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(Washington, DC) Aiming to Steer Metro In a Different Direction

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
I agree with the new Chairman in one area:

"I think they're all very nice," Smith said of plans for new rail lines and experiments with light rail. "I love Disneyland as much as anyone. But the reality is, we're in an extreme crunch, and the primary focus has to be protecting, defending and maximizing the system that we've already got. Nothing can be more important than that."

Aiming to Steer Metro In a Different Direction
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Dharmster said:
I agree with the new Chairman in one area:

"I think they're all very nice," Smith said of plans for new rail lines and experiments with light rail. "I love Disneyland as much as anyone. But the reality is, we're in an extreme crunch, and the primary focus has to be protecting, defending and maximizing the system that we've already got. Nothing can be more important than that."

Aiming to Steer Metro In a Different Direction
I only agree with this to the extent that the current MetroRail and MetroBus must improve in both quality of service and efficiency. I disagree to the extent Smith wants to put Dulles Rail and DC Light rail on hold.
 

rrk

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
Letter to the Washington Post:

Am I the only person offended by new Metro Chairman Robert Smith's comments comparing his hesitant support for new metrorail and light rail expansions to "loving disneyland as much as anyone"? Can he have been any more insulting to the hundreds-of-thousands of commuters who depend on Metro to get to work, school and doctor appointments?

The reason why the Metro system is so much better, and busier, than the usual junk that stands for public transit in most US cities is because its' original planners were visionaries. While I support efforts to safeguard the current system, we can't be shortsighted. How is the region going to even attempt to address sprawl, congestion and air pollution without having public transit keep up with the region's growth?

Everybody agrees that public services should be run more like businesses. But why must we run public transit like a mom-and-pop grocery? Cutting waste and pinching pennies is necessary, but businesses that are not interested in looking at the big picture and increasing market share become dinosaurs.

I am particularly baffled by the reluctance of people like Chairman Smith to seriously consider light rail transit. We have streets, avenues, boulevards, country roads, highways and parkways for cars, but where transit riders are concerned, we got buses that move slower than traffic on cul-de-sacs and heavy-rail lines that each carry more people than a freeway. Why can't we have something in between that can be built at a moderate cost?

Today, the nation and the region is easily twice as wealthy than when the Metrorail system was first proposed, and transit has proven to be an excellent investment in the region's economy. Why must we pretend otherwise?
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
I support some of his ideas:cut bus lines that dont dont have the ridership to support it, cut back to 2 car trains late at night. I cant tell you how annoying it is to see a 6 car train going along the orange line with maybe a dozen people in the whole train.

I do think the house has to be in order before you go doing an add on but you keep the plans in the hopper for the day you can build more.

I think he has guts and thats exactly what Metro needs right now.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
I'd Support Expansion When

rrk said:
Letter to the Washington Post:

I am particularly baffled by the reluctance of people like Chairman Smith to seriously consider light rail transit. We have streets, avenues, boulevards, country roads, highways and parkways for cars, but where transit riders are concerned, we got buses that move slower than traffic on cul-de-sacs and heavy-rail lines that each carry more people than a freeway. Why can't we have something in between that can be built at a moderate cost?
Article in today's post about the proposed fare increases and Metro's budget shortfall:

Metro Proposes Increase in Fares, Fees

Metro's budget shortfall is chronic unless the economy picks up. Even if it does, peak period rail is near capacity so additional ridership (and revenue) would have to come from off peak ridership which is more discretionary and hence rises and falls with the economy.

So, here's what has to happen:

1) Local leaders and Metro have to figure out how to cure a chronic OPERATING budget defict.
2) Local leaders have to find the $1.5 billion missing over five years to maintain the EXISTING system
3) Local leaders have to find billions more to better utilize the existing system. This would invovle going to 8 car trains, station entrance improvements, and underground pedestrian concourses linking key stations

Then, I'd be willing to support increasing the system. Oh, and by local, I mean LOCAL (to include state). Local leaders solution for 2 and 3 for now seem to be to go cap in hand begging for $$ from the federal government. They don't seem to realize that the current band of reactionary idiots in power won't give them the money so they have to raise it themselves.
 

Cirrus

Cyburbian
Messages
303
Points
11
Wonderful. Just what we need. A transit chairman intent on alienating potential riders, turning Virginia and Maryland against one another and putting a stop to any changes that will make Metro more competitive with cars. Also, notice how he didn't mention killing the Bi-County or Corridor Cities Transitways? Only projects not in Maryland are fantasies, apparently.

... Yet another bullet from the increasingly out of touch Ehrlich administration.

Metro needs to do some housecleaning; there can no doubt of that... But for someone from an administration about to sink Billions in to a new suburban highway to suggest we don't have the money for a $45 million light rail line is, well, completely bogus.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Metro needs to become focused on maintaining what it has. I'm a daily rider, and I've become extremely annoyed at the failings of the infrastructure. The Washington area has yet to come to grips that they have a $10 billion investment that is say depreciating at 2.5% a year. That means their is a need of $250 million ON TOP of rail operating subsidies (not to mention bus rail and capital subsidies that must be found. Metro's current leadership seems to think that the federal government will come up with most of it. Am I the only person who think that perhaps this is both naive and irresponsible?

Cirrus said:
Metro needs to do some housecleaning; there can no doubt of that... But for someone from an administration about to sink Billions in to a new suburban highway to suggest we don't have the money for a $45 million light rail line is, well, completely bogus.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Metro does need to keep what it has running. Elevators and escelators are always out-the program to cover the escelators is fantastic!

Fixing leaks in tunnles and stations, better lighting in some areas, the list goes on and on.

Expaning parking at outer stations is a great thing.

While I think Metro needs to keep pushing and planning to expand I agree in the short term keeping the house in running order is wise.
 
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