‘Recent Accomplishments’

Public Engagement and Support: Elected Officials

August 7th, 2013 No comments

Momentum’s outreach was unprecedented. Farecard machine tourists 071807 022Metro staff heard from almost 12,000 stakeholders during the process, which helped inform our understanding of the public’s short- and long-term needs. Below is a high-level summary of the most commonly-held viewpoints across region:

  • Make no small plans for Metro;
  • Recognize Metro is critical to the region’s future;
  • Continue rebuilding;
  • Reduce crowding;
  • Provide better customer information; and
  • Ensure predictable funding.

Elected/Public Officials

“Fix the funding problem, and be the region’s transit Authority”

Elected and other public officials were supportive of Momentum and planning for the future, though concerns were voiced that current funding levels were not sufficient to support the regions’ future needs. Major areas of focus included system capacity, regional mobility, enhanced connectivity including suburb to suburb commutes, integrating with other regional transit projects, economic development and Metro serving as the region’s transit planning leader. Specific support emerged for bus rapid transit and expanded bus services to address both core capacity and suburb-to-suburb issues and 100 percent eight-car trains to address core capacity and platform crowding. Officials also seem to agree that Metro should “be responsible for coordinating regional connectivity” by fulfilling its role as the transit planner of the region, as outlined in the Metro Compact.

During a meeting with the Maryland Congressional delegation, all members present expressed their willingness to discuss the reauthorization of PRIIA or finding other means of federal investment when the current authorization expires in 2018; however, the delegation was clear in stating that local and state officials need to take lead on securing a substantial and local capital funding commitment before Congress would act.

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Public Engagement and Support: Business Community and Metro Employees

July 31st, 2013 No comments

Momentum’s outreach was unprecedented. Farecard machine tourists 071807 022Metro staff heard from almost 12,000 stakeholders during the process, which helped inform our understanding of the public’s short- and long-term needs. Below is a high-level summary of the most commonly-held viewpoints across region:

  • Make no small plans for Metro;
  • Recognize Metro is critical to the region’s future;
  • Continue rebuilding;
  • Reduce crowding;
  • Provide better customer information; and
  • Ensure predictable funding.

Read more…

Public Engagement and Support: Customers and Advisory Groups

July 24th, 2013 No comments

Buses-Farragut-N-010412-52

Momentum’s outreach was unprecedented. Metro staff heard from almost 12,000 stakeholders during the process, which helped inform our understanding of the public’s short- and long-term needs. Below is a high-level summary of the most commonly-held viewpoints across region:

  • Make no small plans for Metro;
  • Recognize Metro is critical to the region’s future;
  • Continue rebuilding;
  • Reduce crowding;
  • Provide better customer information; and
  • Ensure predictable funding.

Read more…

Critical Board Accomplishments

July 17th, 2013 No comments

Since 2010, the Board of Directors Grosvenor-Sta-night-121010-13has been laying the foundation to rebuild Metro itself.  From hiring a new General Manager to beginning the largest capital program since the inception of Metro, the Board has taken numerous actions to better equip the agency to succeed, including providing a stronger governance foundation.

Under the leadership of the Board, Metro has made substantial progress on improving system safety, reforming the agency’s governance, and stabilizing its finances

The Board has made strategic investments in infrastructure, equipment and workforce training, and developed policies that have markedly improved safety, as recognized by the NTSB and FTA and documented in the Authority’s publicly-reported Vital Signs score card.

Governance reforms undertaken over the last two years have modernized Board leadership, strengthened the Authority’s governing structure, improved the Board’s partnership with the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, enhanced internal management, and prioritized public dialogue. The Board also adopted governance reform measures that strengthened its Code of Ethics and provided its first-ever bylaws, which detail the Board’s focus on policy, financial direction, oversight and Metro’s relationship with its customers and jurisdictional partners.

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Improving Customer Service

July 10th, 2013 1 comment

Since 2011, Metro has made great Sta-Manger-Bell-and-riders-061411-57strides to improve customer service through the Customer Service Action Plan. As a starting point, to determine customer priorities, Metro conducted customer and employee research to define good customer service and to identify customer priorities. With the information gathered from its customers and frontline employees, Metro identified the areas needing improvement in the respective departments and then put together individual corrective work plans. Through the Customer Service Action Plan, Metro has accomplished the following:

  • Developed new customer service training programs and trained over 2,000 employees;
  • Replaced and/or rehabilitated 28 escalators in 2012;
  • Introduced new and improved bus maps;
  • Assigned over 30 more police officers to improve bus security;
  • Developed and launched a trip planning and information site designed for mobile devices;
  • Installed digital flat screens in all stations to improve customer information;
  • Deployed MetroAlerts so customers have access to real-time detour and disruption information;
  • Installed over 2,600 static stop signs to enhance service information at bus stops;
  • Enhanced MetroAccess’ on-time performance standards in response to customer survey feedback;
  • Installed SmarTrip dispensers in all stations; and
  • Implemented the Better Bus program to improve service.

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Summary of Metro’s Recent Cost Efficiencies and Savings

July 3rd, 2013 No comments

Over the last five years, Metro has cut $200 million through efficiency-related reductions and achieved similar savings in costs avoided through management efficiency initiatives, restructurings, one-time savings and other actions, including:

MetroAccess: In FY11, by encouraging select paratransit riders to use fixed route transit, Metro saved more than $25 million in paratransit costs. Continuing to promote this travel training has lowered MetroAccess demand and has allowed Metro to avoid spending an additional $10 million in FY13 alone.

Energy Efficiencies: Metro’s bus fleet has improved its fuel economy by 27 percent over the last eight years, saving money on rising fuel costs.  Meanwhile, Metro’s facilities are saving money as well – the new Shepherd Parkway facility is LEED-Silver certified – and the new escalators and elevators are realizing significant energy savings.

Parking Facilities: Metro saves $3.1 million each year as a result of automating its parking facilities.

Employee Health and Wellness: As a result of a health insurance benefits program audit, Metro has cut $3 million per year, and plans to continue on the wellness track by incentivizing healthy behavior and habits to help its employees, increase productivity and further reduce health insurance costs.

Overtime: An organization-wide review of overtime procedures and pay is paying dividends. Since the end of 2012, overtime is $3 million lower than the same period for each of the two preceding years.

Transaction Costs: Metro is encouraging more SmarTrip Card usage, and as a result has reduced the use of paper fare media from 20% of payments to 12%, saving $1 million per year. Metro has its eyes set on more savings by targeting a 5 percent paper fare card usage rate.

Identifying More Efficiencies: An independent efficiency analysis is underway to assist in identifying further opportunities to save money in administrative areas. Read more…

Strides in Improving Reliability

June 26th, 2013 2 comments

Thanks to its funding partners, Metro is now Track-work-College-Park-031512-56engaged in the largest capital improvement program since its original construction. Two years ago, MetroForward was launched – an aggressive, $5 billion, six-year investment program to rebuild the system. MetroForward is investing in what Metro’s customers value most: safety, reliability, and good customer service. With continued investment, it is projected that Metro will continue to make progress on the intensive MetroForward “catch up” phase in the years ahead. MetroForward has already delivered:

  • An aggressive escalator rehabilitation program;
  • Continued improved elevator availability;
  • Station repairs at Judiciary Square, Shady Grove, Rockville, White Flint, Twinbrook and Union station;
  • 461 new MetroAccess vehicles in service;
  • Over 200 new replacement or rehabilitated buses in service;
  • Electrical upgrades to accommodate additional eight-car trains on some lines; and
  • Replacement of over 14.7 miles of rail; 36 No. 8 guarded switches; 16,000 ties; 11,731 cross ties; 62,723 linear feet of running rail; 20,745 fasteners; 8,849 insulators; and 9,829 linear feet of grout pads.

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Building a Robust Safety Culture

June 19th, 2013 3 comments

Metro Transit Police Department OfficersMetro’s Board took the lead in building a safety-first culture by establishing the Safety and Security Committee. Metro has also adopted an analytical approach to prevent incidents by employing smart technology and identifying hazards early. All of Metro’s efforts to improve safety since 2010, including increased communication and analysis, have been recognized by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The actions over the last two years include:

  • Deploying safety officers and Metro Transit Police geographically based on hazard reporting, analysis of crime statistics and identified “hot spots”;
  • Installing hundreds of security cameras and video technology on buses, to decrease the occurrence of incidents and improve alertness;
  • Closing all ten recommendations of the FTA’s State Safety Oversight Audit;
  • Completing six internal safety audits, making Metro current with the three-year cycle required by the System Safety Program Plan;
  • Continuing to develop the confidential close-call reporting system;
  • Developing a Fatigue Risk Management System, a Fatigue Executive Steering Committee, and hours of service maximums to effectively address fatigue throughout the Authority; and
  • Closing seven NTSB recommendations, submitting fourteen for closure, and continuing progress on six.

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