Posts Tagged ‘Board’

Q&A with Mary Hynes: WMATA and Arlington County Board Member

October 21st, 2013 No comments

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Mary Hynes, a Metro Board Member, sat down with the Region Forward team to answer a few questions about the region’s biggest challenges, how Metro can help the region meet the goals in Region Forward, and how citizens can get involved. In addition to her role at Metro, Ms. Hynes is an Arlington County Board Member and the Chair of the Council of Governments’ Region Forward Coalition, the public-private group leading the effort to implement COG’s vision for the region’s future.

Q: What do you think are the regions biggest challenges?

Mary Hynes: “The economy is a big challenge. We are still figuring out ‘the new normal’ with the federal government. The issues of housing and how people move efficiently around the region are also critical. It’s critical that we understand how housing and multimodal transportation options fit into the bigger picture of achieving a thriving region built of individual vibrant communities – one that is also attuned and committed to meeting the social equity requirements of our diverse, sustainable region.”

Q: How does Metro help us meet our Region Forward goals?

Mary Hynes: “The Metro Board made a decision when considering how to frame its new strategic plan to key off of Region Forward. We – my colleagues on the Metro Board and Metro’s professional staff – looked at what regional leaders had done with Region Forward—the goals they had set—and said “Metro can be the catalyst that enhances regional mobility and convenes stakeholders to ensure a successful, integrated regional multi-modal system”. We worked with the Transportation Planning Board at COG to make sure Momentum and the TPB’s Priorities Plan are aligned.  It wasn’t hard because, in fact, there is regional consensus on the next set of transportation moves the region needs to make.

It’s an exciting time to be participating with COG and Metro. It’s a remarkable moment because people share the same vision. Leaders across the region have learned the same lessons. So the time is right!  Just as regional leaders did 50 years ago when planning Metro, we all must lock our arms, commit to a funding plan, and move forward together.”

Read the full interview!

Addressing the Funding Challenge

August 1st, 2013 No comments

Like many of the nation’s transit Capital Needs through 2025iagencies, Metro must rebuild its once-new capital assets as they wear down and deteriorate after decades of use. Metro could feasibly use every penny in its capital budget for years to come just reducing its backlog of maintenance issues. Moreover, Metro also needs to ensure that the system is able to overcome the capacity constraints that come with a regional population expected to swell in both the central core and the suburbs in the years ahead. And on top of this, Metro will need to address calls for entirely new service in many areas of the region. Once Metro is rehabilitated, the system will require a stable level of investment to maintain a state of good repair as it continues to age and deteriorate. Metro estimates that $1 billion (in 2012 dollars) per year is necessary to support and maintain the existing system, even after rehabilitation. Metro 2025 will expand the core and system capacity, as well as ensure that the region’s capital investments are successful. This requires an additional $500 million, on average, in annual capital funding through 2025.

Certainly, increases in the overall size and scope of the system will also have an impact on operating costs, which would grow to some degree when new rail cars, buses, and service are put in place. These operating costs may grow in line with the proportional size of system expansion or at a lower rate, especially if increases in reliability and the increased attractiveness of transit to today’s non-riders has a disproportionate effect on ridership, mode choice, and revenues for modes that have high farebox recovery ratios today and/or where existing demand is already delivering more revenue than operating costs.

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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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Announcing 40 Days of Momentum!

June 13th, 2013 2 comments

Momentum CoverYou’ve been diligently telling us what you think our priorities should be and we’ve listened. We’ve been hard at work putting the final touches on Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro and Metro’s Board endorsed the plan today.

Starting Monday, over the following 40 weekdays, we’ll be rolling out the most interesting parts of the plan in daily posts here on PlanItMetro.

Monday Posts: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Region Today

Tuesday Posts: Metro’s Importance to the Region

Wednesday Posts: Metro’s Recent Accomplishments and Public Engagement

Thursday Posts: Strategies and Priority Actions to Make this Vision a Reality

Friday Posts: Metro 2025 – Seven Priority Capital Initiatives

If you want to read and download either the full Momentum plan or the Executive Summary, go right ahead. But if you want to stop back for a daily dose of Momentum, don’t be shy. If you notice something that strikes your fancy, leave us a comment.

Regional support is important to making Momentum a reality! A number of regional stakeholders have already endorsed Momentum. Please sign on and add your name to endorse Momentum and send the message that public transit is vital to the National Capital Region.

 

 

 

MindMixer – What Happens to All Your Comments and Ideas

November 21st, 2012 No comments

Since Metro’s MindMixer site opened on September 27th, the response has been overwhelming. To date, we’ve had over 425 participants provide more than 1900 votes, 450 comments, and115 ideason a range of topics. The first round of questions generated over 150 pages of comments alone! The site is expected to continue through the end of the year at a minimum, so please continue to join the conversation.

Metro is using MindMixer to start a conversation with our customers about how they envision the next generation of Metro. A quick review of the site shows a wide range of comments and ideas, some that are short-term and many that are very far in the future.

All comments and ideas are being reviewed as part of Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro, the agency’s strategic plan. Metro staff is responding to some of the comments and ideas as they are posted. Often this is to direct a participant to work that is already underway or to provide short responses or explanations of current policies. Other ideas have created discussions between participants, which is one of the main purposes for the site. The vast majority of ideas and comments require further study, more discussion of what is possible within Metro’s environment, and/or prioritization among other needs at Metro. Many of the ideas also require substantial resources to implement.

As the site continues, we are collating and summarizing your comments and ideas based on themes, such as core capacity, information provision, and non-Metro expansion.  This high level summary will be used to support Momentum, our strategic plan, as it provides an indication of the elements that are most important to you, our riders. We will also be taking comments directly from MindMixer to incorporate in the strategic plan document. As part of this blog, we will be further developing some of the ideas and comments to form the basis for a Metro 101 section on PlanItMetro. These posts will help increase the level of understanding of transit in this region. Lastly, for those ideas that require further study, they will be compiled and when MindMixer concludes, this information will be circulated to the respective Metro departments. This will help ensure that decision makers throughout the organization review the thoughtful ideas that have been provided on MindMixer.

MindMixer – What We Heard from the First Round of Question about Momentum: the Next Generation of Metro

November 16th, 2012 2 comments

The first round of MindMixer questions for Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro closed on October 26th. 370 people joined the conversation and posted over 90 ideas, 300 comments, and 1,600 votes. There were 4,300 visits to the site, of which 63% were unique visits. There were almost 24,000 page views and visitors stayed on the site for an average of five and a half minutes. The response was terrific and we’re excited to continue the conversation and new questions are currently on the site.

Who Commented

Mind Mixer responses by zipcode. Click for larger version.

Your fellow Metro riders who joined the conversation came from across the region.Below is a map of the number of participants by zip code.Participants ranged from 18 to over 65, with an average age of 36.5. 70% of participants were men.As our ridership is much more evenly split, we’d love to hear from more women, so please don’t be shy!Guys – please tell your female colleagues, friends, and family about the site and encourage them to comment.This month we are advertising on buses and in multiple English and non-English newspapers to further engage our riders, so keep an eye out.

What We Heard

We have compiled a summary of the vote tally from each first round question, as well as a summary of the themes of the comments within each question. The major takeaways for Metro were that our riders have a lot of interesting, creative ideas for small, short-term improvements to their daily ride, many of which could be inexpensive. Additionally, there is a desire for large infrastructure projects to expand the system, connect communities, and increase the capacity in the system core. We also noticed a need for a Metro 101 to better explain the basics of how Metro operates, as well as the pros and cons of ideas and concepts. Stay tuned to PlanItMetro for posts tagged as Metro 101.

Overall, the major themes we heard were:

  • Safety—repair and relieve crowding
  • Address core crowding first
    • More train frequency
    • Bus priority
    • Station entrances; faregates
  • More information
  • Integrate and connect other services, communities
  • Funding—long-term source

Join the Conversation about the Next Generation of Metro

October 18th, 2012 2 comments

MindMixer, our online community engagement tool, has been live for more than two weeks. We started the conversation to gather your thoughts on some of the key questions facing Metro and the region in the future, such as:

  • What do you think our priorities should be for future infrastructure investments?
  • What areas should be better connected by transit?
  • What concepts that work in other cities should we use here?

Response has been high, the discourse has been positive, and several great ideas have been proposed!  For example, some of the ideas include:focus expansion and development in the core before any end of line expansion; develop an all inclusive mobile application for next bus, schedules, SmarTrip® balance, and alerts; and add mezzanines, improved signage, and stairs to our stations.

As of of October 15th, there were 325 active participants who have cast 1,300 votes to our survey questions, posted 375 comments, and have generated 66 ideas.  The site has been visited 2,900 times, with nearly 2,000 by unique individuals.  The next set of questions is slated to go live on October 27, so please check back next week and invite your colleagues, friends, and family too. We’re listening!

Metro seeks public input on FY13 budget and fare proposals

February 21st, 2012 2 comments

Metro’s Board of Directors will host six public hearings in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia beginning Feb. 27, where members of the public may provide formal testimony regarding the budget and fare proposals. Members of the public may provide formal testimony regarding the budget and fare proposals, which are included in the docket of budget actions. The proposed operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year support the critical rebuilding of the Metro system, and improving safety and reliability. The budget also provides service enhancements such as additional rush hour rail service, improved escalator maintenance, enhanced bus corridor services, increased security and continued compliance with National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations.

Preceding each of the formal public hearings, Metro will host an hour-long Open Forum with multimedia stations to engage stakeholders and solicit public input. The Open Forum will include a video presentation on Metro’s rebuilding program, tables staffed by senior Metrobus, Metrorail, MetroAccess, SmarTrip and police officials who will be available to talk with participants and answer individual questions, and a third station where computers will be made available to take an online survey regarding Metro’s priorities, as well as to submit written comments for the record.

Details and directions for transit travel to the public sessions are available on Metro’s website or via the hyperlinks below. Open forums begin at 6 p.m., followed by the public hearings at 7 p.m. The hearings will take place as follows:

Monday, Feb. 27
Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center – Hearing 569
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD

Wednesday, Feb. 29
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Cafeteria – Hearing 570
7130 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA

Thursday, March 1
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church – Hearing 571
John H. Kearney, Sr. Fellowship Hall
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE
Washington, DC

Monday, March 5
Washington Lee High School Cafeteria – Hearing 572
1301 N Stafford St
Arlington, VA

Tuesday, March 6
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church – Hearing 573
4201 Albemarle Street, NW
Washington, DC

Wednesday, March 7
First United Methodist Church – Hearing 574
6201 Belcrest Road
Hyattsville, MD

Written statements and exhibits may be sent to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, or e-mailed to writtentestimony@wmata.com. Statements also may be faxed to 202-962-1133. Please reference the hearing number. Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 12. A survey on possible options to balance the budget will be available on Metro’s website from 5p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 12.

Additional information can be found in the press release.