Metro is focused on solving one of the region’s most pressing mobility issues – increasing the capacity of the system to handle more trips through the core (defined below) of the Metrorail system. While Metro’s planning staff has been conducting technical analyses and searching for the best solutions for some time, we also asked for ideas for increasing core capacity from you as well as discussed the potential for new lines, new connections and expanding to all 8-car trains during peak periods.
There are also operational strategies Metro could employ to provide more trips on the rail system without expanding capacity. Among the various options is to promote and encourage more “reverse commuting” where commuters travel opposite the peak travel direction in seats that would otherwise be empty. Data show that reverse commuting has already increased over the past 10 years and many speculate that it will only increase further as the region builds more suburban town centers near Metro and as Metro begins operations on the Silver Line later this year. Read more…
Thank you for all for your valued contributions on MindMixer over the past several months. All of your comments and ideas have been reviewed to see what improvements we can begin to undertake and plan for and many have been incorporated into Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro, our strategic plan. We also appreciate your continued patience while we developed new topics.
We’re happy to announce that new topics are open! We want to hear from you on the staff draft of Momentum and initiatives for Metro 2025 so that we can maximize our existing system. Additionally, for the cartographers out there, there is a question about proposed changes to the Metrorail map in advance of the Silver Line opening later this year. So please log back on and let us know what you think. If you haven’t joined the conversation, please do! We want to hear from you and we’re listening.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Last summer, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) posted the results from the 2010 State of the Commute (SOC) Survey. Metro planners are reviewing the results now in support of our Regional Transit System Plan, which is looking to better connect areas of concentrated growth, such as the regional activity centers, and increase core capacity through 2040. The survey is conducted every three years to help MWCOG’s Transportation Planning Board better understand commuting trends and evaluate the effectiveness of its Commuter Connections program, which provides information about and benefits for commuting by transit and carpooling instead of single-occupancy vehicles (SOV).