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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA to solicit public input on strategic plan, FY2014 budget


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will host three public meetings next week to solicit opinions on its draft strategic plan and proposed fiscal-year 2014 budget.

Known as "Momentum," the strategic plan calls for maximizing WMATA's network and utilizing all capacity available as a foundation for future growth and expansion to meet the region's transit needs, WMATA officials said in a prepared statement.

The plan's priorities include developing a next-generation communications infrastructure; acquiring additional rail cars, power capacity and yard storage to entirely operate eight-car trains during peak periods; improving and expanding selected core stations; and adding infrastructure to make the rail network's routing more flexible.

Meanwhile, the proposed FY2014 budget calls for providing more Silver Line rail service, continuing the Metro Forward rebuilding effort, and making "a down payment on additional electric power and rail cars needed to increase the number of eight-car trains — all without a fare increase," WMATA officials said.