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
WMATA’s big maintenance plan is ready, and the transit authority’s new general manager is preparing to explain it to board members — and eventually to an anxious Washington region. “The region will need to come together to provide traffic mitigation and alternative travel options to help reduce the impact on customers and businesses. The business community has already ...
WAMU 88.5
Which federal agency should watch over Metro? There may have been a time when such a question would have been considered “inside baseball,” a bureaucratic tussle among like-sounding agencies of little interest to ordinary commuters. But not today — not when WMATA is trying to climb out of a deep hole that federal safety experts partly blame on the lack of strong federa...
WAMU 88.5
The fatal L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident was caused by a “prolonged short circuit that consumed power system components” because of Metro’s “ineffective inspection and maintenance practices,” federal safety officials said Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Board released 43 findings detailing a litany of failures that led to the death of one passenger an...
WAMU 88.5
Metro still has not addressed safety issues exposed in the first federal investigation of WMATA in 1982, according to congressional sources who were briefed Monday by federal officials. The National Transportation Safety Board is scheduled to release a report Tuesday on the probable causes of the fatal L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident on Jan. 12, 2015. The congressional sour...
WAMU 88.5
District taxi regulators are shutting down six cab companies on charges they were operating salvaged cars with rolled-back odometers, according to complaints filed by the D.C. Taxicab Commission. Regulators obtained CarFax reports that showed some odometers were falsified by hundreds of thousands of miles. Four of the six companies — ...
WAMU 88.5
Riders can expect delays on the Red Line through the end of the weekend after Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld announced a “maintenance surge” to root out the causes of arcing insulators that have led to a spate of smoke and fire incidents on the tracks in Northwest D.C. and Montgomery County. The work will result in the single-tracking of trains between Van Ness and...
WAMU 88.5
Updated 5:40 p.m. New faces are coming to Metro’s board of directors — and they will be focused on safety. Three of the four members of the federal contingent on the transit authority’s 16-member governing body are being removed by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the latest move in a monthslong federal intervention into the day-to-day business...
WAMU 88.5
A majority of the federal appointees to Metro’s governing body, its 16-member board of directors, would have to possess expertise in finances, public transit, or management, under legislation drafted by Congressman John Delaney (D-Md. 6th District). “We are saying that at least three of these four people have to have a threshold level of expertise that will make them goo...
WAMU 88.5
A voluntary Metro rider advocacy group is collapsing just six months after being founded. The WMATA Riders’ Union was undone by a combination of infighting, inexperience, and ineffectiveness, disappointing commuters’ who greeted with optimism its arrival last fall. More F...
WAMU 88.5
Update, 6 p.m. Monday: Metro released preliminary findings of its investigation into the smoke incident at Friendship Heights. The suspected cause is no longer an arcing insulator. "While Metro has not yet identified the root cause of the incident, investigators have eliminated power cables as a contributing factor," a Metro statement said. "As a preliminary...
WAMU 88.5
District officials like to boast about the number of construction cranes piercing the skyline, a sign of the city’s growth. But on the ground, while old buildings are knocked down and new ones built, pedestrians and bicyclists face a temporary yet pervasive side effect: closed sidewalks and bike lanes. Contractors are supposed to provide safe passage around their work zones...
WAMU 88.5
This story was updated at 1:40 p.m. Pedestrians and bicyclists in Washington may be getting some relief. A proposal to change the District’s long-standing law barring crash victims on foot or bike from receiving compensation if they are found to be even minimally at fault — known as contributory negligence — passed the D.C. Council's judiciar...
WAMU 88.5
Federal safety inspectors are directing Metro to take immediate action to address a slew of "critical concerns regarding fire/life safety” and “roadway worker protection procedures” across the 117-mile rail system, said a top official at the Federal Transit Administration in ...
WAMU 88.5
Hold onto your SmarTrip card. You are going to need it for a while, possibly for years to come. Metro is terminating a $184 million contract with the global tech firm Accenture for a next-generation fare payment system after a pilot program failed to convince the transit authority to make the switch. The NEPP (new electronic payments program) would have let riders ...
WAMU 88.5
Metro is changing the names of two of its busiest stations. Smithsonian will receive the secondary name of National Mall, and Foggy Bottom-GWU will be augmented with Kennedy Center. The changes will go into effect immediately on station pylons and online graphics, but Metro will not change its system maps to reflect the new names until Phase II of the Silver Line opens to Dull...
WAMU 88.5
The soft-spoken, career executive Paul Wiedefeld may be Metro’s new boss, but a long-time D.C. politician who rarely rode the trains is emerging as the transit system’s most vocal advocate. Wiedefeld and D.C. Council member Jack Evans, a Ward 2 Democrat who became the chairman of Metro’s board of directors this year, ...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. region’s transit system must regain the trust of its customers and jurisdictions by improving safety, reliability, and its troubled financial situation, while laying the groundwork for substantial internal reforms, said consultants who drafted a roadmap for Metro’s long-term recovery. The ...
WAMU 88.5
A road map to restoring public confidence in Metro and salvaging its troubled finances appears in an exhaustive 89-page report from consultants that the transit authority released Tuesday. The consulting firm McKinsey & Company performed a deep dive into nearly every area of Metro’s organiz...
WAMU 88.5
Officials are proposing a bus rapid transit — or BRT — system along Rt. 7, connecting Tysons Corner and Alexandria, opting for buses in the rapidly growing corridor instead of a more expensive light rail line. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), a 19-member panel of state and local elected officials, is accepting public feedback on the BRT plan before...
WAMU 88.5
The maintenance and safety problems uncovered by an internal audit of the D.C. Circulator’s aging bus fleet are part of a larger problem that dates to the bus system’s inception a decade ago, labor leaders say. The city’s decision to hire a private, profit...