(AP/ABC7) The Washington Post reports that WMATA leaders are proposing new subway tunnels to help the system keep up with growing demand.
One tunnel would run under the center of the District and the other would travel under the Potomac River. And Metro estimates it will need $26 billion over the next 30 years to pay for the tunnels and other improvements.
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles told the newspaper that now is the time to deal with growth in the region, or that growth will create its own set of problems.
Metro says the plans include the possibility of new tunnels in the core of the system to separate lines that currently share tunnels. The plan also calls for building express tracks along the Silver and Orange lines in Virginia, as well expanding current lines.
Metro management says an additional $740 million a year would allow the transit agency to prepare for growth of the system and challenged the region's leaders to develop a funding strategy.
The District, Maryland, Virginia and the federal government contribute to Metro's operating and capital budgets, which total $2.5 billion.