Riders comment on Metro service plans
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
With regard to reduction or elimination of eight-car trains, what I don't understand is how this is a cost savings measure. It would seem to be that eight-car trains would be far more efficient in terms of personnel and frequency required to move more people than six-car trains. What am I missing?
Metro officials say the savings would come in using less power and decreasing the wear, and therefore the maintenance, on the rail cars.
The transit authority's board of directors will hold a hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW in the District, on various proposals for eliminating $16 million from its current budget shortfall. All the proposals would affect riders -- some now, some later. I'll post some letters from riders over the next two days.
In my Sunday column, I focused on the issue of whether eliminating eight-car trains should even be on the table. In a Commuter page feature Sunday, I outlined the options Metro is considering to accomplish the budget balance.
Elimination of eight-car trains is just one line in the long list of options. If I were betting on the outcome of the Metro board's decision on Thursday, I'd say most, or maybe all of the proposed service cuts will not happen.
But I find the one-line reference to eliminating eight-car trains particularly bothersome, because the capital investment plan, for which Metro won regional and federal cooperation, calls for eight-car trains to relieve rush-hour congestion.
Metro is going back to the taxpayers now and asking them to invest in a new capital improvement plan. When people invest, they expect a return. If Metro says it's going to do something, it should do it.
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January 25, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories: Metro , Transportation Politics | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Metrorail
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