Update on the Silver Spring Transit Center May 16, 2013
Recently, the Washington Post reported that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration (WMATA) wrote to our County to inform us that it had decided not to accept the Silver Spring Transit Center once repairs are completed. Simply put, that is unacceptable and conversations are ongoing on this subject.
When planning began on the Silver Spring Transit Center, the County and WMATA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, a legally binding document, where the transit agency agreed to take over the center once construction was complete. That MOU also spells out the process for making needed repairs, should they be necessary. Notwithstanding the travails of this project, our County has lived up to its end of the MOU, and I fully expect WMATA to do the same.
The defects by the County's contractors that our County has uncovered can and will be fixed. There is good progress on that front. And it will be fixed in a manner satisfactory to WMATA. So as far as I'm concerned, that should be the end of the story. Our County officials are meeting with WMATA's top people now and I remain hopeful that WMATA will honor its commitments like we have honored ours.
Update on the Silver Spring Transit Center March 14, 2013
You undoubtedly appreciate that the opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center is long overdue. And you probably know that it is overdue in part due to some construction issues, issues significant enough to warrant a careful look by our county to see what needs to be done going forward to fix it.
On Tuesday, it is expected that the county's consultant report, itself overdue, will be publicly released. That report should provide a path forward by which we can attend to what needs to be attended to and get it open as soon as possible. I had been previously told that the center would be able to open in late fall. I don't know if that timeline will hold until the report is released and those in our county responsible for this project advise us as to whether the nature of the fixes that may be required will take longer than previously expected. We will be briefed by our county officials on Tuesday as well, in public session, which can be viewed live on the County Cable Montgomery website.
Anytime there are problems of this nature, litigation is a possibility. We will also meet in closed session to hear from our county officials on that possibility. But from my perspective, we should leave the finger pointing to the lawyers. Our most important job now is to agree on what needs to be fixed, and fix it. Pronto. Get it open. So, I certainly hope that is our path forward regardless of the findings of the consultant.
New Escalators for Bethesda Metro July 29, 2011
I am pleased to report to you that Metro General Manager Richard Sarles has announced plans to replace the three escalators at the Bethesda metro station. Anyone who uses this station knows that escalator failures have become more of a rule than the exception, and that a long-term solution is overdue.
I extend a hearty thank you to Mr. Sarles for acknowledging that WMATA can do better by their customers by making the capital investment necessary to ensure safe, reliable access to the station for all Metro riders.
In addition to the many voices of WMATA riders, there have been several strong adovcates for the escalator replacements including the Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and members of our Maryland Delegation. I am grateful for their support and advocacy which has led to this positive turn of events.
Last month, I wrote to WMATA General Manager Richard Sarles in support of the E6 Metro Bus line, or the "Chevy Chase Line." I knew that this bus line served my constituents in Chevy Chase, particularly the Rollingwood community, quite well, and that it was under consideration to be eliminated.
I am very pleased that the E6 is here to stay. Along with my support, I understand that WMATA heard from scores of residents in opposition to the service cuts, as well as D.C. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh. Fortunately, the D.C. Council added additional funding into their budget to offset any service reduction. Understanding of course that WMATA must reduce its budget in some ways, I am grateful that this important route has been preserved.
A New Parking Garage at Glenmont Metro January 27, 2011
On January 18, I joined Congressman Van Hollen, County Executive Leggett, and Councilmembers Ervin, Floreen and Navarro in breaking ground on a new LEED-certified parking garage at the Glenmont Metro Station.
The Glenmont station has the fourth-highest ridership of metro stops located in Montgomery County. This second garage, which adds 1200 parking spaces, improves access to transit at a facility where parking capcity is regularly exceeded. The project is funded by a combination of State and County dollars and is expected to contribute to increased Metro ridership.