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 lives in Burke.