On Wednesday this week, Metro experienced a rare system-wide shut-down, as WMATA’s General Manager Paul Wiedefeld addressed urgent electrical issues that posed an urgent safety hazard according to Metro officials. So what was the impact on area traffic?
The Washington Post ran a very interesting article in the Sunday edition analyzing the impacts. It is worth a read. Here is the link, if you missed it.
Metro clearly plays a key role in meeting the diverse travel needs of an even more diverse region, but the fact that people found ways to adjust significantly reduced the level of economic impact many would have expected from such a drastic move on such short notice. It truly could have been much worse.
SMTA has long advocated for increased in Metro’s capital program, to improve reliability, safety and to keep the system in good repair by working through years of deferred maintenance. This week’s closure is a sign that Metro’s poor state of repair is a real issue that regional leaders need to address far more effectively than they have to date — and that means coming up with a long-term solution to Metro’s chronic funding shortages through creation of a dedicated regional revenue source like every other major urban transit system in the United States (except Metro) already has.