This Weekend’s Metro Track Work and Massive Future Plans Revealed


Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

From WMATA:

The ongoing effort to rebuild and upgrade the Metrorail system to provide safer and more reliable service will continue over the weekend of January 25-27 on the Red, Orange and Green lines.

There is no scheduled work this weekend on the Blue or Yellow lines.

Red Line
• From 10 p.m. Friday through noon on Sunday, Red Line trains will single track between Farragut North and Judiciary Square to allow for track maintenance, tie renewal, structural and ceiling repairs.
• During this time, trains between Shady Grove and Glenmont will operate every 20 minutes.
• Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, and between 9 a.m. and noon on Sunday, additional Red Line trains will operate between Shady Grove and Farragut North, providing service about every 10 minutes between those stations.
• Customers should add about 10 minutes to their travel time while track work is in effect.
• Note: Normal Red Line service will be restored at noon on Sunday.

Orange Line
• From 10 p.m. Friday through closing on Sunday, Orange Line trains will single track through two work zones: between East Falls Church and West Falls Church for Silver Line testing, and between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly to allow for platform reconstruction.
• Orange Line trains will operate every 24 minutes throughout the weekend.
• Customers should add 20 minutes to their travel time.

Green Line
• From 10 p.m. Friday through closing on Sunday, Green Line trains will single track between College Park and Greenbelt to allow for construction of a test track for new 7000-series railcars.
• Green Line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals. However, during daytime hours, every other train will begin and end at College Park, rather than Greenbelt.
• Customers should add about 10 minutes to their travel time.

Check out the “Plan for the next generation of Metro” after the jump.

From WMATA:

Metro’s management today presented the Board of Director’s Governance Committee with a staff draft of the Authority’s strategic plan, called Momentum, which defines the next generation of Metro.

While Metro is currently going through a multi-year capital rebuilding effort to bring the system into a state of good repair, the agency must simultaneously begin planning for expansion to help ensure the long-term competitiveness of the National Capital Region and keep pace with demand from expected population growth.

“Our customers know that many trains, stations and buses are already crowded and we need to begin planning now to prevent that from worsening and prepare for more riders,” said General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. “As the jurisdictions plan various expansion projects, we also need to make sure that we have a seamless, multimodal, transit network and Metro is in a unique position to serve as the transit planner for the national capital region.”

To help identify the top priorities for action to its customers and stakeholders, Metro conducted unprecedented public outreach, that gathering direct feedback from more than 10,000 people and raised awareness among millions. Specific outreach tactics included crowd sourcing tools, online surveys, print advertising, email to Metro customers, deliberative forums, and meetings with community and business organizations. More than 3,000 riders voiced their opinions through an online survey over a 30-day period. The majority noted the importance of Metro in their decision-making to move to the Washington Metro area, and an additional nine out of ten respondents agreed that their commutes played an important role in job selection decisions.

In presenting the staff draft to the Committee, Metro planning director Shyam Kannan said that the agency’s first priority will be maximizing the current transit network, and utilizing every bit of capacity available as a foundation for future growth and expansion to meet the needs of the region of the future. Other priorities identified in the strategic plan include:

Developing a next-generation communications infrastructure to provide a seamless and intuitive customer experience, allowing travelers to navigate the region by transit effortlessly
Acquiring additional railcars, power capacity and yard storage to operate all 8 car trains during peak periods;
Completing the Metrobus priority corridor network to serve more riders and provide faster service;
Improving and expanding selected core stations to accommodate more customers;
Building new pedestrian connections between selected stations to provide new transfer options; and
Adding infrastructure to give the rail network the routing flexibility it lacks today.

The plan includes funding estimates that will be required to meet the near-term and longer-term strategic goals. The investment is outlined as a three-step approach:

$1 billion per year is necessary to continue to maintain safety and reliability of the system after the Metro Forward rebuilding effort returns it to a steady state of good repair;
An additional $500 million a year would allow Metro to maximize the capacity of the system’s core and prepare it for the transit projects that are coming on line in the region. The maximization of the existing system would include adding railcars, yard storage and power capacity to run all eight-car trains during peak periods, as well as physical connections between existing rail lines and stations to provide more capacity and flexibility. In addition, Metro would take a leadership role in coordinating regional transit through unified trip planning tools and seamless payment technologies that would allow travelers to take full advantage of all transit providers in the region; and
$740 million additional per year would allow Metro to prepare for growth. Features of Metro’s long-range plan, identified for 2040 and beyond, are conceptual and still under development, but include the possibility of building new tunnels in the core of the system to separate lines that currently share tunnels, building express tracks along the Silver/Orange lines in Virginia, as well as expansion of lines beyond their current termini.

Metro today challenged the region’s leaders to construct a funding strategy that residents and businesses deserve.

The plan will be reviewed and edited by the Board of Directors, and further public outreach is planned before the document is finalized.

More information:    Strategic Plan At-A-Glance   |   Full Staff Draft Strategic Plan   |   Momentum Webpage

10 Comment

  • David Garber

    Dang that’s an awesome photo.

  • One thing Metro could do to make things more bearable – make it possible for ALL CELL PHONE CARRIERS to work underground.

  • The strategic plan is pretty weak. It seems silly to have another line going through downtown, splitting between the green/yellow and orange/blue along the length of M Street.

    The extension to Georgetown makes a lot of sense, but I’d rather see a crosstown line run across the length of U Street and down Florida Avenue, link up with Dupont, and then cross into Georgetown. Downtown is already serviced by plenty of lines, all of which are a 10 minute walk from one another.

    Instead of dropping billions on creating a new line and digging more tunnels, I’d rather see all efforts focused on finishing the Silver Line ASAP. In addition, WMATA could go a long way to easing crowding problem at Metro Center and Gallery Place by buying more train cars! If all rush hour trains to those station are 8, rather than 6, car lengths, you could probably relieve 75% of the crowd-backups.

    Take a look at the WaPost graphic on the train proposal:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/thinking-longterm-for-metro/2013/01/23/6cb0d6a6-65c6-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_graphic.html

    • A lot of these are really good ideas. The underground tunnels at the close stops downtown make a TON of sense, would really ease congestion in the center of the system. Anything to ease the Rosslyn and green/yellow bottlenecks would also be fantastic. Those are only going to get worse and worse as those are exploding population corridors and already are jam-packed with people. Bigger, more frequent trains is the only solution ,and it seems that will require additional tunnel capacity.

      Of course, in the current fiscal climate, and given the general antipathy towards D.C. in particular and infrastructure projects in general, I can’t imagine anything close to this type of money being poured into the system. It’s a shame because it would create jobs in the short term and everyone agrees that this is critically needed in the long term (it’s not like more drivers is the solution) plus, enviromentally friendly and will continue to expand outwards the appealing areas of the D.C. metro area. But when metro is having to CUT service due to tight budgets, is this really something which is feasible? Maybe aim for the stars and hope that at least to be permitted to tread water …

      • The long discussed “Purple” line would also be a great addition, linking Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Greenbelt. It would get a lot of Southern MD’ers off the road and reduce pressures on the Beltway. Even that is more useful than having another line cutting through downtown.

        A lot of the government agencies are moving jobs out of the downtown core of the District. The metro system needs to reflect this trend.

        • How does the purple line help people commuting from Southern Maryland? It doesnt make sense to drive from La Plata or Waldorf just to get to the purple line. Or did you mean PG/MoCo commuters?

        • +1 to Zero Sum

          sep note – I think Metro did a good job during O-naug II – at least it worked out for me

  • I don’t understand how, when metro splits the red line into two segments for track work this weekend, only the Shady Grove side gets additional trains. As a Takoma resident, I am exhausted of track work every single weekend, and this inequality is frusterating. I understand there are more stops on that side, but I think it’s unfair for folks on the east side of the red lien. Come on, WMATA!

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