Washington Metro makes its case

Here’s a quick review of the recently released Strategic Plan called Momentum: the Next Generation of Metro, The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) calls for a $36b investment for this impressive and successful system to continue to do its thing into the future.

It makes these comments about a world without Metro:

Imagine for a moment the Washington region without Metro. Images of increased traffic congestion and lost productivity come to mind, and it turns out that these images likely understate the benefits that Metro conveys to the region today. Fortunately, regional leaders made wise decisions decades ago, making Metro a part of the regional DNA.
Importantly, Metro does far more for the region than providing transportation alone. It also provides economic, social, and environmental benefits which contribute to the region’s health and vitality. Making the Case for Transit (2011) found that without Metro and the regional transit system that it feeds…
• There would be one million more auto trips per day;
• Congestion would increase by 25 percent, resulting in billions of dollars in lost productivity annually;
• More than 1,000 new lane miles would be needed on highways and arterial roads;
• All river crossings would need four to six additional lanes; and
• Downtown Washington would require 200,000 more parking spaces, which is the equivalent of 166 blocks of five-story garages, at a cost of at least $4 billion (2012), excluding land.

Glad they have Metro!

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