D.C. Metro begins rail interoperability study

Posted on February 11, 2011

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) is studying ways to integrate the various light rail systems planned for the region to make it easier for people to use and more cost-effective for the entities building and running the systems.

Metro is leading the regional coordination effort to ensure that riders can readily use the light rail and streetcar projects when they open, easily move from one system to another, or connect with existing Metrorail and regional bus service. The transit agency is working with project sponsors, including the District of Columbia; Arlington County; Fairfax County, Maryland and other jurisdictional partners on the LRT and Streetcar Interoperability Study.

The interoperability study aims to identify ways to integrate the light rail and streetcar systems planned for the region, such as the H Street/Benning Road streetcar project in the District of Columbia and the Columbia Pike Streetcar in Arlington, Va. Goals include identifying ways to achieve capital cost savings for the region and efficiencies in maintenance and operations through shared design standards for vehicles, track and structures, and traction power, shared maintenance facilities and practices. The study also will encourage flexibility to support future regional network expansion and ensure customer convenience, including uniform signs, common fare collection methods and fare media.

The $250,000 regional study will be paid for by the jurisdictions that fund Metro. The study is scheduled for completion this fall.

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