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.
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.
This great video shows one day’s worth of Metrorail, Metrobus and DC Circulator moving across the region.Metrobus and Circulator are both shown as white dots, while the Metrorail dots are keyed to line color.
The video should be viewed in full screen mode in order to really see Metrorail.
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!
To improve the effectiveness and reliability of bus service, WMATA and DDOT recently initiated an operational analysis to explore bus-only lanes along H and I Streets NW, one of the busiest bus corridors in downtown Washington, DC. The study team recently completed the existing corridor conditions assessment and applied VisSim, a multi-modal traffic simulation tool, to identify and quantify the congestion impacts on buses as well as other roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and private vehicles.
Ridership growth at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station from 1977 – 2011.
The Gallery Pl-Chinatown Station is the third-busiest station in the Metrorail system, with an average of 26,000 daily passenger boardings in May 2011. Combined with the Metro Center Station less than 1,000 feet away, these two stations facilitate downtown transfers on all five Metrorail lines, with the Yellow, Green and Red Lines at Gallery Place and the Orange, Blue and Red Lines at Metro Center. The Gallery Place Station consists of two side platforms that serve the Red Line on the upper level and one center platform that serves the Green and Yellow Lines on the lower level.
Redevelopment in the station area catalyzed by the opening of the Verizon Center in late 1997 has drastically increased the demand at this station, resulting in crowded conditions during the peak travel times throughout the station, including mezzanines, platforms and escalators. Weekday ridership has increased from an average of 6,500 boardings in 1997 to an average of 26,000 in 2011. Although ridership has stabilized over the past few years, more growth is expected in the near future with new CityCenterDC development currently under construction at the old convention center site at 10th Street and H Street NW.
Metro’s planners are currently undertaking the Gallery Place Station Access and Capacity Improvement study, with the purpose of identifying capacity constraints and developing improvement alternatives at the station. Similar to the Union Station Access Study, this study will provide simulations of the projected pedestrian environment on the platform at key milestone years, and will measure the effectiveness of the proposed capacity improvements. Read more…
Currently, passengers traveling through the north mezzanine experience congestion on a daily basis. Imagine what would happen at the north mezzanine in the next 20 years, once Union Station’s local and intercity travel facilities have been expanded (including the planned streetcar terminating at 1st and H Streets NE) and the millions of square feet of planned development in the surrounding areas have been completed. Our analysis shows that pedestrian volume through the north mezzanine will increase by 60%.
The biggest challenge faced by Metro during this study was to identify feasible improvements that would provide enough capacity for all users while ensuring compatibility with building functions and historical characteristics. Metro worked with DDOT and Union Station stakeholders to develop two improvement alternatives: Partial Build and Full Build. These alternatives are illustrated in the animated graphic below, which rotates between existing conditions, partial build and full build every 15 seconds. Read more…
The Metrorail Station at Union Station is the busiest station in the Metrorail system, with 70,000 passengers entering and exiting daily. This station has experienced substantial ridership growth in the past three decades from the development of surrounding DC neighborhoods, expanded intercity travel and commuter rail’s growing popularity. The existing station, designed in the 70s, can no longer accommodate the current and future passenger travel. Passengers experience congestion on a daily basis.
In late 2009, Metro, in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), initiated a Union Station Capacity and Access Improvements Study. The objective is to assess capacity deficiencies and develop alternatives to enhance pedestrian access, increase station capacity, reduce travel time and improve connectivity to the other transportation modes. To be able to compare the benefits of the proposed alternatives, Metro used a pedestrian simulation tool, developed by Legion, to quantify and assess the performance throughout the station’s north mezzanine under the current station conditions and with the proposed capacity improvements. We’ve put this post up so people can see the kinds of analysis tools Metro is using to evaluate station capacity and to visualize capacity and operating issues. Metro will be using the pedestrian simulation tool and analysis at other stations experiencing crowded conditions, such as the Gallery Place-Chinatown station.