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Speak Out: Metro’s $26 Billion Improvement Plan

The primary obstacle for the transportation system appears to be funding.

Less than a year after the Loudoun Board of Supervisors signed on to a Metrorail project that would bring the new Silver Line to two stations in Ashburn, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has a proposed a series of list if improvements to help the system keep up with demand estimated to cost $26 billion.

The Washington Post has a story here.

The main snag in the way of the plan, which WMATA board members praised, appears to be where to obtain funding for the project.

In Loudoun, opponents of the county’s participation in the Silver Line project often pointed to the unknown cost of capital needs for Metro, and Loudoun’s responsibility for those costs. During the county’s debate about whether to participate, WMATA representatives said they perpetually have a plan that calls for far more investment than is possible by the participating municipalities.

What do you think about WMATA’s proposed capital plans?

Java Master January 28, 2013 at 01:27 AM
You are welcome to pay for all the metro and metro-bus rides you care to use, James. But don't you dare pick my pocket to pay for your mass transit fantasies. Your apocalyptic visions of total traffic gridlock is false. We shall continue to insist upon the personal mobilit y, privacy, and personal freedom that only private vehicles can provide. You, on the other hand, may continue to be Chicken Little screeching at the metro bus stop, while we drive past you.
Bob Bruhns January 28, 2013 at 06:29 PM
The clear double price of the Dulles Rail / Silver Line project, and the comment by a Fairfax County official that WMATA construction prices were similar, should be a loud, clear warning that this $26 billion WMATA plan - even if by some miracle it does not balloon as fast as WMATA can expand it - is sure to be massively overpriced. We really can't afford $5.6 to $6 Billion (depending on who fills out the Tifia loan paperwork) for the rail extension, and now we get this $26 Billion surprise? At the very least, careful cost oversight needs to be applied, and the line-item pricetags need to be public information and broken further out if requested. What is happening in the Dulles Rail / Silver Line under MWAA is ridiculous, and people need to understand that WMATA is the same animal. $26 Billion? From where? Even the news media had to pause at that figure, and our so-called 'leaders' are probably still trying to catch their breaths - or maybe they are watching the public apathy levels, to see if they dare to be a part of this even bigger ripoff. After what MWAA did, there is a whole new level of ripoff to beat! Wonder if WMATA can get friends and family in there with them, take gifts, and award contracts to the 1.3x to 3.3x highest bidder, like MWAA did. And hey, maybe the pen name posters will come back too! With full employment for pen name boosters, the economy will surely be coming back!
Bob Bruhns February 01, 2013 at 02:10 PM
1) Vehicle pollution complaints are outdated. We are entering an era of renewable energy, and this is showing up in electric-powered cars as well. Busses are moving into this era too - and if you don't think you are going to need busses, with or without the rail that we are paying two times for - think again. 2) It was claimed that there are too many cars on the road now - but evidently there are also too many trains on the rail systems we have, given that WMATA is looking for another $26 billion, presumably on top of the $13.3 billion that they already needed for maintenance and capital needs that we already could not afford. THERE'S a question for the press conference that HAS to be coming - are these numbers separate? Did the $13.3 Billion just suddenly morph into $26 Billion in the usual "I hear $13.3 Billion, do I hear $26 billion" fashion - or are we ALREADY looking at $39.3 Billion? Of course it won't matter much, because history shows that the number will quickly surpass $39.3 Billion, at the rate of unopposed hyperinflation we are seeing in these projects "I hear $13.3 billion, do I hear $26 Billion? $26 billion, do I hear $40 billion? $40 Billion, do I hear $60 billion?" Etc, etc, etc. And who is doing the cost estimating, anyway - the Church or something? Because they are NEVER questioned! Do they speak only to prophets on mountaintops, and are their utterings then carved into tablets, and brought down to us as some kind of Unquestionable Fact?
Glenn February 02, 2013 at 02:20 AM
A study I made several years ago found that the Metro subway system used more electicity per passenger mile than the same energy used to transport a single passenger in fuel efficent car one mile. The fuel efficiency of Metro is bogus. Just watch the nearly empty 6 car trains most of the day. We are suckers for a lie retold many times by the backers of Metro. No I guess it is not a lie. They really believe it. It is a faith.
Bob Bruhns April 13, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Speaking of unquestioned estimates, Arlington County had budgeted $20.86 million for a total of 22 of the "Super Stop" bus stops that you may have heard about. $1M exposed D.C.-area bus stop leaves straphangers out in the rain CBS News, March 28, 2013 8:31 AM http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57576724/$1m-exposed-d.c.-area-bus-stop-leaves-straphangers-out-in-the-rain/ That's about $948,000 per stop. WMATA was behind that. And yes, the same WMATA wants $26 Billion for Metro upgrades. Is the picture getting any clearer yet?

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