WMATA Sustainability Initiative: “Increasing Metro ridership 25 percent by 2025”


“Metro today unveiled a new sustainability initiative aimed at enhancing regional sustainability through performance based targets for ridership, travel mode share, regional greenhouse gas emissions and connected communities.

The Metro Sustainability Initiative also commits the Authority to internal performance targets for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, renewable energy, stormwater runoff impacts and potable water use. Taken along with near term action commitments from paperless meetings to a renewed commitment to lifecycle asset management—these internal sustainability targets set Metro on a path to continue to rebuild efficiently to support a growing region.

Specific targets set by the Sustainability Initiative include:

Increasing Metro ridership 25 percent by 2025
Increasing greenhouse gas displacement 10 percent by 2025
Reducing energy use per vehicle mile 15 percent by 2025, and cutting in half greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle mile during the same timeframe
Reducing water use per vehicle mile 20 percent by 2025

Last spring Metro’s Board of Directors adopted Momentum, metro’s strategic plan, committing Metro to sustainability through 2025 and beyond.

“Momentum sets Metro on a path to respond to today’s service demands and plan to accommodate millions of new riders while continuing to support the region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. “As a companion to Momentum, the Sustainability Initiative sets Metro on course to maximize the value of the investment placed in the system while adding value to the region through increased mobility and transit-oriented land use.”

Many ‘greener’ investments are already underway throughout the system and support both the regional and internal goals of the Sustainability Initiative, including:

Garage lighting energy efficiency upgrades through $1.5 million in annual energy savings (over 1% of the Authority’s FY14 natural gas and electric costs)
Wayside energy storage technology pilot that has resulted in $250,000 reduction in traction power expense from a single installation
Investments in a tub grinder that is expected to eliminate $53,000 in landscaping expenses and as much as $35,000 in waste disposal expenses annually
Station chiller upgrades throughout the Metrorail system that generate annual efficiency savings of approximately $15,000 per station
Investments in clean hybrid and natural gas buses increasing fuel economy by 30% over the past 8 years
All new Metro facility construction and major retrofits are LEED certified – using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions”

7 Comment

  • gotryit

    Maybe you could fit 25% more people on buses by asking us to pass people back like a mosh pit.
    Or, buy some more buses so that we can fit more people on with more frequent reliable service? Then more people will want to take the bus… win!

    • brookland_rez

      That’s what I was thinking. Seems like the system is pretty maxed out at this point until they build another tunnel under the Potomac and another crosstown line like they’ve planned.

    • The silver line will be open – they’ll meet their ridership numbers by virtue of that line opening and regional population growth.

  • how about just making the people who already use the system happy instead of trying to add more unhappy customers? no one cares about how much energy you are saving. The price keeps going up and service quality is going down. That forced me to move from Van Ness (AKA metro dependency) to Columbia Heights (metro, bus, walk, bike or cab). And i am much happier with the move. I am one of many who has given up on metro as the go to for my morning commute. Its too unrealiable and ruined way to many mornings for me.

  • People will use it more if Metro 1.) is open 24 hours, 2.) has more frequent night service, and 3.) tolls the bridges and enacts congestion charging. They must do all three of these at once, otherwise it will be a failure. If Metro wants to increase service by 25%, then it needs to incentivize people to get out of their cars, especially those driving in from MD and VA. That’s where the growth in ridership is.

    • +1,000 to 1) and 2). I would love to use Metro more, but don’t use it much outside of rush hour because it’s just not reliable. As to 3), Metro doesn’t have that authority, and anyhow I think the parking hassles and traffic cameras in DC would be reason enough to go with Metro if >10 min headways weren’t the norm outside of rush hour.

    • I’m not so sure (1) and (2) are correct. They might be able to add more new passengers by increasing capacity just during rush hour(s) than by adding service at all other hours. In fact, if (3) ever happens then I think increased rush hour capacity is going to be the most crucial issue. I suspect that additional night service, while convenient for some riders, would be of marginal benefit to WMATA in increasing ridership and revenue.

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