Housing Complex

Tourmobile, Au Revoir

It's been real. (Darrow Montgomery)

Following the news that the clunky blue trams had been operating under illegally noncompetitive contracts for the past few years,  Politico runs this nugget from ace environment reporter Darren Samuelsohn's recent interview with National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis in today's Morning Energy:

Jarvis also says the decades-long connection between his agency and the Tourmobile — those familiar blue trams that look like they came straight from Universal Studios Hollywood in 1978 — is about to come to an end. "I think that period of history is just about over," Jarvis told Samuelsohn. "A lot of other alternatives are available. Clearly the public needs transportation. But Tourmobile was pretty much the only game in town for a long time and now there's a lot of different kinds of other circulations. … There's got to be a lot of other options."

You are correct, sir.

  • RT

    Lydia- if this in fact happens (or really, even if it doesn't), you should get sort of investigative journalism award. How this went unnoticed for so long is somewhat incredible. Kudos to you for uncovering what was likely some sort of low level corruption, or at best extreme laziness on the part of NPS. We need to hold their feet to the flames from now on if we want things to change.

  • tom veil

    I like Director Jarvis's reference to "other circulations." Gee, I wonder what sort of Circulator he could be referring to?

  • http://thebrightwoodian.blogspot.com/ The Brightwoodian

    Well done.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Agreed with RT. Lydia uncovered this, Lydia needs to credited. Great job! Here's hoping that sanity, not monetary connections, will prevail here!

  • Native American JD

    Pultizer nominations can be made by the public folks.

  • Drez

    Nice. Well done.

  • bryandc

    Agreed! LdP you gotta submit an application. You're sure to qualify under one of these two areas!

    "For a distinguished example of investigative reporting"

    "For a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise"

    Here's the entry form link >> http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    Most thoroughbred reporter in the city

  • DCCommish


    You keep on their ass on this one. Let us know about when the contract ends, whent the RFP is snet out and who wins the new contract, the terms, the length etc. You did a great job on this story! Horray! I do give you credit when it's good and this was great! Bye Bye tourmobile your death has come at the hands of our own Lydia!

  • Lydia DePillis

    Ha, thanks guys, just doing my job...credit should also go to the National Coalition to Save Our Mall and the lawyers for Gibson Dunn for doing enough research over the years to back me up.

  • michaeliceman

    Yippee!! The demise of a minority and locally owned business!!! Hooray!!!

    Clearly, that was a tongue in cheek statement. Although I agree that the time for an exclusive Tourmobile contract has passed, it is sad to see a DC institution likely on the chopping block. Mr. Mack (RIP) did a lot for this community, various youth causes, and veterans during his life. I hope that the companies that get the contract(s) will also give back in a positive way.

    Oh...good reporting Lydia.

  • andrew

    If the Mack family wants to competitively bid on a new transit service around the National Mall, I think that they should by all means be welcome to do so.

    They've got decades of experience in the area, and I think that they could come up with a good proposal for a service that better fits the needs of the park and the city.

    However, as *everybody else* has mentioned, the current Tourmobile service needs to go.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/ Michael

    OK, now that Tourmobile is on the way out... what can we do about the food contract on the mall? Those "refreshment" kiosks are all totally pathetic. (Calling Shake Shack!)

  • CJ

    Maybe with the end of their contract someone could take the prime real estate their repair shop operates on Hains Point and turn it into something the public could enjoy?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/ Michael

    And as long as we're re-thinking how best to engineer transportation on the Mall... time for proposing a Jefferson Memorial stop on Metro's Yellow Line?

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