Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) massive rebuilding and modernization efforts accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2012, with $230 million invested in projects to make the system safer and more reliable.
The major projects advanced during the quarter included platform reconstruction at selected outdoor stations on the Red and Orange lines, upgrades to power and signal systems, replacement of sections of rail, new turnouts, third-rail improvements and replacement of ventilation equipment.
“We are beginning to see results in the form of improved safety, better reliability on Metrobus and Metrorail and more escalators in service each day,” said WMATA General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. “I know that this period of rebuilding requires patience on the part of our customers, we are always mindful of the customer impact of rebuilding, but I want to emphasize that the work we are doing today is essential for good, safe service for the long term.”
WMATA’s safety and reliability improved last year in 10 out of 12 categories, including on-time performance, railcar reliability, employee and customer safety and escalator availability. WMATA tracks and reports its performance on a quarterly basis through the Vital Signs report. Working nearly every night and most weekends, WMATA crews achieved the following during the September-through-December period:
• Replacement of 13 track circuits modules and 16 bonds as recommended by National Transportation Safety Board.
• Completion of nine escalator rehabilitation projects at Judiciary Square, Rosslyn, L’Enfant Plaza, Pentagon City, Gallery Place, Pentagon and Metro Center.
• Replacement of six miles of running rail.
• Completion of 15 miles of track tamping.
• Replacement of 7,522 crossties.
• Replacement of nearly 17,000 rail fasteners.
• Completion of 326 weld joints for a smoother ride.
WMATA is investing in the largest and most aggressive capital program since its construction. WMATA is being rebuilt during the next six years to provide safer and more reliable service. The agency is forecasting that $945 million of capital investments will be delivered during FY2013. Between FY2013 and FY2018, a total capital investment of $5 billion is planned.