Changes May Be Coming to Metro's Most Crowded Stations

The number of people using two Metro stations in the District could reach unsafe levels in less than 10 years, and Metro is mulling making major changes to two transfer hubs and "high ridership" stations: Gallery Place and Union Station.

Several proposals aimed at easing congestion for commuters will be discussed during a Metro Board meeting.

One plan includes building pedestrian tunnels to connect nearby stations like Farragut North and Farragut West or Gallery Place and Metro Center. The walking paths will help relieve crowding on Metro's most congested lines.

Officials say other changes may include more exterior entrances, larger platforms and more trains.

WMATA hopes the proposals will help eliminate rush-hour bottle-necking and enhance safety for passengers.

The improvements will cost an estimated $100 million. But according to a document outlining the proposals, new funding sources would be necessary to pay for the improvements as Metro's regional capital funding agreement does not typically apply towards station expansion.

One rider offered his suggestion for an inexpensive improvement.

"Put marks on the platform where the car doors open so people can line up in advance in an orderly fashion," he said.

According to a survey conducted last year by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, D.C. residents ranked transit crowding and Metro maintenance as some of the most pressing transportaion challenges facing the District. Nearly 92 percent of those polled felt Metro maintenance would improve D.C. transit. 

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