Rail

WMATA to study 3 rail lines to address region's future needs

Posted on June 18, 2019 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

Over the next two years, WMATA plans extensive outreach to engage the community, stakeholders, and transit experts to gather feedback and make recommendations.
Larry Levine
Over the next two years, WMATA plans extensive outreach to engage the community, stakeholders, and transit experts to gather feedback and make recommendations.Larry Levine

With a goal of identifying long-term options to improve reliability, meet future ridership demand, and better serve customers, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) launched a two-year study of its Blue, Orange, and Silver rail lines

Today, the Blue, Orange and Silver (BOS) lines all share a single set of tracks between the Rosslyn tunnel and the Anacostia River, creating a bottleneck that limits the number of trains that can cross between Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The limited capacity means WMATA cannot easily add more trains and has limited ability to work around service disruptions. With the current configuration, a disruption on one line can have a ripple effect on all three lines.

The BOS Study will identify potential infrastructure improvements and service alternatives to resolve these issues.

The first phase of the study will assess key issues and trends and document why improvements to the lines are necessary. Subsequent phases will include the development and evaluation of alternatives, as well as a thorough analysis of costs and benefits, with recommendation of a preferred alternative expected to occur by the fall of 2020.

Ultimately, the study will identify and analyze a range of potential alternatives before recommending a “locally preferred alternative” to move forward with federal environmental review, full design, and competition for federal funding. Over the next two years, WMATA plans extensive outreach to engage the community, stakeholders, and transit experts to gather feedback and make recommendations.

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