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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA prepares to launch improved peak-period service


Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) unveiled a new system map that reflects enhanced rush-hour service scheduled to launch June 18.

Known as “Rush Plus,” the service-improvement program is designed to ease crowding for passengers on the Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow lines, and prepare for the future Silver Line.

During each rush-hour period, 18 new Orange Line trains — three per hour in each direction — will operate between Vienna and Largo Town Center, providing 18 percent more capacity on the corridor. The Orange Line is WMATA’s second-busiest route, according to the agency.

In addition, every third Blue Line train, or three trains per hour in each direction, will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt via the Yellow Line bridge and be identified as Yellow Line trains. As a result, passengers at the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations, as well as nine stations north of Mt. Vernon Square will offer transfer-free trip options between certain stations.

WMATA officials developed the map after months of customer research, including focus groups and surveys, to identify the most effective ways to communicate the new service patterns.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/21/2012