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The Silver Line

To fully realize the potential of Metro’s Silver Line, policymakers must break with past development practices, writes the author.

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idea light bulbMajor public transportation investments can be transformative—reshaping communities, spurring economic development, and improving mobility. The new Metro Silver Line in Northern Virginia, which is an extension of the existing Washington, D.C., subway system, represents a major investment that will reshape the region for decades to come. Yet, the evolution from initial operations to a completed system that fully delivers on promised benefits takes many years and is not guaranteed. Prior transportation investments and land-use decisions create a path dependency that often limits future change. Realizing the full potential of transit investments therefore requires a sustained political commitment to support development projects that increase ridership and offer an alternative to driving for all mobility needs.

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