An Urgent Plea for Better Management at Washington Metro

Ridership has declined on Washington's Metro rail in recent years, bucking national trends. Image: WMATA via WTOP
Ridership has declined on the Washington Metro in recent years, bucking national trends. Image: WMATA via WTOP

Things are not looking up at the Washington Metro. Despite service expansions, strong regional population and economic growth, and a national increase in rail ridership, fewer and fewer people are riding Metro.

Concerned about reliability and safety, riders are losing faith in Metro. Furthermore, Greater Greater Washington has pointed out that the agency’s finances are increasingly unsustainable.

In light of these problems, GGW’s David Alpert joined a coalition of business, labor, and advocacy organizations that drafted an open letter demanding changes, including the hiring of a new general manager:

Our groups have been staunch advocates for maintaining transit service, ensuring adequate funding, and expanding capacity such as through more eight-car trains. Yet recent events have shaken our, and the public’s, confidence in a system and agency which our region depends upon. We are weighing in now to help the agency reach a path to restore this confidence.

To preserve and improve the region’s livability and economic health, Metro must ensure service levels that meet demand, reverse recent years’ erosion of train and bus service, restore off-peak train frequencies, and return to an expansion path so that it can meet future needs for core capacity and regional access.

Check out all the requests and view the full letter at Greater Greater Washington.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Transport Providence reports that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is drawing fire from the ACLU for its lack of transparency. And Better Cities & Towns! says the Walmart fortune is now investing in “creating a strong public realm” in northwest Arkansas.

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