In tandem with the “Your Metro, The Way Forward” report, the board is discussing with staff action plans that deliver a road map for autonomous trains, zero-emissions buses, and sweeping digitization to improve productivity and compliance.  -  Photo: WMATA

In tandem with the “Your Metro, The Way Forward” report, the board is discussing with staff action plans that deliver a road map for autonomous trains, zero-emissions buses, and sweeping digitization to improve productivity and compliance.

Photo: WMATA

According to the first annual report on the results of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) board-approved strategic plan, “Your Metro, The Way Forward,” bus and rail ridership increased more than 4.5 million trips a month over the previous year, fueled by frequent, reliable, and safe service.

Nearly one-half of Metrobus customers saw buses arrive every 12 minutes or less, and more than half of rail customers saw trains arrive every six minutes or less, on average.

The strategic plan also called for creative measures to reduce crime and improve customer perception of security. Crisis intervention specialists, partnerships with local law enforcement for enhanced station patrols, and more patrols onboard trains and buses have reduced Part I (violent) crimes by 14%.

“As reflected in the unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction, the investment in service frequency, reliability and security is helping people choose to come back to Metro and earning new customers,” said Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “We are able to make substantial customer and service improvements, all while lowering our costs and becoming more operationally efficient.”

Boosting Service

While providing more frequent service, WMATA reduced costs by $183 million through one-time budget actions, newly identified recurring operating cost efficiencies, and salary/wage freezes.

The agency has also sized trains to match ridership demand, launching its first six-car trains on its newest railcar fleet.

Financially, WMATA has outperformed expense projections with tight management controls, had a clean independent audit for the ninth straight year, and maintained its AA bond rating, keeping the cost of borrowing in check. At the end of the second quarter, the agency is tracking under its projected operating budget.

Additionally, WMATA’s efforts to install new fare gates, as part of a program of enhanced enforcement, have reduced fare evasion in targeted stations by 70%.

WMATA’s Annual Report

The annual report, released with metrics showing progress over the first year of the plan’s implementation, shows targets were exceeded in key areas that advance the region’s goals, including reductions in greenhouse emissions.

WMATA’s emissions reduction saved the equivalent of driving about 200 million miles in an average gasoline-powered car.

In tandem with the annual report, the board is discussing with staff action plans that deliver a road map for autonomous trains, zero-emissions buses, and sweeping digitization to improve productivity and compliance.

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