Posts Tagged ‘capacity’

Fixing Core Stations in Metro 2025 Helps Riders from All Jurisdictions

June 12th, 2014 3 comments

Though many of the stations that Metro 2025 seeks to improve are in the District of Columbia, the capacity expansion would help riders from all jurisdictions.  

Metro needs to improve the capacity at over a dozen stations:  some of these stations are at capacity today, and our 100% eight-car train program will bring even more customers to already crowded stations.  We know we need to build new escalators, expand mezzanines, and build pedestrian passageways to meet this future demand.

The fact is that Metro 2025 is designed to benefit the Washington metropolitan area, residents of the District, Maryland and Virginia, as well as visitors from around the country and the world.

If you’re a commuter in Maryland or Virginia, it may look like the benefit of these improvements are focused on D.C. residents.   After all, 10 out of the 15 stations are located in the District of Columbia.  But the diagram below shows most of the riders who use these stations – those who create the need today, and who would benefit from fixing it – live in Maryland or Virginia.  In fact, 77% of the users of the Metro 2025 stations live in the suburbs.

 Three-quarters of riders benefiting from the station improvements in Metro 2025 live in Maryland and Virginia

Fixing core stations in Metro 2025 helps riders from all jurisdictions

Help us make the Metro 2025 projects in Momentum a reality! Learn more about Momentum, call on your elected representatives, and endorse the plan.

How Do Different Modes Compare?

May 14th, 2014 6 comments

The region either already has or is planning for a variety of different modes. How do they compare? The Silver Line will soon open as a Metrorail line. Later this year, a streetcar will be operating on H Street, NE with others planned for Columbia Pike in Arlington and the District. Arlington and Alexandria are jointly building a bus rapid transit (BRT) line between Crystal City and Potomac Yard. Once funding is finalized, Maryland will build the Purple Line and light rail transit (LRT) will connect New Carrollton and Bethesda. This is all in addition to the region’s existing commuter rail, commuter bus, Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroExtra services. The region is not only expanding transit services, but it also expanding the types of transit modes that will operate. At long last, instead of talking about Portland (streetcar), Jersey City (light rail), or Cleveland (bus rapid transit), we’ll be able to point directly to services and infrastructure in our backyard or take a trip and experience the pros and cons of these modes for ourselves.

So how do the different modes compare? What kind of purposes does each serve? There are many external factors and trade-offs that influence how agencies and jurisdictions select which mode to implement.  As we see from the ongoing debates in jurisdictions across the region between LRT and BRT or streetcar and enhanced bus, there is not always one perfect choice. However, an array of transit and land use measures can provide context to the conversation. As part of ConnectGreaterWashington: The 2040 Regional Transit System Plan, we developed the below table to compare commuter rail, commuter bus, heavy rail, light rail, streetcar, bus rapid transit, and enhanced bus across land use intensity (households and employment), vehicle capacity, stop spacing, trip length, and capital and operating costs.

What do you think? Does this information better inform the rail vs bus debate? What other information would provide more clarity on what modes work where?

Comparison of High-Capacity Transit Modes

Comparison of High-Capacity Transit Modes

 

Changing Metro’s Funding Trajectory

February 10th, 2014 2 comments

The Transportation Planning Board (TPB) estimates that without funding commitments from Congress, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia for Metro’s ongoing maintenance and core capacity improvements, as many as 32,000 future daily transit riders would be pushed onto the roadways instead. 

In a recent report, the TPB cites that under the current funding trajectory, Metrorail riders will face significant crowding and experience less service reliability in the future.  Critics often cite low forecasts of future Metrorail ridership from the TPB as a reason to avoid committing robust levels of funding for transit.  What they don’t tell you is that the ridership numbers emerging from the travel demand model are manually “capped” so that there is no ridership growth beyond 2020 – the year beyond which current levels of maintenance funding levels expires.  In other words, because regional leaders have not committed to funding transit, those that forecast travel demand have decided to stop forecasting increases in transit usage.  Were it not for this artificial “cap”, travel demand forecasts would show much higher numbers of future transit use.  We all know that such a “cap” ignores the last 10-15 years of increasing transit usage region-wide (performance analysis of the CLRP Gallery Place pm Rush 042310-2362)

Metro’s strategic plan, known as Momentum, proposes a number of core capacity improvements to handle more riders, and offers a plan of initiatives necessary to remove the so-called “transit constraint” placed on the system in 2000Metro 2025, one of the main components of Momentum, includes:

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Categories: In The News Tags: , , ,

Why isn’t Metro looking at a line to [insert address here]?

December 20th, 2013 9 comments

[Editor's note: this will be our last post of 2013.  We look forward to seeing you again in early January.]

You name it and we tested it as part of our analysis and development of the Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP). Here’s the comprehensive list of what was analyzed.

List of Transit Corridors, Projects, and Plans Analyzed as Part of RTSP

List of Transit Corridors, Projects, and Plans Analyzed as Part of RTSP

We have received tons of great comments on the proposed 2040 network of Metrorail and high capacity surface transit corridors. Many of you have said that we missed <insert corridor here> or have asked why we don’t have a line to <insert address here>. As part of this plan, we have analyzed almost every corridor or mode that you have identified. However, we recognize that most of it was behind the scenes and is buried deep in our posted presentations to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

Above is a list of what was analyzed before we unveiled the proposed 2040 Metrorail Network and regionally significant high capacity corridors. Better yet, here is a document that shows the Metrorail lines and other surface transit plans, projects, and strategies that were tested over the course of the project. Everything is listed and where possible, maps and graphics are provided to illustrate what was tested. All tested items were measured against a comprehensive set of measures of effectiveness (MOE). The MOEs assessed ridership, impact on core capacity, transfers, reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), mode share, etc.

To wet your whistle, below, check out the Beltway Line that was tested. Only the segments that crossed the American Legion Bridge (between White Flint and Dunn Loring) and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (between Branch Avenue and Eisenhower Avenue) had some promise and therefore, they continued on in the analysis, though as surface transit not Metrorail. The other segments did not provide good ridership, primarily due to the low densities within a walkable distance from the Beltway, and had little impact on Metrorail core capacity.

Alignment of a Beltway Line that was tested in the RTSP

Alignment of a Beltway Line that was tested in the RTSP

Let us know what you think!

More than Metrorail: The Region’s Most Important High-Capacity Surface Transit Corridors

December 19th, 2013 14 comments

In parallel with the proposed 2040 Metrorail network, we have identified 25 regionally significant corridors that merit high-capacity surface transit by 2040. Depending on the corridor, high-capacity surface transit can be provided more efficiently and effectively by modes other than Metrorail.

The best transit systems in the world are comprised of large networks served by multiple modes. In the National Capital Region, due to the growth and dispersal of activity centers, the high demand placed on Metrorail, and the realities of transit funding, expanding the transit network needs to occur by expanding transit on the region’s roads and highways not just by Metrorail. Metrorail is not and cannot be the best mode for every corridor because the vast majority of corridors do not have the land use, density and ridership to support it.

But don’t despair! There are plenty of other high-capacity modes such as bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail (LRT), streetcar, and enhanced bus that can provide:

  • high-frequency;
  • all day service;
  • large, comfortable vehicles; and
  • lower capital and operating costs than Metrorail.
Regionally Significant High Capacity Surface Transit Corridors as part of 2040 Regional Transit System Plan

Regionally Significant High-Capacity Surface Transit Corridors as part of 2040 Regional Transit System Plan

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Silver Spring Capacity Analysis Study Under Way

September 6th, 2013 No comments

Metro is addresses crowding, integration of Purple Line in new Silver Spring Capacity Analysis.

Metro staff have recently kicked off a capacity analysis of the Silver Spring station. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how well the station is functioning currently in terms of access and egress, vertical circulation, and faregate crowding. The study is also looking at how to accommodate growth in demand due to the opening of the Purple Line as well as increasing job and household density in Silver Spring and the region between now and 2030.

queuing heat map

The current conditions assessment is nearly complete, and shows that the station is performing well under normal conditions.  The graphic above is a cumulative mean density map, illustrating the average amount of “elbow room” each passenger has during the peak 15 minutes.  It shows that the current configuration of faregates at the two mezzanines (north is to the upper left corner) is adequate to service PM peak period demand, with only a little crowding (orange) near some faregates.

This post focuses on the PM peak period because Silver Spring has more station exits in the PM peak than the AM peak:  exiting passengers all disembark the train at the same time, which can cause queues to form at escalators and faregates.  Passengers entering the station, however, tend to trickle in and don’t put as much of a strain on station facilities.   These passengers can crowd the platform waiting areas, which will also be evaluated under this study.

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CTA’s Decrowding Measures Having an Impact

August 12th, 2013 1 comment

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) proposed a decrowding plan last fall, and after one quarter, it appears to be working.

cta_bus_crowding

Source: CTA Crowding Reduction Plan: http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/miscellaneous_documents/Public_hearing_presentation_FINAL_090412s.pdf

They proposed the plan to reduce crowding and meet growing ridership needs (In September, they announced that “CTA ridership has risen 16 straight months, adding 22 million riders since June 2011.”)  The original plan essentially:

  • added service to 48 high ridership bus routes
  • added 17 rail trips to the Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Brown, and Orange lines during weekday rush hour
  • added rail trips to the Red, Brown, and Blue lines during weekend service
  • discontinued service on 12 low ridership bus routes (or duplicative)
  • discontinued service on 4 bus route segments (the entire bus route was not axed).

These service changes went into effect mid-December, 2012. The reasoning behind the addition of service and discontinuation of service was justified by the fact that the high ridership bus and rail routes represent more than 75% of the average daily ridership while the discontinued routes only represented less than 2% of its average daily ridership. Additionally, for the discontinued routes, there was another transit option nearby, such as a rail line, or another bus route. These cuts were also closely coordinated with the suburban bus company, Pace.

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Categories: In The News Tags: , , ,

Delivering the Transit System the Region Needs

August 6th, 2013 No comments

Delivering the transit system that Columbia-Heights-Sta-041007-018the region needs will require an unequivocal commitment of additional resources from internal and external stakeholders. Simply put, the rehabilitation work being accomplished at the time of the writing of this document will not be nearly enough to keep up with the region’s needs, and without additional resources it will be unlikely that the region can continue to enjoy a transit network that contributes to competitiveness and makes the Washington metropolitan area one of the most desirable places to live and work.

Metro – Doing Business Differently

Metro recognizes that rebuilding the region’s transit system also means rebuilding the region’s transit authority – and will continue to be hard at work on this task in preparation for the implementation of Momentum.  In the near term this means revamping nuts and bolts elements of the authority, including but not limited to: identifying ways that Metro can do its job more efficiently while increasing performance; evaluating its contracting and procurement philosophy to emphasize lifecycle contract and asset management; engineering a budgeting process that allows Departments to strive to achieve the goals of Momentum within the context of tight fiscal and financial discipline; and a human capital strategy that must have the right talent in-place and in-queue.  In the long term, this means completing the journey to a much more business-like operating and execution philosophy for the organization.

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Metro 2040 – Building the System that the Region will Need

August 5th, 2013 4 comments

The year 2040 may seem distant Logo_WMATA_RTSP_001 blackand removed, but in the context of transit planning, it is right around the corner. Metro’s Office of Planning is in the process of developing the 2040 Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP), which will outline a comprehensive regional transit network to prepare the region’s transit system for continued growth.

The RTSP, along with other elements that may be identified in the future, will need to be evaluated as necessary to meet the demands in the future.  The plan includes a combination of core system improvements, which are included as part of Metro 2025 above, as well as system connectivity and expansion projects. Most importantly, it combines all modes in the region’s transit system, whether or not Metro will build or operate them. The strategies in the plan are designed to both serve existing areas better and provide service to new areas, helping to realize Region Forward’s vision of regional activity centers with transit options that improve regional mobility, enhance commerce and competitiveness, and have environmental and health benefits for generations to come.

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Bus Fleet Expansion

July 26th, 2013 3 comments

Metrobus needs to accommodate growth Shepherd-Pkwy-Bus-102511-103in demand for bus service. Simultaneously, service effectiveness and reliability are suffering due to increasing traffic congestion. In order to meet this challenge, Metro requires 400 new buses by 2025 in addition to those needed for service on the Priority Corridor Network (PCN). Between PCN implementation and service expansion on “Emerging Corridors”, a bus fleet of 2,060 is required by 2025. To support this fleet, an additional 250-space bus garage will be needed along with heavy overhaul capacity expansion from 100 to 150 buses/year.

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