Net Zero Water Treatment Facility at Largo

April 24th, 2014 No comments
pumphouse

Net Zero Water Treatment Facility

Near the Largo Town Center Metrorail Station, Metro is constructing a water treatment facility that features a modular green roof system and rain garden to filter stormwater. The facility will manage subsurface water from the track bed and has been designed with photovoltaic panels and battery storage system to achieve net zero energy specifications. Designing the facility to net zero means the building will produce as much energy as it needs on-site, without drawing power from the electric grid, to perform the entire subsurface water treatment process.

Currently, in accordance with State of Maryland requirements, track bed water at the station is treated to balance acidity and sulfate solids prior to being discharged into the storm sewer system. New regulations require Metro to undertake more comprehensive stormwater treatment to remove also remove iron and suspended solids. Initially, expanding the current underground water treatment facility at the site was considered. However, the existing location did not have sufficient space to allow the new requirements to be met and a new treatment facility was necessary. The new treatment facility will utilize three large submersible pumps to transport the stormwater to the surface for treatment. Pumping the water to the surface presented new process load requirements, but to address these the facility has been designed with a gravity feed system that uses less energy over the life of the project to perform the water treatment process. In addition, the facility also showcases a host of operating cost reducing green building technologies, including: Read more…

Wayside Energy Storage Pilot

April 24th, 2014 No comments
photo

Wayside Storage Battery Power System

For more than 20 years, Metro’s rail cars have captured and reused some of the electric energy that would otherwise be wasted when they brake through a process called regenerative braking. This process converts the excess kinetic energy, as the vehicle slows, to electric energy which can be stored and reused for propulsion power. Building on this technology, Metro recently completed tests to capture and utilize even more of the energy during braking through wayside battery storage.

The pilot project tests the energy storage efficiency and return on investment of a wayside Battery Power System (BPS). The BPS uses an innovative nickel-metal hydride battery that is characterized by low internal resistance. As a consequence, the battery can charge and discharge in a matter of seconds, making it perfect for wayside applications where rapid storage and discharge of propulsion power is required. Through this BPS storage system, the kinetic energy that would previously have been dissipated as waste heat can now be productively reused to power railcars and reduce overall energy consumption. Read more…

Metro’s Sustainability Initiative Launches

April 22nd, 2014 1 comment

 

Metro's Sustainability Agenda

Metro’s Sustainability Agenda

To coincide with today’s Earth Day we are excited to announce the launch of the Metro’s Sustainability Initiative. Last spring Metro’s Board of Directors adopted Momentum, Metro’s strategic plan, committing Metro to sustainability.  As a companion to Momentum, Metro’s Sustainability Initiative sets out Metro’s plan to meet that commitment through 2025 and beyond and positions the Authority to enhance regional livability while providing service more efficiently.

Check out Metro’s Sustainability Agenda a publication that highlights Metro’s sustainability investments to date, sets forth regional and internal sustainability performance  targets, and outlines future actions that can help meet these targets.

Performance targets include:

  •   Increasing Metro ridership 25% by 2025
  •   Increasing greenhouse gas displacement 10% by 2025
  •   Reducing energy use per vehicle mile 15% by 2025, and cutting in half greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle mile during the same timeframe
  •   Reducing water use per vehicle mile 20% by 2025

Read more…

Late Night Metrobus Survey Underway

April 14th, 2014 8 comments

Late Night Survey Logo

Metro is conducting rider surveys in support of a new study examining late night bus service, generally defined as operating between 11pm and 4am, with a focus on Metrobus service generally inside the Beltway and during the time period after Metrorail closes (after midnight during the week and 3am on weekends).  The study will examine the performance of existing late night Metrobus service, connections among bus routes and between late-night activity centers (see map below), and the potential for 24-hour bus service, and for branding late-night bus service.  The study will also make recommendations for near-term service improvements.  Riders of many of the most heavily used Metrobus routes may have noticed surveyors at major bus stops as in-person surveys were conducted from approximately 11pm to 4am over the past week. Read more…

SpeakUp! Washington Metro Region – It’s Your Ride!

April 7th, 2014 No comments

It might bend your brain a little to think about it – but we’re doing outreach to improve our outreach!  In order to help us be more successful at reaching our riders and engaging them in meaningful two-way conversations, we’ve embarked upon a project to ask our our customers and the non-riding public what will work for them.   Our goal is to use the input we receive to create a toolkit that will help us tailor our outreach to a variety of communities.

Metro’s SpeakUp! It’s Your Ride campaign is the publicly visible piece of a larger project to develop an agency-wide public participation plan that will boost inclusiveness, diversity and accessibility when getting feedback about decisions that affect riders. We’ll be hosting a number of festive events around the region where we’ll be asking people how they typically get their information and how they would like to give us their opinions on projects and programs.

You can find the schedule here at wmata.com/speakup or en Español at hablaconmetro.com, along with a link to the survey we have out there to collect this info. Stop by an event or fill the survey in on-line. Tell your friends and family – we want to hear from you!

See below for some photos from the DC United season opener SpeakUp It’s your Ride pop-up event.

Read more…

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Solving the Region’s Congestion Woes – One Step at a Time (Part 3 of 3)

March 31st, 2014 2 comments

Making every Metrorail station area walkable could reduce regional congestion without breaking the bank.

This is part three of a three-part series.

In the previous two posts we’ve laid out a case for making all transit stations walkable as quickly as possible.

  1. Increasing walkability and density at station areas has huge impacts on transit mode share and can take tens of thousands of cars of the road every single day.
  2. At a regional level, walkable station areas have an equivalent impact on congestion as a quarter trillion dollars in “last mile” infrastructure (see pages 37, 38, 43, 48).

Maximizing the capacity of the existing transit network while intelligently investing in station area connectivity would combat regional congestion just as effectively as trying to “build our way out of the problem”. And unlike many potential interventions, the market actually wants to do this for us.

Perhaps it is time to harness these market forces to make the areas around our transit network walkable and implement this low-cost congestion-busting paradigm. As for where to begin – well, we have a few suggestions…

Existing Walkability Near Metrorail Stations

The map below shows the range of existing walkability conditions near the Metrorail network and helps answer the question of how much of a half-mile radius of each station a person can walk to. The higher the percentage, the better the pedestrian network coverage. As shown, many of the station areas are under performing relative to their potential walkability. If walkability = connectivity and connectivity = mode share, then just imagine the impact on the region’s roads if we could focus on taking station areas with low accessibility and invest in some relatively easy, short-term solutions like sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, crosswalks, and smart, transit-oriented development to take maximum advantage of the existing Metrorail system and take tens of thousands of cars off the road each day.

How walkable are our region's Metrorail stations?

How much of the area within a half-mile of our Metrorail stations can you walk to?

Read more…

Planning for the End of the Driving Boom

March 27th, 2014 1 comment

Americans are driving less and owning fewer cars, which means we have to make different decisions about where to spend scarce transportation resources.

In a fascinating post in the Atlantic Cities, Eric Jaffe doesn’t waste words with assumptions but rather relies on actual data to inform us that America has already reached “peak driving” and that the future of transportation in America is no longer linked to ever-increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

This should come as no surprise, given that VMT has missed forecasted estimates since the early 2000′s. Just check out this handy chart from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Conditions and Performance Report (PDF) to Congress.

Figure 1. U.S. VMT (in trillions) as tracked by FHWA’s Travel Volume Trends (“Actual”) and as projected by U.S. DOT’s C&P reports (by year reports are dated). Via SSTI. Click image for original: http://www.ssti.us/2013/12/new-travel-demand-projections-are-due-from-u-s-dot-will-they-be-accurate-this-time/

 

Regional roadway planners are already beginning to embrace this thinking, as the chart from the State Smart Transportation Initiative illustrates in its analysis of MDOT’s transportation plans. These plans not only acknowledge declining VMT, but now omit traffic projections altogether. Read more…

Major changes coming to Metrobus routes 10A, 10B, 10E, and 9E on March 30

March 26th, 2014 2 comments
Routes 10A,E,R,S

Last fall we let you know about changes we proposed on the bus routes serving Hunting Point and the Mount Vernon Avenue/Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.  We developed the original proposal based on recommendations that emerged from a comprehensive study conducted on Routes 10A, 10B, and 10E in 2013.  In the weeks leading up to our September public hearings as well as in oral and written testimony given at those hearings we received numerous comments and opinions on the options we presented.  We incorporated that feedback into an adjusted proposal and presented it to Metro’s Board of Directors for approval.

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, Metro will implement these changes that will impact Metrobus routes 9E, 10A, and 10E.  We believe riders will benefit from faster travel times and improved connections between Alexandria, Crystal City and Rosslyn.

What these changes mean for you:

Route 10A riders:
During the a.m. peak period northbound (from Hunting Point) and the p.m. peak period southbound (to Hunting Point), Route 10R will replace 10A service. Route 10R will provide a direct connection between Crystal City and Rosslyn bypassing the Pentagon. Existing 10A passengers traveling to the Pentagon may take a Route 10E bus or transfer to Metrorail at Braddock Road Station. These changes do not impact off-peak, weekend, a.m. peak period southbound (from the Pentagon) or p.m. peak period northbound (to the Pentagon) 10A service. Read more…

Major changes are coming to Metrobus routes 23A and 23C on March 30

March 25th, 2014 No comments
Routes 23A, 23B, 23T, 23C, 23W

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, Metro will improve bus service in the Tysons-McLean-Crystal City corridor. The changes, which will affect Metrobus routes 23A and 23C, were part of a series of improvements presented at our public hearings in the fall of 2013 and will provide significantly improved bus service for the majority of riders on these routes.  This restructuring will also allow better coordination between Metrobus, Metrorail and Fairfax Connector bus service once Silver Line service begins.

What these changes mean for you:

Route 23A riders: 
Route 23A will operate between Crystal City and Tysons Corner Center weekdays during non-peak periods and at all times on weekends. During weekday peak periods, new routes 23B and 23T will replace Route 23A service. New Route 23W will replace all service between Tysons Corner Center and Tysons-Westpark Transit Station.

Route 23C riders:
Routes 23B and 23T will replace all 23C service between the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Chain Bridge Road in McLean and Crystal City. Route 23C service will be discontinued. Alternate service in the McLean and Langley areas is provided by Metrobus Routes 15K and 15L on Chain Bridge Road and Dolley Madison Boulevard. Read more…

New routes, more service, and other changes coming to bus routes in Southeast DC

March 24th, 2014 1 comment
Route W1

Last fall, Metro presented numerous proposed bus service changes at our public hearings. Many of these proposals impacted bus routes in Southeast DC and we received significant feedback from riders and other concerned citizens.  We heard you, we listened, and we updated or discarded our proposals based on your feedback.  Our original set of proposals included changes to:

What is happening now?

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, Metro will implement major changes on several Metrobus routes in Southeast DC, including the M2, M8, M9, V7, V9, and W4. These changes will improve neighborhood circulation and provide the direct connections to shopping and community services that residents have requested. These changes will also allow Metro to improve service on local high ridership routes. Here is what these changes mean for you: Read more…