Metro Unveils $26B Plan For Expansion

11:57 AM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Thursday, Metro unveiled a plan called "Momentum" for expansion of the system to deal with the expected population growth in the D.C. area which includes new tunnels and a three-step approach for funding.




Before the Board of Directors Governance Committee, Metro planning director Shyam Kannan said "maximizing the current transit network, and utilizing every bit of capacity available as a foundation for future growth and expansion" were a top priority.

Metro's press release on Thursday lists these other priorities:

  • 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.
Funding for the strategic goals was also outlined in three steps: 

  1. $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;
  2. 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
  3. $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.
The Board of Directors will review and edit the plan. The public will be able to weigh in before the plan is finalized, says Metro.

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