June 16, 2011

D.C. Metro launches info campaign for capital program

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) launched a new information campaign —Metro Forward — to keep customers up to speed on the massive capital program underway to rebuild the 35-year-old Metro system.

The campaign will use social media channels to get information to more customers about how the temporary inconveniences they see today when riding the system will translate into real benefits for them. Metro Forward includes a redesigned homepage at metroopensdoors.com, a blogstyle website and new content pages at metroforward.com, a Facebook page at facebook.com/metroforward and a Twitter feed at twitter.com/metroforward.

The transit system is encouraging its customers to visit these pages to view a special video message from Metro’s GM/CEO Richard Sarles.

“Our customers deserve to know how we are moving forward to rebuild their transit system,” said Sarles. “This multi-year rebuilding effort is now underway and, in addition to alerting riders about construction work, we are committed to keeping the public well informed about each project and how it delivers safer, more on-time, better quality service in the months and years ahead.”

The first wave of the campaign gives an overview of how Metro is investing $5 billion over the next six years to produce a better service for customers, made possible through funding support from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and the Federal government.

As the awareness campaign is rolled out more broadly this summer, customers will be engaged through a mix of communications channels including in-station signage and displays and on-board posters, as well as through outreach to community organizations to showcase local capital projects and their benefits.

The first wave of Metro Forward information highlights five facts that begin to inform customers how the investments will result in a better ride, a better commute and a better experience.

• Metro Fact #1: Metro is investing more than $5 billion in over a hundred projects — new railcars and buses, escalator overhauls, better technology, new track and much more — to build a better ride.

• Metro Fact #2: To help ease travel through stations, Metro is overhauling or replacing 153 escalators at 25 stations on every line of the system.

• Metro Fact #3: Metro is designing a new generation of rail cars to replace its oldest cars and address its top safety priority.

• Metro Fact #4: To provide greater reliability, Metro is replacing 60 miles of rail over the next six years.

• Metro Fact #5: To improve reliability and service, Metro is replacing or rehabilitating 80 percent of its bus fleet.

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