Facing a $750 million ‘fiscal cliff,’ the agency says it’s important to continue looking forward to ‘visionary’ future plans.

2 minute read

July 12, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Blurred image of train passing by platform at Washington, D.C. undergroundtrain station

Stanley Dullea / Adobe Stock

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) announced ambitious goals to add new buses or even a rail line to its system to ease pressure on capacity in the Rosslyn Tunnel, writes Jordan Pascale in DCist.

“But what about Metro’s $750 million fiscal cliff we’ve heard about in recent weeks?” Pascale asks. “WMATA officials who briefed the media on Monday acknowledged it is challenging to talk about the near-term fiscal cliff and structural operating deficit and these larger regional plans, but they say it is important for the region to continue planning for these larger visionary plans even while working through short and medium-term structural issues.”

Providing background on “the Rosslyn problem,” Pascale explains, “The Rosslyn tunnel serves the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines and can carry 26 trains per hour. Metro used to run rush hour service that was limited by that capacity, but Metro is now scheduling 16 trains an hour through the tunnel and soon hopes to run 20 trains per hour in the coming months.”

According to Metro, “new lines could improve equity transit accessibility in lower-income areas, and improve sustainability by getting more people on transit.” Pascale details the options Metro is considering, which include building a new tunnel under the Potomac and separating the Silver or Blue lines, as well as lower-cost alternatives that would add more buses or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes. See the source article for more information on each proposal.

Monday, July 10, 2023 in DCist

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