$75 million pledged by DMV for Metro to “reduce crowding and add system capacity”

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From WMATA:

“Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles today applauded an increased capital commitment of $75 million by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray, saying that it marked an important down payment towards Metro’s “Momentum” strategic plan to reduce crowding and add system capacity.

The funding announcement was made jointly by the region’s three leaders today following a National Capital Regional Meeting in Arlington.

“Thanks to the strong leadership of Mayor Gray and Governors O’Malley and McAuliffe, we can continue our rebuilding efforts and lay the foundation for all eight-car trains, with power upgrades, Union Station and Gallery Place station expansion designs, and buses for priority corridors.” said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles.

Momentum is Metro’s vision for the future. Building on the important Metro Forward capital program which is virtually rebuilding the system and making key safety and reliability improvements, the strategic plan addresses growing crowding and outlines near-term goals for 2025 along with the steps that Metro must take to prepare for coming regional population and economic growth. Importantly, the plan ensures that Metro never returns to a time when the system’s tracks, escalators, trains and buses, are not maintained to today’s safety and reliability standards. For riders, Momentum will mean more trains, reduced crowding, faster buses, brighter, safer, easier-to-navigate Metrorail stations, and improved customer information systems.

“We have now crossed the halfway point of our Metro Forward rebuilding effort, improved on-time performance, increased escalator availability, reduced employee injuries and are preparing for the next generation of railcars later this year,” said Metro Board Chair Tom Downs. “None of these successes would be possible without the extraordinary support of our elected leaders, and on behalf of the Metro Board and the riders who depend on the system, I express our appreciation to the Mayor and Governors.”

The Metro Board unanimously approved the Momentum strategic plan in June 2013. Since then, Metro Board members, stakeholders and senior managers, partnering with business community leaders and transit advocates, have been working to inform and build support from riders, organizations, jurisdictions, and regional employers. Today, more than 60 organizations and more than 2,000 individuals have endorsed the Momentum plan. Riders and stakeholders have said overwhelmingly that increasing capacity with eight-car train service is the most important investment priority for Metro.

28 Comment

  • Is it me, or is $75 mil not a whole lot for projects of this scale?

  • Extend the yellow line past Mt. Vernon, for god’s sake. The green line gets so packed with everyone trying to get to/from Mt. Vernon. Given the migration to Shaw/Petworth recently, it makes no sense to stop at Mt. Vernon anymore.

  • justinbc

    Hopefully those new trains get rid of the carpet.

    • They will I believe. I forget what they are installing in lieu of the carpet though. Guessing some rubberized plastic.

      • Yes, it’s some sort of rubberized plastic. I was one of the newer trains a few days ago. It’s exactly the same material on the NYC subways.

  • Corey

    a lot of yellow line trains still end at MT. Veronon. Luckily i usually dont hit the yellow line been lucky!

  • That will build less than 1/4 of a mile of new tunnel.

  • Here’s my 10 pt plan:
    1) Reduce board member (incl Sarles’) salaries by 40%
    2) Change all mezzanine escalators to stairs, maintenance cost savings channeled into elevator maintenace
    3) Change announcement boards to simply arrival times and location
    4) remove carpeting in trains, divert cleaning costs to janatorial salaries
    5) except for actual cleanup requirements, clean bi weekly vs. daily – divert costs into janatorial salaries and station manager salaries
    6) introduce day, week and monthly passes from tourists and commuters.
    7) run trains on extended hours, costs paid for by increase in ridership, and revenue neutral janatorial and stationmanager salaries
    8) Why do short trains even exist? phase out short cars with full size trains on an attrition basis.
    9) Make metro an independent organization without DC/MD/VA oversight so with continuous dues from each state and a discretionary budget under which Metro does not require state authority.
    10) Major infrastruture overhaul investment to add spillover or express tracks throughout the metro system to avoid any future track delays and smooth metro service on weekends and rush hour. increased revenues from increased ridership due to better service will only partially cover cost of overhaul and that’s where the remaing $75M comes in, but likely more.

    • Very few cities even have express tracks and for the ones that do, they were built concurrently with the rest of the system. No one just tacks them on later. For the vast majority of cities (yes, this includes DC as well) in the world the cost vs. benefits ratio to include express tracks simply isn’t there. A smarter thing to suggest would be to build parallel lines that follow a slightly different route to free up capacity and serve new areas while doing so. An example of this would be Beijing Subway’s Line 1 and recently opened Line 6.

      • Yeah, don’t get me started on how this system should have been built vs. was built, or I’d be overhauling the design of every station stop … but now that it is built doesn’t mean we don’t need the capacity. And New York did it in the 60’s. they majorly overhauled their subway to the tune of over a billion dollars, including express tracks in Queens. Lets just not think of it in todays dollars.

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