Metro Board approves $5 billion, six-year capital spending plan to fund vital safety improvements, infrastructure upgrades
Projects include replacing 1000 series rail cars, rehabilitating portions of old rail lines
Metro’s Board of Directors approved a $5 billion, six-year capital spending plan today, June 24, as part of its FY2011 capital budget, which was made possible as a result of increased contributions from the jurisdictions that fund Metro, federal stimulus dollars provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and dedicated federal and local matching funds provided by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.
The first year of the plan represents $1 billion in spending, the largest amount Metro has spent in one year since the construction of the original Metrorail system.
The capital budget focuses on safety and maintaining the state of good repair of Metro’s trains, buses, infrastructure and facilities. Projects address the need to replace, upgrade or rehabilitate old or outdated vehicles, facilities, track, and customer amenities.
“We have allocated funds in the capital budget to be spent to continue to rebuild much of Metro’s infrastructure, which is critically important to improving safety and service reliability,” said Peter Benjamin, Chairman of Metro’s Board of Directors. “The cornerstone of the program includes the replacement of Metro’s oldest rail cars, the 1000 series cars, which addresses a recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Metro also will introduce new buses and MetroAccess vehicles.”
The multi-year capital agreement “marks a transition from the Metro Matters funding agreement and what is essential is that we came to an agreement with greater accountability and more effective project management,” said Catherine Hudgins, Vice Chairperson of the Metro Board and Chairperson of its Finance and Administration Committee.
Other critical projects in the capital budget include rehabilitating elevators and escalators, upgrading fare equipment and upgrading power systems in order to accommodate more eight-car trains.
Over the next six years, Metro will also replace and rehabilitate old bus garages; portions of the Metrorail system between Dupont Circle and Silver Spring and between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Stadium-Armory Metrorail stations; upgrade track, maintenance equipment, and operations support software and equipment. Enhancing the Metrobus Priority Corridor Network also will be covered in the capital budget.
News release issued at 5:25 pm, June 24, 2010.