The long-awaited Georgetown Metro station may finally become a reality after the results of a recent Washington, D.C. transportation study.
The results of the Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity and Reliability Study, launched in 2019, suggest that the addition of a new Blue line to National Harbor, complete with a tunnel under the Potomac River and a new Metro station in the Georgetown neighborhood may alleviate current traffic issues in the Rosslyn Metro station.
These results were discussed Sept. 9 by the Finance and Capital Committee of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The study aimed to identify and evaluate solutions for transportation challenges in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area related to reliability, crowding, cost efficiency and long-term sustainability, according to the report.
Community members have expressed excitement about the proposed transportation possibilities, according to Rick Murphy, chairperson of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the neighborhood would love to have a Metro stop as it’s always been a problem for us,” Murphy said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “If you stand in the middle of Georgetown, you’re almost exactly nine-tenths of a mile from three stops, and nine-tenths of a mile is a little bit too far to walk for a lot of people.”
WMATA has been hesitant to build a station in the Georgetown neighborhood because of the difficulty of underground construction on a steep grade. Further, the tunnel would have been too steep or too deep to justify the cost.
Currently, WMATA buses connect the residents of Georgetown to surrounding Metro stations. WMATA hosts the free Georgetown circulator, as well as the G2 bus (P Street-LeDroit Park Line).While community members expressed concerns about proposed cuts to the G2 service in March, $1.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan allowed WMATA to avoid such service cuts.
While proposals and alternatives are being considered for future Metro projects, it is important to ensure that other transportation options continue, according to a spokesperson for Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto (LAW ’17).
“Improving affordable, environmentally friendly, and accessible connectivity in Georgetown and throughout our city is a top priority for Councilmember Pinto,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Building a new Metro line to form a Blue line to National Harbor would add 180,000 new week daytrips and would cost between $20 billion and $25 billion to construct, according to the study. WMATA receives over half of its funding from federal grants, while taking the rest of its revenue from ridership. Now that the study is completed, administrators can pursue federal funding for the project, according to the report.
The WMATA board of directors has yet to choose which alternative it will pursue, and federal approval and public suggestions are still needed before any decision is made, according to Sherri Li, WMATA media relations manager.
“This is part of the process to advance a regional solution consistent with federal guidelines,” Li wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Metro staff provided an update on the study’s progress to the Board of Directors last week, which will be followed by extensive outreach to the public, stakeholders, and elected officials that will inform the Board’s consideration and selection of the region’s locally preferred alternative.”
In the meantime, the District is considering other transportation possibilities, such as the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola or an electric vehicle charging hub, a project supported by Pinto.
Although adding a Metro station in Georgetown would be a long and expensive endeavor, now is the time to pursue the project on behalf of the community, according to Murphy.
“This is the time when people begin to build momentum for something like this, because for the first time in a very long time, there’s federal money for doing things like this,” Murphy said.