Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission granted WMATA approval to bring back 7000 series trains that have been sidelined for the past year following a derailment. Metro officials predict that the approval will allow them to open the long-delayed, 11.5-mile Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport by Thanksgiving. The additional 7000 series railcars are also expected to relieve overcrowding on the Red Line.

Metro CEO Randy Clarke said in a news release that the Silver Line extension will open “in the near future,” but did not provide a specific timeline. The $3 billion extension features six new stations, including the stop at Dulles, and brings Metrorail service to Loudoun County for the first time. The region’s bus systems have said they will need three weeks to prepare for new routes and update schedule data on apps that show bus arrivals in real time.

But the approval comes with some restrictions, including a requirement to inspect railcar wheels every four days (last year’s derailment was due to an issue with wheelsets that had moved apart). Metro also must report data and analysis on the railcars.

Other restrictions, spelled out in Metro’s Return to Service Plan, say that initially up to 80 7000 series cars can be in service, and only those cars with wheels that are pressed on using higher pressure can run on all lines. Cars with wheels pressed on at lower pressure can only run on the Red, Green, and Yellow lines.

Metro is also considering fare changes, according to WJLA. Some of the proposals include reducing bus fare from $2 to $1, a flat rail fare, or dividing the rail transit system into zones, and charging riders based on the number of zones they pass through.

Metro’s board is meeting today. You can watch the proceedings here.

Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Finally, some good animal news: The bald eagles have returned to the National Arboretum and are in the process of fixing up their nest. [DCist]
  • A federal lawsuit claims D.C. unlawfully denied three Black men concealed carry licenses based on incorrect evaluation of their contact with the criminal justice system. One plaintiff, Sanu Millard, says his application was denied because of his involvement in a domestic violence incident, but he claims he was a victim. [Post]
  • Two teenagers were struck with gunfire in two separate shootings, one in Brightwood and one on Alabama Avenue SE. Both teens were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive. Adults were also injured in the two separate incidents. This year, 82 kids have been shot in D.C. [NBC Washington]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Revisions to D.C.’s criminal code advanced in a Council committee vote despite last-minute objections that the changes will be costly and strain a local court system that is already struggling with a lack of judges. Some advocates felt recent changes to the legislation were made too hastily, but were generally pleased with the long-debated bill moving ahead. [WUSA, Informer]
  • CareFirst, an insurer that was shut out of a five-year, $8.8 billion Medicaid contract, is calling for the city to delay that deal after one of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s top deputies took a job at one of the winning bidders, Amerigroup. CareFirst was previously behind a robust lobbying campaign to win that work. [Post]
  • Events DC, the agency that manages the city’s sporting venues, says it will spend $20 million to tear down the decrepit RFK Stadium. It’s hired contractors to abate asbestos on the property through winter, before eventually moving to full structural demolition. [FOX5]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • When the D.C. Council overturned I-77 in 2018, the ballot initiative that would have eliminated the tipped minimum wage, they also enacted a requirement that employers report wage data. That information was supposed to help determine whether tipped workers were being paid enough. But a new report indicates that most bars and restaurants aren’t reporting that data. [DCist]
  • José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen was named the Wall Street Journal’s 2022 Humanitarian Innovator. WCK has been providing meals and groceries for Ukrainians since Russia’s invasion. The nonprofit estimates that as of this month, it has served more than 165 million meals. [WSJ]
  • Derek Brown, formerly of the shuttered Columbia Room, is co-hosting a Mindful Drinking Festival featuring zero proof beer, spirit, and wine. [Washingtonian
  • Prepare to get sloppy, D.C.: $10 Whale Pails return when Sign of the Whale reopens on M Street NW tonight. [Eater]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Aftersun Plays Like a Memory So Personal, It Feels Like Your Own

Aftersun, Charlotte Wells’ feature debut is an emotional high-wire act masterfully conducted with artistic vision […]

Credit: Mitch Ryals

Blues Alley Temporarily Closed Following Fire

Update, 3:43 p.m.: Blues Alley owner Harry Schnipper says that the damage to the storied […]

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After Charging D.C.’s Music Scene, Lightmare Say Farewell

Lightmare, a D.C. soul-punk band, are separating for new projects, but first they’ll play a […]

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Howl-O-Ween Happenings and More Best Bets for Oct. 27–Nov. 2

This week, check out Ari Voxx doing Siouxsie and the Banshees, Howl-O-Ween at the Hirshhorn, […]

  • It’s a literal literary Halloween in Capitol Hill. [Washingtonian]
  • One step closer: The Smithsonian has selected two preferred locations for its new museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum. Both spots are on the National Mall. [Post]
  • Former Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and Mayor Muriel Bowser visited Blues Alley following the fire at the jazz club Tuesday night. [Instagram]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Marine Corps Marathon will return in person on Oct. 30 for the first time in two years. [Washingtonian]
  • Is Taylor Heinecke the quarterback the Washington Commanders need? That’s a question with complicated ramifications. [Post]
  • Wizards rookie Johnny Davis, the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, has yet to enter the team’s game rotation and might be joining the Capital City Go-Go, the Wizards’ G League team. [Bullets Forever]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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