This is a research paper about the Washington, DC metro(subway). The metro is run by WMATA(Washington Metro Area Transit Authority). The guidelines were MLA format, at least 7 pages, and 6 in text citations. Cover page and citation page are not a part of the 7 pages.
Attached is my proposal, and the beginning of my paper. Use it as you will. Here are some points I had jotted down at the beginning to hit on. I will be available by phone and email tonight to midnight, and tomorrow starting at around 7 all through the day. Thank you so much, I do not have the time to sit and write this out!
What is WMATA’s service to the area
– what do they provide
— metro trains
– how does it aid the public?
— amount of riders per month/year
– how does it aid the DC government
— amount of employees riding
— amount of money DC government provides to WMATA
— amount of money provided for purpose of free riding employees
– how does it aid the federal government?
— same as DC gov points
– New rail cars vs old
– what was public transportation like before WMATA/NCTA (respectfully, different times)
— beginning of busses
— old trollies
– Currently, the experience of the metro
— waiting times
— hours of operation (prior and during the now single tracking)
— single tracking (and causes)
– maintenance plans and budget
— preventative maintenance (or lack of)
Should the WMATA Metro Be Expanded?
The metro (subway) has proved to be essential transportation means for residents in Washington, DC and its suburban areas for a longer time. Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) runs the transit system with funding support from the federal government and local governments of Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. The WMATA aws created in 1967 by an interstate compact in order to plan, develop, and operate a balanced regional transportation linking the capital to Virginia and Maryland. Metro rail system began to be constructed in 1969, and the WMATA acquired four regional bus systems for a start in 1973 with the operations of the first phase of Metrorail kicking in 1976. Today, Metrorail has over 90 rail stations and 117 miles of tracks. The Metrobus services operate in Washington, DC on 24 hours a day, seven days weekly basis providing more than 1,500 buses. WMATA Metrobus and Metrorail which contact a combined approximate of 2.3 million trips annually serve approximately four million riders within a squire mile of 1,500 jurisdictions. The metro services enable residents of the city and it’s suburban to go to work shifty without having to worry about driving. The local business, local government, and the federal government also depend on the metro system to provide their workforce with the inclusion of effective transport form that is simple for getting to and from work or accessing the different location of the city easily for work purposes. The high amount of numbers or groups depending on the metro system has risen concerned in the recent past about safety, coverage, and funding issues. This has led to the fundamental question about whether the expansion of metro in terms of tracks and areas reach is necessary. This analysis evaluates some of the reasons why the expansion move is necessary by examining different aspects and factors concerning the WMATA metro.
Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) had been in need of a public transportation network since the decline of streetcars in the late 1950s. Business and decision makers operating in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia became concerned with how incapable it was for development to continue in the region in early 1950s. The high daily movements created by thousands of federal employees, the increased housing, expansion of employment sectors within the region, and increase automobile use had resulted to congestion and inadequate transportation options for the rising population in the region. The need to expand the transportation sector in D.C was crucial involving a transportation pattern that will incorporate Maryland and Virginia. This will see the creation of option for most middle and upper-middle-class populations that reside in this region to access their working places easily and help reduce the population in D.C since other people would consider residing in Maryland and Virginia.
Transportation before NCTA and WMATA was conducted and regulated by the patchwork system of private bus companies which created incoherent fares and schedules that made transportation across state lines on public transit inconvenience. Mass transportation survey that was conducted in 1959 was presented to President Eisenhower which led him to signing the National Capital Transportation Act creating National Capital Transportation Agency (NCTA) on the 14th of July 1960. The NCTA main objective was to develop and plan a proposal for the construction of a rapid rail system.
An agreement of interstate compact was made between Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland After the interstate agreement that led to President Johnson in 1966 sign a bill that created the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Thomas-Arnold, Birth of WMATA). WMATA was officially created in February 1967 and worked together with NCTA for seven months before NCTA expiration in September. In March 1968, WMATA approved a 97.2 mile Adopted Religion System (ARS) that included 38.4 miles in Columbia District, 29.7 miles in Maryland and 29.1 miles in Virginia. WMATA secured funding of the approved plan in August 1968 after President Nixon signed a bill that enabled the United States Department of Transportation to provide funds to WMATA for the construction processes. By 1976, construction on the Red Line was completed, and the first passengers were able to ride the metro. Over the next 40 years, more lines were added with the most recent being the first half of the Silver Line, which opened in mid-2014, with the remainder scheduled to be finished sometime in 2020.
The smooth operations of the DC Metro highly depend on funding to enable stabilize its financial budget. There have been issues concerning lack of enough funding that result in incidences such as the shutdown of the entire Metrorail system and frequent safety and performance issues. Therefore, with a dedicated funding source, the Metro operations would be solidifying financially cutting the number of unplanned system interruption occurrences. DC WMATA has been reported to rely more heavily on unpredictable funding sources compared to other major transit systems operating budget sources (Eldridge & Hawkins, para.3-5). According to the fiscal year of f2016, WMATA (DC) had a 47% funding from state and state subsidies, 45% from fare and toll revenue, and 8% of other funding. While other systems such as MBTA (Boston) and MTA (NYC) reported a high considerable high percentage (62% and 36% respectively) of dedicated revenue such as taxes, WMATA (DC) had none which makes it more difficult for planning and allocation of funding for multi-year safety and performance improvement.
To improve the funding of WMATA metro system, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia in 2018 jointly approved an annual contribution of a joint $500 million that would fund the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in order to boost the recovery efforts of floundering systems. The annual funding from the states will help in combating longstanding problems that have been occurring within the Metro systems. The improvement of rail cars and buses would be necessary through replacing older equipment and conducting all repairs required across the system. Virginia pledged $154 million per year, D.C. $178 million per year, while Maryland pledged to $167 million to Metro funding annually (Kotfica, para.1-8). The WMATA federal funding of $150 million annually is set to continue in the next ten years. The legislation is in waiting that will see the federal government increase its 2019 funding by $126 million over the current $374 million funding. With the money coming through, WMATA will be able to secure and improve safety and long-term planning.
The WMATA passenger rail cars that existed in before are now being replaced by new rail cars that are designed with more technological features, provide more safety, and are more environments friendly. The new rail cars are more comfortable. The design of the new rail cars allows passengers to enjoy a variety of spaces that can accommodate different passenger’s demands. For instance, coach and first-class cars are designed with seats and tables that one can use to work or even conduct a meeting. The cars are designed with overhead shelves that allow one to keep their bags nearby while large bags are put on racks that are designed near doors (Midwest High-Speed Rail Association). The rail cars are also designed with by special bicycles holders that allow the bicycle to roll right and off without difficulties. The new rail cars provide level boarding that is safer, easy, and fast. As the old rail cars contained only the climb stars, the modern rail cars have automatic gap fillers that automatically remove the stars and fill the gap to allow passengers with limited mobility and those pulling luggage to enter the car easily, safely, and faster.
The modern rail cars are more flexible and cost-effective. The old rail cars were mostly heavy due to safety purpose; however, the new rail cars are lighter without compromising strength and safety. This is due to the use of aluminum corrugated box construction instead of heavy frame structures as in old rail cars. Lighter cars enhance quick acceleration and stopping the ability of the train, improve the speed of the train hence reducing fuel or electricity consumption. The other features of the new rail cars their faster speed through curves. Since each car is independently coupled or semi-permanently coupled, it allows each rail car to ride through a curve with an independent motion by exerting their own forces against the outer rail which enhances the speed that the car passes through the curve. Unlike the old rail cars where the car end hangs over the truck, the new rail cars have articulated joints that enhance the smoothness of the ride.
Currently, the waiting schedule for Metro lines rankings from the best includes Red Line riders which come first with waiting time being 3 or 4 minutes. The second-ranked is the Yellow Line where passengers have to wait for 3 to 9 minutes to get a train. The Green Line is coming third and close to Yellow Line with a waiting time of 3.5 to 9 minutes (Zou, para.2-6). Riders who use the Orange and Silver Lines have to wait for 3 to 10 minutes. Blue Line is ranked fifth with riders at worst having to wait between 3 to 11 minutes. The operation of WMATA has undergone debates in the past but due to the increased number of passengers and improved infrastructure, it was necessary to extend the operating hours to 24 hours 7 days a week. Single tracking occurs due to several reasons. Some of them include limited track options to redirect rail cars during maintenance which causes a transit knot. Sometimes water intrusion onto tracks from deep underground tunnels can cause problems. The other cause is when the trains fail to interlock which can provide one extra track to be used by other trains.
Throughout this analysis, different factors will be used to show some of the issues that face the Metro and the advantages that it has in terms of operations and technological. This piece, therefore, proposes the extension of metro in terms of tracks and areas reach. The first expansion proposal is the construction of a bypass for the Rosslyn Station. The bypass which will link the Silver Line and Virginia’s two airports will be able to accommodate an estimate of 20,000 users daily. The expansion of Metro can also be conducted through the construction of a second Green Line that would connect directly to the Pentagon and Dulles International Airport (Grinnell). The other Green Line would be used to reduce the numbers of the two busiest stations: Rosslyn station riders by 90% and L’Enfant Plaza station riders by 32%. The other way that the extension can be conducted is by extending the Orange Line 11 miles west of the current Vienna Station terminus. The establishment of the Brown Line would be able to expand the Metro. The Brown Line would provide new 21-mile line extending from Friendship Heights west to through Georgetown, Eckington, Brightwood, and joining Redline in Silver Spring. Lastly, the construction of the Beltway Loop which will involve the creation of more than 17 new stations and connecting 10 existing station along Beltway will be essential to the WMATA operations. The extension is estimated to serve more than 115,000 riders on a daily basis. One of the main connections to be created by the project is between National Harbor and Metro.
In conclusion, the extension of Metro would not only enhance the daily transportation of residents in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland but also improve other aspects that depend on transportation such as business and trade. It is, therefore, important to consider the expansion of the metro in terms of area reach.
Eldridge Matt & Hawkins Rayanne. How does Metro’s funding compare to other cities’ systems? Greater Greater Washington. 2016, https://ggwash.org/view/41125/how-does-metros-funding-compare-to-other-cities-systems. Assessed on 9 May 2019.
Grinnell Mike. Top posts of 2018: Five (mostly rejected) ideas for Metro expansion you’ve probably forgotten about. Greater Greater Washington. 2018, https://ggwash.org/view/70322/top-posts-of-2018-five-mostly-rejected-ideas-for-metro-expansion-youve-probably-forgotten-about. Assessed on 9 May 2019.
Kotfica Emma. Historic Agreement Guarantees Dedicated Funding for WMATA. The Hoya. 2018, https://www.thehoya.com/historic-agreement-guarantees-dedicated-funding-wmata/. Assessed on 9 May 2019.
Midwest High Speed Rail Association. Modern Trains. 2019, https://www.midwesthsr.org/modern-trains. Assessed on 9 May 2019.
Thomas-Arnold Evan. Birthing Mass Transit in the DMV: WMATA and the Difficulties of Multi-Jurisdictional Transportation Systems. TROPICS OF META. 2016, https://tropicsofmeta.com/2016/04/21/birthing-mass-transit-in-the-dmv-wmata-and-the-difficulties-of-multi-jurisdictional-transportation-systems/. Assessed on 9 May 2019.
Zou Manyun. Waiting Times for Washington’s Metro Lines, From Best to Worst. Washingtonian. 2016, https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/09/19/dc-metro-waiting-times-by-line/. Assessed on 9 May 2019.