WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Metro General Manager Richard Sarles presented a new business plan for calendar years 2014-2016 today.
"The whole business plan is about customer service. Everything I talk about today really gets back to customer service." The entire plan can be seen on WMATA's website.
The biggest takeaway is that Sarles spoke about those old 1000 series cars finally going away. Those are the ones the NTSB deemed unsafe after the June 2009 Red Line Metro crash. He announced an additional 220 7,000-series railcars will be added, resulting in half of all cars being new, "By the end of the decade, we'll see a lot more 8-car trains, this helps with relieving the overcrowding."
When asked when we'd see the first new trains online, he replied, "Next year! You'll see them testing on the system the early part of next year, you'll see them on the system the latter part of next year."
Rail ridership is down. Riders on Twitter pointed to delays, cost, and a long wait between trains. This has resulted in a decrease in revenue. Sarles pointed out that Metro ended the year in the black, and admitted, "Rail ridership has been slightly under budget, certainly we want to see more people riding the system and we will continue to look for ways to boost that ridership. "
Today also saw the unveiling of a brand new Metro map, that includes the Silver Line. Sarles also talked about getting a timeline in the next few weeks for a return to automatic trains as well as the introduction of a pilot program for a new fare system.
Several people spoke at the board meeting to allege that WMATA's policy of performing background checks on potential employees was purely racism. Several rallied with signs out front afterwards.
To view the entire presentation, you can view the power point slides here or watch the video here.
If you have a problem, issue or concern with Metro, tweet me at @DebraAlfarone