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D.C. Metro Could Add Up To 14 Stations, But Expansion Is Decades Away

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 09:52 AM

WAMU
A map of the proposed Metro loop through downtown D.C. (WMATA)

Metro is considering a long-range plan to relieve congestion on its crowded rush hour trains, but the transit agency's top official says it's at least a couple decades away from being realized.

Metro planners are looking at the feasibility of building an inner loop of tunnels and 14 stations to take pressure off existing lines. The loop would go around the Rosslyn, Capitol South, Pentagon, and two Farragut Square stations. Metro's general manager Richard Sarles says this ambitious plan could be tackled after other, more immediate priorities are dealt with.

"That is something you are talking about 25 years from now," Sarles says. "What we are really focused on now is the existing core and how to take full advantage of the capacity that is inherent in that core. And that really means eight-car trains."

Metro hopes all of its trains will have eight cars during morning rush hour within the next decade.

"So that you can have 35,000 more people carried per hour during the peak period," Sarles says.

But eventually, Sarles says, Metro will need more tunnels and stations -- but those ambitions will depend on available funding.

Metro has proposed a slew of expansions totaling $26 billion.

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