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U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates Opening of Silver Line, Major Expansion of Metrorail Service in the Nation’s Capital

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DOT 70-14

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and other U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials today celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Silver Line—the largest expansion of Metrorail service in 20 years—connecting the nation’s capital to Tysons Corner and the Reston area of Fairfax County. Secretary Foxx was joined by DOT Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Peter Rogoff, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Congressman Gerry Connolly, Congressman Frank Wolf, Congressman Jim Moran, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, and other state and local officials.

“The Obama Administration is proud to be a partner in delivering more world class transportation options to the Washington Metropolitan area and connecting thousands of residents and visitors with major employment, education and economic opportunities  throughout the region,” said Secretary Foxx. “The Silver Line is an excellent example of why Congress should pass the President’s GROW AMERICA Act so we can meet the rising demand for more and better transportation choices by supporting projects like this across the country.”

The 11.7-mile Silver Line extension is the first phase of a planned 23.1-mile extension of Metrorail service to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County. Phase 1 extends Metrorail service from East Falls Church Metrorail station through the large Tysons Corner employment and retail center to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station in the Reston area of Fairfax County. The project includes five new stations, a 2,300-car commuter parking garage, the purchase of 64 rail cars, and expanded capacity at the West Falls Church rail yard.

“With continued population growth expected over the next 20 years, the Silver Line is an excellent investment in the Washington region’s transportation future” said FTA Deputy Administrator McMillan. “This project will expand capacity for one of our nation’s largest transit agencies, accommodate thousands of additional riders for years to come, and offer a much-needed alternative to traffic congestion in Northern Virginia.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $900 million in FTA Capital Investment Grant (New Starts) Funding and $75 million in other DOT funds toward the $3.14 billion total project cost of the first phase of the Silver Line extension. The remaining cost is being covered by state and local funding sources.

In addition, DOT has approved a $1.875 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for construction of the second phase of the Silver Line extension to Loudoun County—the largest TIFIA loan in the program’s history.

The Silver Line is being constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The new line is expected to serve approximately 85,700 daily riders by 2030.

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