January 3, 2011

D.C. Metro receives $150M to address NTSB recs

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) received  a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace its "1000-Series" railcars.

The cars were cited by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as a contributing factor to the severity of passenger injuries and the number of fatalities in the June 2009 Red Line crash near Fort Totten Station. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will also provide $150 million in matching local funds to help pay for the improvements.

In addition to $79.3 million to purchase as many as 300 new 7000-Series railcars and $44.4 million for track rehabilitation, the remainder of the $300 million will be used to address other much-needed infrastructure projects within the system, such as Metrorail station improvements, the rehabilitation of track maintenance equipment, the replacement of track switching equipment, and elevator and escalator repairs. The grant also allocates $10.3 million for the transit agency to address safety recommendations made by the NTSB.

The funding was authorized by Title VI of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, which specifically authorizes the Department to make $150 million available annually to Metro for capital and preventive maintenance for a 10-year period. The grant will also allow the transit agency to make improvements to its bus and train repair shops and equipment.

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