Saturday, January 10, 2009

WMATA's $$$$$$$$

I saw this in a WMATA Press Releases (here) and from Michael over at Infosnack (here) ... which is WMATA asking for funding out of Obama's stimulus package.  The problem that Michael (and I) have with the list, is that the Board did not prioritize which of these should get funded first, and which are of lower priority.  All in all, they are requesting around $530million - all of which could be implemented within 90 days - which is what is best needed for an economic stimulus.

Copying right from Metro's website, here is a list of their needs:
• Purchase buses, paratransit vehicles, maintenance vehicles and components for rail cars; 
• Replace, repair and expand maintenance facilities such as bus garages and rail car storage facilities; 
• Repair and improve passenger facilities such as station platforms, escalator canopies, stairs, elevator access and credit card readers; 
• Expand security systems and purchase additional emergency tunnel evacuation carts; 
• Procure maintenance and repair equipment for Metrorail track and rail cars; 
• Replace deteriorating operating equipment like fare collection equipment and signage; and 
• Procure hardware and software to improve maintenance efficiencies, monitor network traffic and protect WMATA systems for disaster recovery.
Michael over at Infosnack did a much better rundown - with costs per each section.  You can check them out at his site, here.

Do you have any thoughts on this ... what do you think is a priority?

* Personally I think the purchase of buses and rail parts is of very high priority (does Metro really need new maintenance trucks?).  
* We definitely need to repair and expand maintenance and storage depots - especially the bus ones, many of which are outdated and falling apart.  
* I would definitely like to see passenger facilities improved.  
* I would also like to see the installation of more SmarTrip fare machines (why only two per station) and actual SmarTrip vending machines at downtown stations.  
* Tunnel evacuation carts? ... are you kidding me.
* Security systems ... that sounds okay
* Repair equipment for Metrorail track/cars -- all good
* Fare Collection Equipment - doesn't look that bad to me, but I'll take their word for it.
* IT stuff - probably necessary

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