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Metro plans to replace and expand MetroAccess fleet during next five years

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Metro is planning to replace and expand its fleet of MetroAccess vehicles during the next five years to keep up with a steady increase in ridership and improve the reliability of its service for people with disabilities.

 

MetroAccess currently has 458 vehicles, which already are not enough to meet the demand. Ridership has grown 16 percent in the last year and is expected to continue to increase at an average of 11 percent each year through 2013.

 

Nearly all of the current MetroAccess vehicles are being used from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The service is supplemented by taxis and older vehicles in the fleet that otherwise would be retired.

 

Metro’s Board of Directors approved a plan yesterday (November 7) to replace the current 458 MetroAccess vehicles and expand the fleet with an additional 468 vehicles between FY2009 and FY2013. The plan anticipates future ridership growth and will be updated on an annual basis to reflect the actual needs of the service.

 

“Maintaining our equipment in a state of good repair and replacing vehicles when they reach the end of their useful life is critical to providing quality service,” said Christian T. Kent, Metro’s Assistant General Manager of Access Services. “Expanding the MetroAccess fleet will help us improve on-time performance and overall service reliability.”

 

The Federal Transit Administration recommends replacing light paratransit vehicles at a minimum of every four years or 100,000 miles. Metro typically retires vehicles after five years or 150,000 to 300,000 miles.

 

The fleet plan approved yesterday includes a new cost-saving strategy for Metro to purchase new MetroAccess vehicles directly instead of through a contractor. “This approach allows us to take advantage of Metro’s purchasing power, and it will save the authority $1.4 million in FY2009,” said Kent.

 

Based on present and projected growth in ridership, the fleet plan calls for 115 MetroAccess vehicles in FY2009, 341 vehicles in FY2011, 365 vehicles in FY2012 and 363 vehicles in FY2013.

 

The Board of Directors has already approved funding to purchase 115 new vehicles as part of its FY2009 budget. Funding for the remaining vehicles in the fleet plan has not yet been identified, but the vehicles are included in Metro’s capital needs inventory. The Board is expected to give final approval of the MetroAccess Fleet Plan later this month.

 

In addition to adding more MetroAccess vehicles to help meet growing demand, Metro is promoting the accessibility of Metrobus and Metrorail.

 

“Metro has included a number of accessibility features on its buses and trains designed specifically to help people with disabilities travel independently throughout the Washington region,” said Kent. “Metrobus and Metrorail are fully accessible to people with disabilities who can use accessible, fixed-route service.”

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I'm going to vent on this one;

 

I've taken metro bus only twice in my life because at the times that I have taken them, the drivers look at me like I was PURE EVIL INCARNATE.

 

They didn't like that they had to lower the ramp, and they didn't know how to use the seating bolts that holds my chair in place. Plus being called a cripple does not sit to well with me, so to avoid any confrontations I just don't take that part of the metro system.

 

For what I think of Metro Access? I WOULD RATHER BE TARGET PRACTICE FOR THE KKK than to use Metro Access "FOR REAL".

 

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Metro is planning to replace and expand its fleet of MetroAccess vehicles during the next five years to keep up with a steady increase in ridership and improve the reliability of its service for people with disabilities.

 

MetroAccess currently has 458 vehicles, which already are not enough to meet the demand. Ridership has grown 16 percent in the last year and is expected to continue to increase at an average of 11 percent each year through 2013.

 

Nearly all of the current MetroAccess vehicles are being used from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The service is supplemented by taxis and older vehicles in the fleet that otherwise would be retired.

 

Metro’s Board of Directors approved a plan yesterday (November 7) to replace the current 458 MetroAccess vehicles and expand the fleet with an additional 468 vehicles between FY2009 and FY2013. The plan anticipates future ridership growth and will be updated on an annual basis to reflect the actual needs of the service.

 

“Maintaining our equipment in a state of good repair and replacing vehicles when they reach the end of their useful life is critical to providing quality service,” said Christian T. Kent, Metro’s Assistant General Manager of Access Services. “Expanding the MetroAccess fleet will help us improve on-time performance and overall service reliability.”

 

The Federal Transit Administration recommends replacing light paratransit vehicles at a minimum of every four years or 100,000 miles. Metro typically retires vehicles after five years or 150,000 to 300,000 miles.

 

The fleet plan approved yesterday includes a new cost-saving strategy for Metro to purchase new MetroAccess vehicles directly instead of through a contractor. “This approach allows us to take advantage of Metro’s purchasing power, and it will save the authority $1.4 million in FY2009,” said Kent.

 

Based on present and projected growth in ridership, the fleet plan calls for 115 MetroAccess vehicles in FY2009, 341 vehicles in FY2011, 365 vehicles in FY2012 and 363 vehicles in FY2013.

 

The Board of Directors has already approved funding to purchase 115 new vehicles as part of its FY2009 budget. Funding for the remaining vehicles in the fleet plan has not yet been identified, but the vehicles are included in Metro’s capital needs inventory. The Board is expected to give final approval of the MetroAccess Fleet Plan later this month.

 

In addition to adding more MetroAccess vehicles to help meet growing demand, Metro is promoting the accessibility of Metrobus and Metrorail.

 

“Metro has included a number of accessibility features on its buses and trains designed specifically to help people with disabilities travel independently throughout the Washington region,” said Kent. “Metrobus and Metrorail are fully accessible to people with disabilities who can use accessible, fixed-route service.”

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