Letter from the General Manager & CEO
The Covid-19 pandemic response and recovery have shown that Metro is absolutely vital to the region. Throughout the pandemic’s most dire moments, our essential workers kept moving health care providers, first responders and other frontline workers like grocery store employees – all the people we depend on.
However, while more and more Americans are getting vaccinated and the region begins its gradual move towards a sense of normalcy, Metro’s work is not over. In fact, it’s just beginning. Now, more than ever, mobility and connectivity for work, school, medical appointments, sports events, local activities, and visitors will be key to the economy and to our quality of life as the National Capital Region reopens.
Thanks to financial support provided by Congress and the President in all three Covid relief bills, we’ve been able to keep service running for our customers and jobs in place for our employees. Not only have we committed to keeping bus and rail service near pre-pandemic levels in the short-term (approximately 85% and 80% respectively through June 2022), we’re also continuing long-term planning and capital investments for the future.
For example, we recently announced a new contract for Metro’s next generation of railcars – the 8000-series. These new railcars will build on the 7000-series railcars and incorporate the latest technology and features for an even better rider experience. Other construction underway includes:
- Platform reconstruction work at several stations, where crews are rebuilding the original concrete platforms to improve safety and accessibility. When this major capital project wraps up in 2022, 20 stations in DC, Maryland and Virginia will have brand new concrete platforms with slip-resistant tiles and other customer experience improvements like larger next train signs.
- The new Potomac Yard Metro Station in Alexandria scheduled to open in 2022, which will be located on the Blue and Yellow lines between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Braddock Rd stations.
- The Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport and beyond, which is being built by the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and expected to open in 2022.
On the Metrobus side, were advancing plans for a zero-emissions bus pilot with the goal of reducing Metro’s environmental footprint even further. And lastly, miles of new bus lanes are either under construction or in the planning stages in DC. As the pandemic demonstrated, many of the region’s essential employees rely on Metrobus to get to and from work, grocery stores and healthcare facilities. These new bus lanes will help improve mobility across the region, speeding up bus trips and reducing travel times for customers.
Moving forward, commuting patterns and behaviors may change, but we know the region’s businesses, economic development, and overall recovery will depend on Metro rising to the challenges ahead.