Washington Metro Area Transit Authority is switching its gears, in the right direction through a Capital Improvement Project. Staying committed to investing $1.3 billion dollars in funding for safety improvements, rebuilding the Metro system, and improving the reliability of the current rail and bus network. These investments ensure maintaining service quality and not raising fares or cutting service. To stay ahead of its project improvement deadlines, Metro recently announced on August 2, it awarded an $89 million contract to TransDev, the largest private provider of multiple modes of transportation in North America.
According to Metro data, ridership is not at its peak levels in the month of August, so they will be working for 16 consecutive days to conduct around the clock construction on a segment of the Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines. The result; limited capacity, crowding, and delays. Don’t be alarmed, the work is scheduled to start August 11-26. The project is needed to address the tightest curve in the Metrorail system between McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations.
Meanwhile, working around the clock, crews will rebuild the track infrastructure, including the installation of new rail, new fasteners, and repairs to the concrete pads that support the rails. Crews will work on each track for approximately one week at a time so that single-track service can be maintained.
One bus operator expressed his frustration with the persisting platform problems. It was also interesting to learn that the bus and train operator along with the station manager earn the same salary. However, a train operator has many more strict protocols to follow. If the train operator opens the wrong door at the station, that is grounds for a lengthy suspension. What was really astonishing to learn is that the 7000 Train Car series are twice as heavy as the older style and model train cars.
The weight of the car is causing the tracks and pads to wear much faster than anticipated. The train and bus are both methods of transportation provided by Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, they differ in cost and time. With the billions in investments luckily it won’t take 20 years to make the improvements like the Comprehensive Plan, because the people rely on the Metro system more heavily than others.