In the middle of December (2017), the Metro Board decided to back the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority on a contract of $2 million to increase the Blue line into Rosslyn, an urban neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. This changes Metro’s 2013 plan of that included the extension of the Orange and Silver lines (south of the Pentagon) without stopping in Rosslyn. This change in the plan is to increase the allowed amount of trains on all three lines (Blue, Orange, and Silver). This is a good example of project restructuring and overall a great move by the Metro Board. However, as some one that grew up in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, I know the negative side outcomes of Metro increasing its projects. As a side effect, the change to the 2013 plan will greatly increase the rush hour traffic in the area during the construction phase of the plan. The trade-off this is that in the future there will be less cars on the road after the altered project’s completion. Additionally, this proposed change is still in the planning face because, the $2 million put up by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is only the minimum. This new addition to the project will likely cost somewhere in the billions of dollars to fully complete. For Metro to get this money allocated to them they will have to go through Virginia Legislature. The will only increase the speculated critical path of Metro’s plan as a whole. Getting through Virginia Legislature will likely be a great task because most of the politicians in Northern Virginia are thinking with a short-term mindset, especially those that hold a seat of power in the areas that will be most affected by the increase in traffic. Another negative to note is the fact that Metro (especially in Virginia) is well known for having to increase their overall deadlines for their projects. The deadline increase is likely due to the length of the critical path. I speculate that the change in Metro’s 2013 plan will be no different from previous projects in the area. The increase will occur in all phases of the project. First being the underestimate of the amount of time a funding bill will take to get passed through Virginia Legislature. The other problem being the amount of time allotted for the construction phase. Which again is something that Virginia Politicians will keep in mind when they are decide whether to vote yes or no. One thing that I think Metro should look into finding a way to crash cost. Although this will likely increase the overall budget needing to be improved, this will likely increase the amount of people they can get to work on the construction. The increase amount of people for construction will in turn increase the productivity of the project and eliminate some of the short-term issues like the increase traffic. This project will also bring in more revenue to Metro, something that they are already concerned with as they have announced a rate increase in price which will be implemented later in 2018.
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