A Virginia train carrying high-speed trains and a passenger train is the most dangerous in the country, according to a new study.
The Virginia Department of Transportation released a report Thursday showing that the Virginia-D.C. Rapid Transit (VDOT) train is more dangerous than the National Capital Regional Transit Authority’s (NCRTA) commuter train.
The report, published by the Center for Transportation Policy and Research, found that the VDOT train is about 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash than the commuter train in the area.
The train carrying Amtrak is more than twice as likely to kill a person than the VBX commuter train, the report found.
Voting for or against VDOTS, Virginia’s largest rail transit agency, is open to voters in the state, but not for governor.
A spokesman for Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, said the VOT train was “designed for high-volume passenger rail and is designed to meet the needs of Metro, Amtrak and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
Voter education about the train is required by the state and can be found at www.votereducation.com/voting.
The survey found that most Virginians oppose VDots, but support them if they pass a referendum in 2018.
The VOT ridership has decreased from the previous two surveys, but ridership for commuter rail in Virginia is about twice as high as that for the VF, according the report.
Virginia Transportation Secretary Robert Jones, a Democrat, said VDOST trains are “in fact safer” than commuter rail.
The report also found that a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on the VdOT train and on the commuter rail is more important to people on the train than the HOV lane on commuter trains, and that the commuter trains do not provide adequate service to people in HOV lanes.
The study found that more than a third of passengers in VDOMes and more than one in three of commuter trains are not seated on the floor of the car.
The VdOMes are generally the lower decks of the cars and often are not equipped with seats, which increases the risk of head injuries, the study found.
The commuter trains have seats but not seats in front of them and have limited seating capacity.
“Voters should know that VDot is not safe, but that commuters have access to a safer option, commuter rail,” Jones said in a statement.
“Voter information on the ballot in 2018 is critical for our region and state.”
Voters in Virginia must decide whether to approve the new VDTRains, which include a rapid-transit line to Dulles International Airport, the VODOMes to the Washington Monument and the NCHE to the Capitol.
Virginia’s governor is seeking a second term in 2018, and Northam has said that he wants to end the state’s contract with Amtrak and create a state-run rail service.