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12/29/2004


Rail News: Passenger Rail
Year in review: WMATA notes 2004 accomplishments, looks ahead to 2005 priorities




As 2004 draws to a close, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials are looking back on the past year while looking ahead to the new one.

This year, the authority achieved several goals, such as obtaining a six-year, $3.3 billion funding agreement from the regionís state and local governments to help fund short-term capital needs; opening three new stations and a 3.1-mile Blue Line extension; breaking ground on the Anacostia light-rail demonstration project; taking final delivery of 192 series 5000 rail cars; and launching new security initiatives.

WMATA also set a new ridership record over the summer, posting 850,636 passenger trips on June 9 ó the day of former President Ronald Reaganís funeral.

In 2005, the authority plans to move forward with a back-to-basics customer service and service reliability initiative. WMATA also will review a proposed $1 billion fiscal-year 2006 budget, which includes funds to add track inspectors, platform supervisors at major station transfer locations, station managers, janitors and cleaning and customer service staff. The budget also includes funds to improve passenger information display signs, and install explosive resistant trash receptacles on platforms and mezzanines.

WMATAís transit police and operations departments will undergo external reviews of policies, procedures and programs.

In addition, the authority expects to take delivery of the first of 62 new series 6000 rail cars, open three new parking structures, complete construction on the new King Street Metrorail station mezzanine entrance, will begin building a new police substation at Fort Trotten and add four explosive detection canine teams.

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