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Metro Wants Your Input on 30-year transit plan


Photo by PoPville flickr user sciascia

From a press release:

Metro launched a new Web page, PlanItMetro.com, last week to share information and gather feedback from riders as it develops a long-term Regional Transit System Plan to address the ever-increasing transportation needs of the region.

With continued population and job growth predicted for the Washington Metropolitan area, the Regional Transit System Plan aims to provide a 30-year vision for future growth and options to improve and expand transit service.

Continues after the jump.

“Metro plays a critical role in the region. We see ourselves as leaders in regional transit planning because Metro is what ties the jurisdictions together,” said Metro Interim General Manager Richard Sarles.

Metro staff and an advisory group of local, regional and federal representatives will gather input from the public through public workshops and through the new Web page through the fall of 2011 as they work on the plan. Early next year, members of the public will be invited to attend public workshops about the 30-year transit plan.

PlanItMetro.com includes information about all of Metro’s long-range planning activities, providing riders with updates on projects and opportunities to provide feedback.

The Regional Transit System Plan will examine existing bus and rail systems, light rail and options for expansion. The plan will address four key issues: core capacity, access, surface transit corridors, and new and emerging markets.

Growth trends indicate that portions of the Metrorail system will reach peak capacity before 2040, with downtown core stations most significantly impacted. The regional plan will seek solutions such as making pedestrian and rail connections between lines to bypass bottlenecks, adding new rail lines through the downtown core and improving surface transit.

The plan also will address enhancing access to rail stations with improved pedestrian and bicycle accessibility, and better bus feeder service.

To address traffic congestion, which poses a major threat to the efficiency of the region’s bus network, the regional transit plan will evaluate and promote ways to improve bus service by incorporating Metro’s Priority Corridor Network, dedicated bus lanes, and other express and bus rapid transit elements. Additionally, the plan will address regional streetcar proposals and look for ways to integrate light rail projects in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The plan also will consider options for bus and rail expansion to many of the fastest growing areas, which are not currently served by Metrorail. The regional plan will seek ways to connect new activity centers in suburban areas, and evaluate extensions of the rail system to serve outlying areas, such as Centreville, Va., and Waldorf, Md.

Metro has established a Technical Advisory Group comprised of federal, regional and jurisdictional staff representatives, and will solicit input from the public to help develop the 30-year plan.

As it takes 10 to 20 years to plan, design, fund and construct major transit system improvements, Metro is beginning work now on system-wide planning to address capacity constraints that are expected to emerge beyond 2020. Next summer Metro aims to have a draft of the Regional Transit System Plan with recommendations for transit projects that will provide the most benefit.

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