Caro seeks answers about why hot Metro cars have been such a problem lately — and he gets some from Andy Off, Metro’s assistant general manager for rail, who explains why air conditioning is hit or miss. Plus we take a journey out onto the tracks for a sweaty, dirty, firsthand look at the work being d...
WAMU 88.5
Three passengers aboard a disabled Metro train were evacuated July 5 before the third rail was de-energized — a safety violation that has caused the transit authority to discipline five more employees connected with a red-signal violation. General Manager Paul Wiedefeld wrote in a memo to staff Monday that two controllers, one assistant superintendent, one superintendent an...
WAMU 88.5
As a late July heatwave leaves Washington in a sweat-stained daze, Metro is once again struggling to keep the air conditioning working in its railcars — old and new. The recurring HVAC problem — known as #hotcars in riders’ social-media vernacular — is not only frustrating commute...
WAMU 88.5
As smartphone technology offers more and better ways to get around the traffic-clogged, transit-rich Washington region, and as transportation agencies seek cheaper solutions to the unsustainable costs of traditional paratransit service, one group of involved citizens is demanding that they not be left behind in the new age of urban mobility. ...
WAMU 88.5
Seven weeks into the largest reconstruction program of the transit authority’s 40-year history, some commuters' fears brought on by Metro's SafeTrack plan have not been realized. For starters, the scheduled rail service reductions have been disruptive and inconvenient but have largely avoided chaos. Traffic has gotten worse in some places as rail riders seek alternatives in ...
WAMU 88.5
For 16 days Metro contractors labored on the elevated tracks on the eastern side of D.C., and on July 3, the transit authority issued a progress report claiming “all critical tasks completed.” But in the two weeks since the project at Stadium-Armory ended, commuters have been repeatedl...
WAMU 88.5
Traffic was somewhat worse during each of Metro’s first four “maintenance surges” of the SafeTrack rebuilding program and commuters started their highway trips earlier than normal, according to an analysis by the regional transportation planners. The impact was greatest during the first surge that disrupted rail service on the Orange and Silver Lines in Northern Virgini...
WAMU 88.5
In an age of on-demand personal transport, regulations governing the legacy taxi industry must be scrapped if taxicabs are to survive, a group of free market economists contend in a paper to be published on Tuesday. The economists at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center used Washington...
WAMU 88.5
Martin Di Caro and guest co-host Lauren Gardner of Politico take a bus bridge with Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer and encounter a truly awful, potentially fixable bottleneck along U.S. 1. Come for the insightful conversation about infrastructure spending, potential changes to the gas ...
WAMU 88.5
Federal safety officials monitoring Metro’s SafeTrack rail reconstruction program issued an inspection summary on Thursday, noting 109 “defects” were identified during the first two maintenance surges that started in early June. During the continuous single-track...
WAMU 88.5
Metro’s financial figures are going in the wrong direction. The transit authority will face an operating deficit of $1.1 billion in 2020 if expenses continue to outstrip revenues at the current pace, a yawning gap that will fall on Metro’s city and county jurisdictions. As soon as next year D.C., Virginia, and Maryland could each be asked to cough up an additional $75 to $...
WAMU 88.5
WMATA shuttles bridging the gap in rail service in Northern Virginia through July 18 will not receive access to express bus lanes in Alexandria so they can bypass Route 1 gridlock, city officials said.  The shuttles, which are bridging commuters across the shutdown segment of the Blue and Yellow Lines between National Airport and Pentagon City during Metro’s fourth trac...
WAMU 88.5
A Yellow Line train may have overrun a red signal after pulling into the Reagan National Airport station during Wednesday morning’s rush hour, the transit authority said. It would be the second such safety violation in eight days on Metrorail and the eighth of the year, following a signal overrun on the Red Line on July 5 that ...
WAMU 88.5
A popular paratransit program will be dramatically scaled back because of a funding shortfall, angering people with disabilities who have come to rely on it over the past year as a dependable alternative to the cumbersome and expensive MetroAccess service. As of July 22, the TransportDC program will stop providing the great majority of its trips and instead only take wheelchai...
WAMU 88.5
We dropped a jam-packed Episode 7 and then a few hours later headed to Kramerbooks at DuPont Circle to record more with a live audience. The highlights: Martin Di Caro explains what we know about a ...
WAMU 88.5
Greater Greater Washington founder (and fellow transportation nerd) David Alpert tells us about his website's MetroGreater contest. We answer questions from Metropocalypse listeners about scratchy Metro train speakers and the air conditioning on the system's new 7000-series cars. And we discuss the ...
WAMU 88.5
Got a quick fix traffic solution for I-270 in Maryland? Quick means it could be implemented in two to three years and for less than $100 million, a tiny sum compared to the multi-billion dollar price tags of most major regional transportation projects. Those are the only conditions Maryland transportation officials are placing on proposals they are seeking from the private sec...