Washington (Metrorail to Largo Town Center)

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Largo Corridor

Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area

(November 1996)

Description The Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) is planning a 3.1-mile extension of the Washington Metrorail Blue Line from Addison Road to Largo Town Center. This addition will add two stations -- one at Summerfield Boulevard and the other at Largo Town Center. At the Largo Town Center there are two station/trailtrack options. Parking capacity will increase by 2,700. The proposed extension is beyond the 103-mile Metrorail system authorized by the National Capital Transportation Act of 1969, as amended.

Capital cost estimates for this project are approximately $350 million (1996 dollars), depending on the Largo Town Center Station/Trailtrack option that is selected. The capital cost to midpoint of construction is between $382 million and $415 million (2002 dollars). Total daily transit ridership is estimated at 28,500.

Status Section 3035(nn)(3) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a full funding grant agreement with the State of Maryland or its designee for not less than $5 million to carry out an alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering (PE). Congress has not appropriated any funds for this study. However, FTA issued a Letter of No Prejudice in February 1996 to Maryland DOT for $5 million to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and to conduct PE.

System planning requirements have been fulfilled. FTA approved the initiation of PE in February 1996. MTA is anticipating PE to be completed by February 1998. Additionally, FTA approved the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public circulation in October 1996.

The Addison Road to Largo Metrorail Extension project is included in the National Capital Region's Constrained Long Range Plan for construction in 2020. It is also programmed in the State of Maryland's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

Justification Mobility Improvements. The change in travel time savings from TSM is 2,420 hours per day for the Addison to Largo alternative. In terms of vehicle mile reductions, approximately 92,000 daily vehicle miles would be diverted from autos by the Metrorail extension versus the No Build Alternative.

Cost Effectiveness. The cost effectiveness index is $7.30 to $7.95, depending on the Largo Town Center station and track alignment option selected.

Environmental Benefits. The Washington Metropolitan area is classified as a serious ozone nonattainment area and a moderate carbon monoxide nonattainment area. The Project is in conformance with and is consistent with Maryland's SIP provision for TCMs.

Operating Efficiencies. The current Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority systemwide cost per passenger is $2.30. With this build alternative, the cost would be $2.33 per passenger.

MTA is proposing that 79 percent of the capital cost be derived from the Section 5309 New Start program. The remaining 21 percent would be derived from the state's Transportation Trust Fund, which is supported by several existing taxes and fees (motor vehicle fuel taxes, vehicle titling taxes, vehicle licensing and registration fees, and corporate income taxes). Trust Fund monies are expected to be available after FY 1997.

The capital finance plan is rated "medium." While FTA has not seen a specific finance plan for the Largo extension, the state's Transportation Trust Fund is in place and has sufficient funds to supply the non-Federal share.

The stability and reliability of operating assistance are rated "low-medium." The funding arrangements and sources for operating and maintenance costs have not been identified. MTA projections assume Federal operating assistance will remain at present levels. In 1994, the average age of MTA's regional bus fleet was 12.7 years old, which is substantially above the national average.


Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)
Section 5309 $276.50 ($0 million appropriated through FY 1997)
State: 73.50
TOTAL $350.00
NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

Other Factors Assessment of Land Use Policies and Conditions: This project participated in the FTA Office of Planning's pilot assessment of land use and conditions (as a pilot for evaluation and rating of transit-supportive land use policies as a new start criteria, beginning in FY 1999). This pilot application is described earlier in this report. Land use development plans and policies have been adopted into local, regional, and state plans. A countywide growth policy was recently developed by Prince George's County in the corridor. Area plans call for high mixed use density around stations. Joint development and air rights development policies are in place, and transit overlay zoning to focus denser development around stations has been approved. WMATA and MTA are cooperating in promoting transit/ pedestrian friendly design, parking management, and mixed high density land uses.