Metro is mapping out its future with new stations and signs
The Metro of the future is being conceived now — with visions for new Metro stations, new signs for train and bus lines, and plans to solve the Rosslyn tunnel bottleneck all underway.
Why it matters: Even with Metro's current challenging finances, the agency needs to plan ahead for a region that is projected to grow in population.
What's happening: Looking decades out, Metro is taking feedback until Saturday on six options for the future of the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines.
- Alternative 4, for example, would create a Blue Line loop that adds stations in Georgetown, Buzzard Point, St. Elizabeths, and National Harbor.
- It would create 180,000 new weekday transit trips and generate $154 million in revenue.
- In a survey of Prince George's County residents, 87% said they support extending the Blue Line to National Harbor, according to pro-smart growth nonprofit Fort Washington Forward, NBC4 reports.
- Yes, but: That expansion would cost $30 billion-$35 billion to build.
Other alternatives would extend the Silver Line to Georgetown and east to Fort Lincoln.
- One big problem is the Rosslyn tunnel bottleneck. The tunnel accommodates 26 trains per hour across the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines, and crowding is expected to become a major squeeze on the system by 2040, DCist reported.
- The Metro board is expected to make a decision later this year on a future expansion.
State of play: A more immediate change could involve labels for entrances and exits so that riders don't get lost inside stations. Metro's digital maps and displays may see upgrades as well.
- Another option is numbering rail lines.
- The colors for rail lines are not going away, Metro general manager Randy Clarke recently told NBC4, but he said adding a number inside the color could be valuable for navigation.
Another ongoing survey called "Better Bus, Better Names" asks the public to help rename bus routes.
Reality check: Metro is asking regional leaders to help come up with $750 million in additional funding by July 2024 to avert devastating cuts.
The bottom line: "All the stuff that people want, you can't do well if you are in a cycle of up-and-down funding," Clarke told NBC4. "We need consistency — just like you would for a business or your home or whatever."
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