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CSG explains Metro Momentum in new video

The Coalition for Smarter Growth has just released a video supporting Metro Momentum, WMATA's plan to increase Metrorail and Metrobus capacity, and a web tool to contact your local elected officials in support of funding Momentum.

Momentum is WMATA's strategic plan to increase capacity in the Metro system to keep pace with job and population growth in coming decades. The Momentum plan has two parts—Metro 2025 and Metro 2040.

Metro 2025, which is the core of the plan, calls for upgrades to all facets of our existing transit systems including running all 8-car trains at rush hour, restoring service on the Blue Line to pre-Rush Plus levels, and running more Red Line trains all the way to the end of the line to leverage as much as we can from a system that is already very popular. There are 7 main components of Metro 2025:

  1. 8-car trains: Metro will run all 8-car trains during rush hour, making room for 35,000 more rides per hour through the system's core.
  2. Station improvements: Metro will build pedestrian walkways between Gallery Place and Metro Center, and between Farragut North and Farragut West to ease transfers and reduce platform crowding. Metro will also integrate new station entrances and changes to elevators and escalators in high-ridership stations.
  3. Metrobus Priority Corridor Network: Metro will improve bus service, travel speeds, and reliability on 24 regional bus corridors—which serve half of Metrobus riders.
  4. New Blue Line Connections: Metro will work to unclog the bottleneck at Rosslyn station to restore Blue Line service to pre-Rush Plus levels.
  5. Rider Communications: Metro will install a new PA system, better real-time information for riders, and more.
  6. More Buses: Metro will expand its bus fleet, putting 400 more buses on the streets.
  7. Pocket Tracks: More crossover and pocket tracks throughout the system will make it easier to turn trains around, making more flexible service possible.
Sexier improvements, like the "Metro Loop" and a new station in Rosslyn, are pieces of the Metro 2040 part of Momentum.

These are all good things for the region and many of the proposals are familiar to public transportation advocates, but now it's time for those advocates to begin educating others, and for the public to contact their elected officials to tell them that in order for DC region to grow more sustainably we must expand transportation options to all of the region's commuters and travelers.

Canaan Merchant was born and raised in Powhatan, Virginia and attended George Mason University where he studied English. He became interested in urban design and transportation issues when listening to a presentation by Jeff Speck while attending GMU. He has lived all over Northern Virginia and now lives in Burke.  


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Of course I fully support both 2025 and 2040 efforts. Does Metro (and CSG) need to sell the case for why now and what happens if we don't to make sure we get a commitment? Improvements sound great, but people and the representatives have to have strong justifications for why now. I read earlier that the Purple Line was first discussed in 1986. Also, the rail to Dulles was discussed roughly 50 years ago. For Metro to get things done in 11 years with 2025 plan, we need a sense of urgency. What has been the response from DC, MD, and VA on likelihood of funding?

by GP Steve on Mar 5, 2014 12:00 pm • linkreport

@GP Steve --

In < 3 minutes, CSG decided to focus on what Momentum IS, but you're right -- we need to make the case for why it's important NOW. We'll be doing just that and talking more about the likelihood of funding in the next few days... but wanted to get the video and email tool launched as our #1. CSG will be talking about Momentum all month.

by Aimee Custis on Mar 5, 2014 12:50 pm • linkreport

The leaders of the two states and the district recently pledged $75 million toward the Momentum plan. That's a gold start but there's more to be done.

by MLD on Mar 5, 2014 12:56 pm • linkreport

I'd add, too, that Metro has a certain responsibility in this. Not just in identifying the Momentum needs, which are great and important, but in taking steps to persuade the jurisdictions that it -- Metro -- is a good investment. There needs to be a long and visible list of things Metro is doing that are cost-effective approaches to high-quality, reliable operations.

It would be great if there could be some kind of contract between the funders and Metro along the lines of: "If you meet this set of performance (including cost-reducing) goals, we'll fund this amount of expansion investment." That's a framework that might be motivating to both the funders and to Metro.

by jnb on Mar 5, 2014 1:02 pm • linkreport

does this mean i have to wait 10 years for 6 minute OL rush hour headways? SMH

by jake on Mar 5, 2014 1:18 pm • linkreport

@Aimee Custis

CSG does great work and I am a happy contributor. The video and write-up were a great start! I look forward to more on the topic. My comment was not meant to detract from what CSG put out at all, just trying to think about what needs to be done to make it happen. The US has a bad habit in some (many?) areas of waiting until things have to be done to do them and not thinking in advance sadly. We need that dedicated funding source so WMATA doesn't have it's hand out to survive. Is this ever going to happen?

by GP Steve on Mar 5, 2014 1:35 pm • linkreport plans to run trains more frequently during non-rush hour periods, then? Or with 8 cars? Or to run the priority buses with headways, and lower ones at that?

I just don't understand how WMATA can justify a whole bunch of capital expenses without looking at ways to operationally improve service.

by LowHeadways on Mar 5, 2014 2:12 pm • linkreport

I am rapidly coming more and more over to the viewpoint that, before Metro talks about increasing capacity, they have to first work to restore their RELIABILITY, which has taken serious hits in the past 2-3 years.

by Froggie on Mar 5, 2014 4:52 pm • linkreport

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