Eight-car Metro trains equals widening I-66 by 2-4 lanes
Lengthening all Metrorail trains to eight cars long would add as much capacity to the I-66 corridor as widening the highway by two to four lanes.
If Metro lengthened all trains to eight railcars, it would increase capacity on the Orange/Silver Line through Arlington by 4,740 passengers per hour per direction, according to WMATA's PlanItMetro blog. Comparatively, one new highway lane would be able to carry 2,200 cars per hour.
Even assuming two passengers per car (likely higher than the real average), a new highway lane would only carry 4,400 passengers per hour. Still fewer than 8-car Metro trains.
Then, to account for the reverse direction, double all calculations. Bidirectional Metrorail capacity would increase by 9,480 passengers per hour, equivalent to 4.3 lanes full of single-occupant cars, or 2.15 lanes full of cars with two passengers each.
Eight-car trains would also be cheaper and carry passengers faster than equivalent new highway capacity, PlanItMetro notes.
Clearly it's time to think longer, not wider.
- New info about who rides a bike in DC will let us make the city even greater for cyclists
- Farragut Square's virtual tunnel saves Metro riders time and eases crowding. Should downtown get another one?
- How well do you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 33
- Maryland's rural economy depends on its urban and suburban areas
- Out: "cycletrack." In: "protected bikeway."
- Amsterdam plays Spot the Christmas Streetcar
- Metro's flooded stations, in pictures