WITH COMPLETION of the US capital’s 166 km metro network approaching after 30 years, planners in Washington DC are discussing possible extensions, to serve new suburbs and raise daily ridership to 2 million.

Favoured projects include a new Red line station at Florida and New York Avenues, extension of the Blue Line to Largo, Virginia and a branch off the Orange Line from West Falls Church to Tysons Corner, and Dulles International Airport. Other proposals include a new bridge over the Potomac River between Branch Avenue and Alexandria, plus outer suburban light rail feeders connecting to the metro at Silver Spring and Greenbelt to Rock Springs via White Oak. This would add around 100route-km at a cost of $4·5bn.

However, WMATA officials have warned that the existing metro infrastructure will be needing up to $1·5bn for maintenance and upgrading over the next five years to avoid the kind of decline experienced in New York in the 1970s.