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Capital Needs Inventory - page 9 / 100

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Metrorail

On an average weekday in FY 2009 there were about 750,000 trips on Metrorail. In FY 2009, there were a total of 223 million Metrorail trips. Looking to the fu- ture, the Station Access and Capacity Study (2008) estimated that ridership would grow at about 1.7% per year. The projected growth is primarily driven by system expansion—the Dulles Corridor Metrorail extension—and regional growth. Ad- ditional ridership growth could also occur as a result of increased gas prices or faster household/employment growth. Taking these causal effects into account, overall growth between 2009 and 2020 is estimated at about 20% to 910,000 average weekday trips. By 2030, Metrorail ridership is expected to be close to 1 million trips a day. Inauguration Day 2009 gave Metro a “sneak preview” of what ridership will be like in the future. To accommodate that record ridership (1.1 mil- lion trips on Metrorail), Metro operated trains for 22 consecutive hours, including 17 straight hours of rush hour service. Even with this unprecedented amount of service, customers experienced long lines, crowded platforms and packed trains.

The two figures below illustrate how Metro’s rail system will become overcrowded in the future. Without fleet expansion, most rail lines will be congested by 2020, with the Orange/Dulles Line exceeding capacity (greater than 120 passengers per car). With expansion to 100% 8-car trains during peak periods, most rail lines will have adequate capacity through 2030, though the Orange/Dulles Line will exceed 120 passengers per car as 2030 approaches. Metrorail’s expanding ridership will place significant demands on the fleet, system and station capacity.

Metrorail System Capacity: No Additional Fleet Expansion

Line

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

Red Blue (Rosslyn) Orange/ Dulles Rail Yellow/Blue (14th Bridge) Green

Metrorail System Capacity: Expansion to 100% 8-Car Trains by 2020

Line

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

Red Blue (Rosslyn) Orange/ Dulles Rail Yellow/Blue (14th Bridge) Green

Congested (<100 people per car) Highly Congested (100-120 people per car) Exceeds Capacity (>120 people per car)

By 2030, Metrorail ridership is expected to be close to 1 million trips a day.

Introduction 7

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