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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:20 PM   #1
hkskyline
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WASHINGTON | Metro

Md. officials say Metro should be extended to BWI
9 April 2006

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Elected officials and transportation planners in Maryland are increasingly talking about the need for extending Metrorail to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

But even boosters of the multibillion-dollar proposal concede they're a long way from breaking ground.

Late last month, the legislature approved a $1 million study of a proposed 20-mile extension of Metro's Green Line. Supporters of the project say Maryland should move quickly to keep up with Virginia, which is moving closer to extending Metrorail to Dulles International Airport.

"Clearly, we're racing the clock, because they are going to start building that rail up to Dulles," said Sen. John Giannetti, D-Prince George's. "If we don't connect Metro to BWI, we're not going to remain competitive."

The Pentagon's base realignment plan, which some officials say could bring as many as 50,000 residents to the Fort Meade area, is another reason to get moving with the Metro extension, Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert Flanagan said.

"You don't want the growth to occur and then to try to catch up with it. That ties your hands," Flanagan said. "We need to anticipate growth that we know is going to occur and plan the subway and the growth together so that they work in unison."

Flanagan said the Green Line extension would likely be just the first of several links between the transit systems of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., which are transforming into a single metropolitan region.

According to early estimates, the extension could cost about $2.5 billion. Aris Melissaratos, Maryland's secretary of business and economic development, said he wants the extension to be completed within 10 years. Other officials and transit advocates said it was too early to offer any estimates.

The study by state transportation planners is not scheduled to be completed until early 2008.

"We need to take a reality check. All of this is pretty far out," said Ben Ross, president of the Action Committee for Transit, a public transportation advocacy group in Montgomery County.

The Green Line extension would create the first Metro station in Anne Arundel County, and one proposal would also bring Metrorail to Howard County for the first time.

"We have to encourage people to get off the roads," said Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens, who supports the extension project. "If everyone is in gridlock, that doesn't help the economy, that doesn't help the environment, that doesn't help any of us."

The Green Line currently ends at Greenbelt. State officials said there is general agreement that new stops would be built at BWI, Fort Meade, Laurel and a development called Konterra in Prince George's County, near where the future intercounty connector will meet Interstate 95.

Giannetti has proposed a route that would also include stations at Dorsey, Odenton Town Center and Guilford, the last of which is in Howard County.

"You really need Howard County's money to make this work," Giannetti said. "That's why we need a stop there."

Melissaratos said he hoped the federal government would pay for up to 90 percent of the project, with the rest coming from state, county and private investments. But Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said funding remains a major obstacle.

"Whenever anybody considers expanding transit, it's something that we're always in favor of," she said. "The challenge will be whether that's something that Maryland could possibly fund."
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #2
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The East Coast is so cloistered together, it's ridiculous.

Out here in Chicago, no one would even think of extending the Purple Line to the Milwaukee airport simply because its way too far away.

Anyways, given the proximity of Baltimore and Washington D.C., it sounds like a good proposal. However, in order to be time-efficient, the Green Line would have to travel REALLY fast. If that's possible, go ahead and build it.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 08:23 AM   #3
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I always thought BWI as Baltimore's airport, or the cheap person's airport for Washington DC. Extending the Green Line won't really bring more business travelers to BWI...

There's a bus connection right now that runs pretty infrequently and uses the highway... this would probably work better as an alternative for commuters, rather than as a link to the airport. Baltimore-Washington traffic can get pretty horrendous.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #4
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Is it truly necessary?

As far as speed goes, the maglev proposal being thrown around could serve BWI.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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Who knows what's going on as far as the maglev is concerned. B'more's subway and DC's metro could extend to there, it would have positive effects, but I don't know if it's truly necessary right now. It's the busiest in the metro for the time being too. I think it's inevitable, but I'll reserve judgement until we get more research into it.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #6
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I am a resident in DC/Baltimore area. I have concerns about the future transportation in the sprawls between DC and Baltimore in the era of high gas prices. This metro system could serve people living in this surburbia as well as people using BWI airport.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:19 PM   #7
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Actually, Washington & Baltimore already have very good transportation connections, with frequent Amtrak NE Coorider & VIA commuter rail, both serving BWI. Maybe the Washington & Baltimore metros might even eventually be directly connected. But that's very long-range.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #8
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Baltimore already has a light rail line that extends to BWI. If the Green Line of the DC Metro is extended to BWI, it will be possible to get from DC to Baltimore via metro and light rail. The cities are already connected by commuter trains and Amtrak. The metro and light rail connection would offer an interesting alternative with a higher frequency of service.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #9
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That is just wasteful. BWI is a LONG way from DC, it would be over twice as far out as the Green Line currently ends. Metro isn't a suburban commuter rail system. I personally think that extending Metro as far as Dulles is too far, let alone as far our as BWI. There is already a rail link between DC and BWI, improve service on that. Think of the urban transit that could be built for this proposed glorified commuter line. I also think that the $2.5 billion price tag and expecting the Feds to foot 90% of the cost are a bit optomistic.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #10
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I recently took the commuter service from Fredericksburg, VA to Washington. The commuter line parallels the Metro Blue Line through Alexandria. It was disconcerting to see the metro trains on the adjacent tracks overtaking the commuter train. The next time that I do that trip, I will transfer to the metro at King Street Station in Alexandria.

The BWI airport station is on the Acela route, so I would hope that the commuter trains running north from Washington are faster than those that run to the south.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #11
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You could transfer at Franconia as well.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #12
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I say MARC improves and eventually subways will link up. Two things, the BRAC relocation will be moving tens of thousands of jobs to Ft. Meade, so metro out there would be worth it. Another thing, commuter rail is better, if they increase frequency of trains it'll be fine, it'll be a lot faster than heavy rail too.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 06:17 PM   #13
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Metro to extend Yellow Line to Fort Totten
20 April 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro officials have agreed to extend the transit system's Yellow Line five additional stops beginning in January.

Trains will run beyond the Mount Vernon Square station to Fort Totten during off-peak hours and weekends as part of an 18-month pilot program.

Metro's board of directors made the decision at the request of community groups and residents in the Columbia Heights, 'U' Street and Petworth areas of D-C. The city will pay the nearly six (m) million dollars in costs.

In addition, Metro officials have voted to eliminate Red Line trains turning back at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station during off-peak hours and weekends. Maryland will pay for those costs -- projected at more than two million dollars.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #14
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They should consider (down-the-road) extending the Yellow Line past its current stop at Huntington in a subway down the Jefferson Davis Highway through the Hybla Valley to Fort Belvoir. With tens of thousands of federal workers moving to the area as a result of BRAC, it would be an extension worth making. Better yet, it could be in conjunction with the extension of the Blue Line (at-grade) down alongside the current VRE rail line until it reaches Lorton. Eventually I would like to see both of these Metro lines serving Occoquan-Woodbridge on I-95 at a transfer station.

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Old July 10th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #15
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Seeing red: D.C.'s Metro faces change
Rather than raise fares, rail will lower ambience.

9 July 2007
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WASHINGTON - For years, the subway system in the nation's capital prided itself on providing a civilized ride.

With something approaching hauteur, Metrorail looked askance at systems (yo, Philly!) unadorned with its carpeted rail cars, upholstered seats and tasteful, sparse advertising.

That is about to change.

The Washington transit system's new executive plans to rip out the carpets; turn up the illumination in the subdued, grandly vaulted train stations, and plaster nearly every available surface, including station floors, with come-ons for everything from antacids to zinfandel.

Metro general manager John B. Catoe Jr. said he wants service to keep up with growing ridership without incurring deep deficits, a strategy that he says requires the system to trim some costly features that made Metrorail distinctive.

The changes were spurred by a decision earlier this year to not raise fares.

One new feature approved by Catoe already has proved controversial: replacing white warning lights along the platforms that blink when a train is arriving with red ones, which officials said will improve safety.

"Those red lights look like dragon's eyes or the gates of Hell," said Gretchen Jacobs, who as a Justice Department attorney might have seen the latter. "They are just bizarre."

The Washington system, opened 31 years ago, is the nation's second busiest after New York, with a record 208 million riders for the year ending last month. It was the 11th straight year that the 103-mile system recorded an increase in ridership.

Metrorail was conceived as a welcoming, even plush, mode of transport to lure commuters out of their cars. Planned during the Cold War, the soaring arches of the stations aimed to outshine the Moscow subway. The system is generally considered the nation's toniest, along with BART in San Francisco, which is one year older.

Yet with Washington's environs increasingly choked with some of the nation's worst traffic, transit officials are contemplating making the system more plebeian.

Metro hasn't heard much from riders yet, a spokesman said.

"It's pretty new," said Cathy Asato of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. "These are just kind of ideas that we're floating."

But down on the platforms the ideas are already taking hold.

"With the exception of the lighting changes, these don't appeal to me," said restaurant manager Robert Hall. "I think Metro needs to find ways to generate more revenue and more effectively use their resources. Quick fixes and cosmetic improvements are not important."

Among more than two dozen riders interviewed, however, the changes generally found favor - with the exception of the advertising blitz.

"I'm torn because they can get more money, but I don't want the advertising in my face every day," said Irene Farrow, who works for an environmental organization.

"I think there's enough advertising - unless they use it to reduce fares," said law-school-bound Whitney Strickland, rolling her eyes at her assumption. "We can dream!"

The massive vaults of the stations are atmospherically lit, to be charitable, but planners did this intentionally.

"They are not supposed to be dark, but brightness is not what the designers were hoping for," said Zachary M. Schrag, author of a history of the Washington subway and a professor at George Mason University in Virginia. "Too much lighting creates shadows, and one of the designers said that brightness and visibility are not the same thing."

Still, anyone who has tried to read the newspaper in the station knows the challenge. "All the stations are too dark, and when I try to read it strains my eyes," said Peter Penn, an engineer.

Kara Franz, a senior at George Washington University, said brighter lighting, which is billed as more energy efficient, would make her feel safer.

"Sometimes I feel nervous about taking Metro late at night," she said.

Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing feature of the system when it opened was the carpeting in the rail cars, which absorbed noise and made it feel like an airline.

Years of wear have soiled the once-orange carpets, abetted by the thousands of riders - often tourists - who break Metro rules by eating and drinking on the trains.

"I oversee an engineering and a housekeeping department, so I understand the challenge of keeping the carpets clean," said Richard Williams, who works at the Department of Veterans Affairs. "It will be a little noisier, but the trains are packed as it is."

Rick Clark, a flight attendant, said the trains "would probably be more sanitary if they switched from carpet to vinyl."

Dave Kubicek, Metro's new chief of railcar design, said he is exploring various vinyl or tiled alternatives to the carpeting, including non-skid materials and flooring that might help deaden noise. Carpeting is vacuumed weekly, shampooed every two months, and replaced every five years.

Historian Schrag said the carpet "sent a message that this was a nice environment and you were supposed to behave properly."

With vinyl, "you're telling riders visually that this is an environment that's getting hosed down every day," he said. "So it's a possibility people may take advantage of that."

Contact staff writer Steve Goldstein
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #16
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^ wow. talk about about reviving a thread from the dead.

interesting article about carpets, haha. whatever u have to do to save money i guess.

any news on the extension to dulles???
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM   #17
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There is thread on the extention to Dulles:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=487377
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:31 PM   #18
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Metro to give out free hand sanitizer
22 October 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro wants to help keep its commuters health this flu season by giving away free hand sanitizer at some of its stations.

The agency has partnered with health departments in Fairfax, Montgomery, Arlington and Prince George's counties along with D.C. to give out information with the hand sanitizers.

The giveaways will go to the first 2,000 customers at stations with information booths.

Today, they're at the Federal Triangle and Fort Totten Metrorail stations.

Tomorrow, riders at the Branch Avenue and Silver Spring stations can get them.

And on Wednesday, the sanitizers will be given out at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU and Rosslyn Metrorail stations.

Metro reminds everyone that good personal hygiene can help keep you healthy, including habits like frequent handwashing and avoiding contact with sick people.

Information from: WTOP-FM
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Old October 25th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #19
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i think with the Silver line i think they should extend it to dulles airport i think the metro silver line would serve better there

for the BWI though they have it on the Acela and Amtrak route there is already a train station there and also for the light rail as well

for the green line and for the yellow line they should extend it further the green line should go to a different area and the yellow line to Fort Tutton and beyond

also the Silver line should go to Dulles Airport i think thats what is the most needed so far and dulles is an international airport and that hat its needed alot
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Old October 27th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #20
Trainman Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
i think with the Silver line i think they should extend it to dulles airport i think the metro silver line would serve better there
Phase II is already planned to extend to Dulles and has been for 20 years. However it may take another 20 years to reach the airport.

Incidently the tunnels for the Metro at Dulles already exist. they were built about 10 years ago during the terminal expansion.
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