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WMATA officials hail funding from Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will receive $75 million in an increased capital commitment from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia toward the agency's future capital investments.

The funding announcement was made jointly yesterday by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray.

The dollars mark an important down payment toward WMATA's "Momentum" strategic plan to reduce crowing and add system capacity, said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles in a press release.

"Thanks to the [funding], we can continue our rebuilding efforts and lay the foundation for all eight-car trains, with power upgrades, Union Station and Gallery Place station expansion designs," he said.

The Momentum plan builds on WMATA's "Metro Forward" capital program, which is focused on making key safety and reliability improvements. The plan will address growing crowding and outlines near-term goals for 2025, along with steps WMATA will need to address to prepare for regional population and economic growth, agency officials said.

"We have now crossed the halfway point of our Metro Forward rebuilding effort, improved on-time performance, increased escalator availability, reduced employee injuries and are preparing for the next generation of rail cars later this year," said WMATA Chairman Tom Downs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/27/2014