Sunday, January 3, 2016

Montgomery County Civic Fed Meeting Jan 11: WMATA

How do you solve a problem like WMATA? Transit agency's operations and finances reach a boiling point for citizens and DC area governments.

WHEN:  7:45pm, Monday, January 11th, 2015
Lobby Level Auditorium, County Executive Office Building
101 Monroe St., Rockville, MD
The Montgomery County Civic Federation hosts discussion featuring Shyam Kannan, Managing Director, WMATA Office of Planning; and Bob Fogel, WMATA Rider Advisory Council member.

 The Civic Federation's January, 2015 session will explore issues that the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority’s management and participating governments must successfully address as transportation and transit services are moving into an uncertain future with new alternatives challenging old assumptions and approaches.  While much of the County government’s attention for the last three years has been focused on creating a new transit agency and services, WMATA’s operations and finances have reached a boiling point for citizens and DC area governments.
WMATA provides the DC Region's transit backbone with:
  ·         MetroRail - a subway system consisting of 118 track miles, 91 stations, 1,104 train cars, and a $1.02 billion annual operating budget;
·         MetroBus - 328 local and express bus routes using 1,515 buses and a $618 million annual operating budget;
·         MetroWay - the region’s only bus rapid transit system (BRT) which serves a 5 mile area of Route 1 near Crystal City that includes portions of both Alexandria and Arlington; and
·         MetroAccess - a transit service with 600 vehicles serving over 2 million passengers with disabilities a year and a $114 million annual operating budget.
Metrorail's ridership has declined since 2009, Metrobus's has been generally increasing but fare revenues have fluctuated during the last three years.  Over the next 10 years, expenses are expected to increase annually by 6%, while revenues are projected to grow by only1%. This situation will likely result in billion dollar deficits if major corrective actions are not taken.  About 70% of WMATA’s operating costs are personnel.
Along with financial and ridership issues, the agency has struggled with safety and service reliability problems that were compounded by the new Silver Line’s opening which further stressed its core capabilities.  Frequent top management turnovers have contributed to the sense of internal instability culminating in nearly a year of uncertainty while the latest General Manager was recruited.
So WMATA is at a critical point in its existence with massive challenges affecting its operational and financial future. This session will discuss what alternatives the agency is and should be considering and the potential impacts on Montgomery County and the Region.
The evening's two speakers will be Shyam Kannan, Managing Director, WMATA Office of Planning; and Bob Fogel, a WMATA Rider Advisory Council member that has served as a consultant to the National Association of Regional Councils, and retired as the Senior Legislative Director, National Association of Counties. 

1 comment:

  1. They'll probably hire experts to perform a lengthy study and reach a conclusion to inflate all traffic fines and fees in the region in order to pay for the projected deficit.


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