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Rail News: Sustainability

WMATA creates plan to reduce energy usage

When fully implemented, the Energy Action Plan is expected to net $16 million annually in energy cost savings.
Photo – WMATA


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday announced the creation of a five-year initiative to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of its Energy Action Plan, WMATA will invest $65 million from its capital budget by 2025 in energy efficient technology and modernized operations, according to a WMATA press release.

When fully implemented, the plan is expected to net $16 million annually in energy cost savings and another $13 million in savings on operations and maintenance expenses by 2025.

Among new investments, WMATA is: 

  • designing the new Potomac Yard Station in Alexandria, Virginia, as a LEED certified transit station;
  • designing its new headquarters building, located near L'Enfant Plaza, to LEED platinum standards, the highest level of energy efficiency and green building; and
  • developing an electric bus deployment strategy to pilot and evaluate the use of electric buses in the fleet.

Also, WMATA already has implemented regenerative braking systems on new rail cars to recover energy from trains as they decelerate; installed LED trackbed lighting at 23 underground rail stations; and created a net-zero treatment facility in Largo, Maryland, that uses solar panels. 

“We are making the right choice for the environment by changing the way we do business through reduced consumption and efficiencies that will generate long-term cost savings,” said Paul Wiedefeld, WMATA general manager and chief executive officer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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