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WMATA board to consider $2.3 billion budget for FY2013


Next week, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) board will consider a $2.3 billion operating and capital budget for fiscal-year 2013.

The proposed budget will support “Metro Forward,” the agency’s massive rebuilding effort aimed at improving safety and reliability, including major projects designed to replace tracks and track components, repair tunnels and infrastructure, upgrade stations and facilities, rehabilitate or replace escalators and elevators, and purchase new rail cars and other vehicles, WMATA officials said in a prepared statement.

Last week, the budget was approved the agency’s Finance and Administration Committee. The full board will consider the spending plan on May 24.

“This budget continues the path of improvements we’ve made in safety and rebuilding our system,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles. “In addition, we are investing more to improve the day-to-day customer experience through increased preventive maintenance of escalators, enhanced bus corridor service and added rail rush-hour service in preparation for the Silver Line.”

The $1.6 billion operating budget would include an increase in rush-hour Metrorail service, fund additional police officers and improved escalator preventive maintenance, and advance a worker fatigue management program and continued compliance with National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, as well as prepare the agency for the start of Silver Line service, also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, in late 2013.

Starting June 18, more than 100,000 WMATA rail riders will have access to increased rail service called “Rush+,” which will provide more frequent train service at 21 stations and new, transfer-free commute options on the Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green lines.

The nearly $1 billion capital budget would include such projects as platform reconstruction work at the Takoma, Silver Spring, Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations; installation of event recorders on 1000- and 4000-series rail cars; replacement of track circuits and running rail; and upgrading radio communications at 11 stations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/14/2012