WMATA launches capacity and reliability study


WMATA said metro's current cars won't support ridership by 2040

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — By 2040, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority anticipates ridership along its Blue, Silver, and Orange lines will grow by 18%. In a release, WMATA admits its current eight cars wouldn’t support that growth.

The transit authority has launched a two-year study to reduce delays, crowding, and congestion to accommodate that growth. All three of those lines merge at the Rosslyn tunnel onto one set of tracks. Any disruption can cause a ripple effect.

“The maximum number of trains that can run through the shared lines using existing technology is 26 trains per hour (TPH) in each direction, and that 26 TPH is divided between the three lines,” said the release. “Today, trains on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines are already crowded during rush hours, when some Orange Line trains between Court House and Foggy Bottom are at maximum capacity. 

The study will identify strategies to meet four key goals:

  • Serve current and future ridership
  • Improve on time performance
  • Increase operational flexibility
  • Meet sustainability targets

Read more about the study here.

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