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Old March 1st, 2008, 04:41 AM   #121
jam5
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Metro to Overhaul Rules on Transit-Oriented Development

Development Strategy Honed;
Board Approves Rules for Projects Near Stations


By Eric M. Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 29, 2008; Page B03


Metro's board of directors yesterday approved rules designed to spur quality development around Metrorail stations.

The vote followed a stinging report last year by a Metro-appointed task force that said the agency's hands-off approach was responsible for a "paucity" of interest from developers. The report also cited confusion in communities near stations because of "interminable reviews often at odds with community concerns" and a "frequent disconnect" between Metro and local governments.

Too often in the past, board members said yesterday, land around stations was sold mainly to raise cash. The new rules focus on increasing transit-oriented residential and commercial development to encourage Metro ridership and reduce automobile traffic. The Ballston corridor in Arlington and Columbia Heights and Gallery Place-Chinatown in the District are considered examples of successful transit-oriented development.

The rules would increase scrutiny of proposed projects and land sales and would streamline the development process for projects deemed worthy.

The proposal was strongly supported by Maryland officials, who say Metro has failed to take advantage of development opportunities around most Metro stations in the state's Washington suburbs. Existing transit-oriented development is concentrated in downtown Washington, Montgomery and Arlington counties and Alexandria.

"Transit-oriented development concentrates jobs, housing and retail around transit, reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and sprawl,'' said Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in a statement issued in response to Metro's action. "Over the next 20 years, population in Maryland is expected to grow by 1.1 million people. In theory, with effective [transit-oriented development], that growth could be accommodated within a [half-mile] radius of the state's 111 existing transit stations."

Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari said in an interview after the meeting that the changes could enable the region to better leverage its multibillion-dollar investment in the Metrorail system to promote sustainable development.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #122
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Metro backs off idea of bench seating in trains
3 March 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro's general manager has decided against replacing rows of seats with bench-style seating along the sides of the transit agency's rail cars.

John Catoe says the change didn't free up space for more passengers in test cars, and Metro riders didn't like facing the center of the car. He says Metro wants to adopt changes that will make riders happy.

The bench-style seating in some test cars resembled the design of the New York City subway system.

Catoe says Metro will continue to add more hand grips to rail cars for passengers who stand. The transit system also will continue to test the idea of adding padding at the front and back of the cars for riders to lean against.

------

Information from: WTOP-FM
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Old March 10th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #123
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Quote:
The proposal was strongly supported by Maryland officials, who say Metro has failed to take advantage of development opportunities around most Metro stations in the state's Washington suburbs. Existing transit-oriented development is concentrated in downtown Washington, Montgomery and Arlington counties and Alexandria.
I think the only TOD in Maryland outside Montgomery County is Largo, right?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Metro backs off idea of bench seating in trains
3 March 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro's general manager has decided against replacing rows of seats with bench-style seating along the sides of the transit agency's rail cars.

John Catoe says the change didn't free up space for more passengers in test cars, and Metro riders didn't like facing the center of the car. He says Metro wants to adopt changes that will make riders happy.

The bench-style seating in some test cars resembled the design of the New York City subway system.

Catoe says Metro will continue to add more hand grips to rail cars for passengers who stand. The transit system also will continue to test the idea of adding padding at the front and back of the cars for riders to lean against.

------

Information from: WTOP-FM
That's ridiculous. Coming from NYC myself, bench seating is not bad and adds more capacity by allowing more people to stand. Adding grips doesn't do anything, neither does padding walls. If you want to relieve overcrowding, then you have to give as much free space as possible.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #125
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Metro officials seek to build new wireless system
12 March 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro wants to build a new wireless system that would let all passengers use their cell phones on the subway.

Officials are seeking preliminary approval Thursday from a board committee to request proposals from companies to build and operate the network.

The system would give riders cell phone and broadband services in all underground stations and tunnels.

Suzanne Peck, Metro's information technology chief, says it could also be used by the agency's operational workers.

If the plan is approved, officials want to award a contract in the fall.

Peck says it would take 18 months to four years to install the system. That's because it would have to be put in after the rail system is closed.

Metro's current wireless system was built by Verizon.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Shame, Americans lean toward shoving train passengers right into traffic.....no vision, period.....and this in their capital showcase.
HUH?

I dont really understand what youre talking about...
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:50 AM   #127
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Washington DC has an awesome Metro system, perhaps the best I ever used. It is spotless, beautiful, fast and easy to navigate.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 05:48 AM   #128
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The DOD can lose $15 billion and it's no problem, but a critical subway line has some cost overruns and the right-wing Bush administration wants to kill the project.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 07:20 AM   #129
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I agree Hoosier. For the amount of money that's been spent on tearing Iraq apart, numerous metro systems could have been built, upgrade and extended. It's just a shame that Bush, Bechtel and Halliburton have other ideas.

And I also congratulate California for recognising that everyone has the right to marry
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 08:31 AM   #130
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The DOD can lose $15 billion and it's no problem, but a critical subway line has some cost overruns and the right-wing Bush administration wants to kill the project.
The Silver Line plan is way too important to kill
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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #131
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Washington area's rail ridership sets new record
14 July 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro, the Washington-area rail system, has set a new all-time record high for ridership, surpassing the previous record from 2004 on the day of President Reagan's state funeral.

Metro says it counted 854,638 riders on Friday, beating the old record by 4,000 passenger trips. Officials attribute the spike to a Washington Nationals baseball game, a Women of Faith Conference at the Verizon Center and tourists visiting the city.

So far, 20 of Metrorail's top 25 highest ridership days in its 32-year history have been recorded this year. Many of the busiest days are generated by baseball games or big events like the Cherry Blossom Festival or the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

But ridership has been steadily increasing as high gas prices push more people to take Metro trains instead of driving.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #132
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Not too far off cracking the magic 1 million per day mark! Go Washington!
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Old July 19th, 2008, 03:09 AM   #133
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1 million commuter mark is looks quite far away to me ....
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Old July 27th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #134
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1 million commuter mark is looks quite far away to me ....
Probably within the next 5-7 years it could possibly happen. It's slowly reaching 900,000 now so it's not out of the realm of possibility.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Washington area's rail ridership sets new record
14 July 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro, the Washington-area rail system, has set a new all-time record high for ridership, surpassing the previous record from 2004 on the day of President Reagan's state funeral.

Metro says it counted 854,638 riders on Friday, beating the old record by 4,000 passenger trips. Officials attribute the spike to a Washington Nationals baseball game, a Women of Faith Conference at the Verizon Center and tourists visiting the city.

So far, 20 of Metrorail's top 25 highest ridership days in its 32-year history have been recorded this year. Many of the busiest days are generated by baseball games or big events like the Cherry Blossom Festival or the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

But ridership has been steadily increasing as high gas prices push more people to take Metro trains instead of driving.
I remember the Metro on Tuesday Night! We are cramping like sardines in a can that time! What's worst are the tourists who just want to go in and out of the train in ONE DOOR! Too bad the door shut itself and there were still three tourists outside! One tourist even called the DC Metro Hotline just to stop the train! LOL!
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:00 AM   #136
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Federal officials give green light for major construction work on Metro extension to airport
22 August 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Transit Administration has authorized managers of the planned $5 billion Metro extension to Dulles International Airport to begin major construction.

The Washington Post reports that local officials are taking it as a sign that the project is on track to receive federal funding.

In a letter issued late Thursday, the Federal Transit Administration authorized project managers to begin major construction on the rail extension, which would stretch through Tysons Corner and past the airport into Loudoun County.

Some preliminary work, including relocation of utility lines, is already going on.

The FTA letter does not guarantee the expected $900 million in federal funding. The federal money is crucial for the project.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM   #137
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I thought the Dulles line was dead? Great news for Washington then

Hopefully we'll see some stunning architecture in the stations.

Is it still following this route?

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 12:42 AM   #138
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That is great news for Washington DC. I hope the high-standard of the original metro design is maintained for this new development.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:24 AM   #139
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DC-area Metro says it will need $11 billion for maintenance, improvements in the next decade
22 September 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington-area Metro will need more than $11.3 billion over 10 years to keep up the current level of service, replace worn-out rail cars and meet growing ridership, the transit agency's general manager said Monday.

John Catoe said it would take $7 billion just to maintain current service and keep the system running safely and reliably from 2010 to 2020. That includes repairs to leaking tunnels and crumbling platforms, as well as replacements for aging rail cars.

It would take billions more to deploy longer trains and more buses to meet the projected increase in demand. The number of trips taken on Metro trains is expected to grow 22 percent to about 1 million a day by 2020. Bus ridership is expected to grow 9 percent to 600,000 trips.

Those forecasts do not take into account the recent hike in gas prices, which has steered even more people than expected to public transit.

"The bottom line is our house is getting old," Catoe said at a news conference. "We have a wet basement, rusty pipes, old wires and a 1976 model car."

The rail system began operating in 1976, and some of its components are showing their age.

Catoe said some of the cars are more than 30 years old, near the end of their average useful age. Since it can take up to five years to receive new cars after an order is placed, many will be pushing 40 by the time they are retired, he added.

Metro also wants to replace old bus garages, one dating back a century.

Unlike other major transit systems, Metro has no dedicated funding source.

Complicating matters, Metro serves three jurisdictions -- the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Metro officials have long argued that the federal government should contribute because it serves the capital and some 40 percent of rush hour riders are federal workers.

Metro's current capital funding agreement with Maryland, Virginia and D.C. is set to expire in 2010.

Catoe said the numbers announced Monday are a starting point for discussions on the next agreement. He said a list of projects will be prioritized in the discussions.

The inventory of capital needs does not include new rail lines or other system expansions, he added.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #140
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Senate Approves $1.5 Billion Plan For Metro Funding

By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 2, 2008; Page A01


The U.S. Senate voted last night to authorize long-sought federal funding for Washington's cash-strapped and aging Metro system, clearing a major hurdle toward providing $1.5 billion over 10 years to help maintain the nation's second-busiest rail system.

The Senate passage is the furthest the measure has advanced since Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) began the effort two years ago to secure a reliable source of financial support for Metro.

The bill, part of a major rail safety reform package with billions of dollars for Amtrak, was passed by the House last week and goes to the president for signing. Supporters say a veto is unlikely, partly because of the veto-proof margin of last night's 74 to 24 vote.

Although several other requirements must be met before Congress begins appropriating the funds, last night's vote was critical because the Senate had never voted on the plan. With this step, officials predicted that the federal money could become available next fall.

Metro is the nation's only major transit agency without a significant source of dedicated funding, such as a portion of a sales or gas tax. The money would be used to buy rail cars and buses, and repair leaky tunnels and deteriorating station platforms.

"Metro is back on track," Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) said in a statement. "Today we have taken a giant leap forward in securing dedicated funding for Metro so that it can meet the needs of the federal government, the millions of tourists who visit our nation's Capital, and the businesses that rely on the country's second-busiest rapid transit system."

The legislation requires that Virginia, Maryland and the District each dedicate $50 million a year for 10 years to Metro. The District has set aside a portion of its sales tax revenue for its share, and Maryland's portion is included in the state's capital transportation budget.

Virginia's lawmakers have failed to come up with a statewide plan for funding transportation. This week, however, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said the state would provide its share. State law requires the commonwealth to fully match federal transportation funds, Kaine said, adding that Metro funding would be a top priority even if that meant reallocating money from other transportation projects.

The developments mark the most progress so far in providing $300 million a year for 10 years in federal and state funds to keep trains, buses and stations working.

"This could not come at a better time," said a statement from Davis, who will retire from Congress in January. "As we have learned in recent weeks, Metro is in dire need of . . . an infusion of funding. Train cars and buses must be replaced. Platforms are crumbling. . . .We need to stabilize the future of Metro, and this goes a long way toward addressing its long-term needs."

More than 1.2 million train, bus, and paratransit trips are taken on Metro on an average weekday. About 40 percent of rush-hour riders are federal workers, or almost 200,000 people, and officials have long argued that Metro is vital to the federal government and therefore deserves more federal dollars.
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