- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 20, 2007



Transit-system names narrowed to three

Transportation leaders searching for a catchy name for the city’s proposed light-rail system will choose from three finalists: Bay Runner, First Rail and Tide.

“We want a name the public really likes and can identify with,” said Alan C. Wulkan, a Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) consultant. “We want it to become as common a household name as other products.”

The 7.4-mile line would run through downtown and carry an estimated 4.5 million passengers a year.

Consultant R&R; Partners Inc. winnowed a list of about 80 suggested names to three after brainstorming with city, business and community leaders. Among the rejected names were Sail, Bay Breeze and HAMPster.

Mr. Wulkan said the final three resonate most in the community and meet HRT’s goals, which include local significance and appropriateness.

They also want a name that works well with a slogan. Suggestions include: “Ride the Tide,” “Take the Bay Runner” and “Your First choice.”

Consultants recommended avoiding acronyms, which have been popular but might become dated.

The Federal Transit Administration rated the project eligible for money and approved it for final design.

Final federal approval could be announced this summer, and the light-rail system could open in early 2010.

Of the $232 million construc-tion budget, $165 million would come from federal money, $29 million would come from the state and $38 million would come from the city.


14 area high schools make Top 100 list

Six schools in Maryland and 10 schools in Virginia made Newsweek’s list of the top 100 high schools in the country.

The schools are ranked by the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Five of the Maryland selections are in Montgomery County: Richard Montgomery in Rockville at No. 25, Bethesda-Chevy Chase at 44, Thomas S. Wootton in Rockville at 61, Walt Whitman in Bethesda at No. 70, Walter Johnson in Bethesda at 80 and Winston Churchill in Potomac at 97. The other Maryland school is Pikesville in Baltimore County.

Of the 10 Virginia schools, eight are in Northern Virginia, including three of the four in Arlington, topped by H-B Woodlawn in Arlington at No. 5, Washington-Lee at 44 and Yorktown at 51. The others are in Fairfax County — George Mason at 23, W.T. Woodson at 34, Langley at 50, Robinson at 84, and Chantilly at 94. The other Virginia schools are Warwick in Newport News at 62 and Clarke County in Berryville at 87.

The District’s lone representative on the list is Benjamin Banneker at No. 46.

Newsweek’s top-ranked high school in the nation is Jefferson County in Irondale, Ala.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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