Riders have suggested extending the line to Greenbelt as a way to ease crowding and to bring trains more often to the growing areas of Petworth, Columbia Heights, U Street and Shaw.
What’s your opinion?
First Community Meeting
Monday, January 23, 7 p.m.
DC Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Avenue, NW – Auditorium
(U Street/Cardozo Metro)
Councilmember Jim Graham, WMATA Incoming CEO Dan Tangherlini, Board Member Gladys Mack, several ANC commissioners and the leaders of the Mid-City Business Association are scheduled to attend.
Extension of WMATA Yellow Line rail service? What are the Options? What are the Costs?
The WMATA Board of Directors held a town hall meeting at the Reeves Building in December where I brought up the idea of extending Yellow Line Service as a potential option for attracting, retaining, and expanding rider ship by providing more frequent service to stops along the Green Line. These stops such as Shaw, U Street, Columbia Heights, and Georgia Avenue are all being developed using Transit Oriented Development principles of high density residential and retail concentration centered on public transportation hubs. However, right now these transportation hubs are not being fully utilized primarily because of 20 year old decision that did not foresee the expansion and growth of the middle of Washington, DC.
Have you ever gotten on the Green Line late at night or on the weekend, right as the train is leaving, to then spend twenty minutes waiting on the platform for the next train? Infrequent trains during off peak hours is a result of a decision made in the 80¹s not to bring the Yellow Line service to near West Hyattsville and then build east towards Bowie as was called for in the original WMATA rail plans. Instead it was decided to build a turnaround at Mt. Vernon Square that would serve as the end of the line.
Since the Yellow and Green lines share the same tracks from L¹Enfant to Mt. Vernon Square, terminating the Yellow Line service at Mt. Vernon Square means that all the stops north of Mt. Vernon Square can only have half the possible rail service.
Since December WMATA has examined several enhanced service possibilities, the needs required to implement, and the overall costs involved for each of several options and will be providing this information at the public meeting on January 23, at the Housing Finance Agency Building. A very fitting location for this meeting given the 1000¹s of new housing units being built in the next three years within three blocks of the eastern entrance to the U Street Metro at the African American Civil War Memorial. This new urban density has spurred the necessity to reexamine the frequency of service at these stations.
My personal belief is that extending ³Yellow Line² service to Greenbelt during offpeak hours on evenings and weekends will be revealed as a cost effective solution that does not require costly new construction or the purchase of new rail cars and that will only require operations capital to implement now. The major expenses involved in the development of the Inner ³Green Line², land development, building tunnels, etc has been paid for already, yet we are not fully leveraging that investment by terminating Yellow Line Service at Mt. Vernon Square.
I want to personally thank Councilmember Graham for his leadership and follow through and WMATA for their quick action and comprehensive approach in exploring and providing an understanding for all the potential extension options. I believe this public meeting represents the recent commitment by WMATA to work to meet the needs of its riders while operating more efficiently and economically. I encourage everyone to attend this very important meeting in order to get a full understanding of all the options and to make sure that the Councilmember and WMATA get the necessary community feedback.
I look forward to seeing you all on Monday night,
MidCity Business Association
The MidCity Business Association is pleased to co-host this meeting and
encourage you to forward this invite to all potentially affected
or businesses at any of these Green Line stations.