Kevin C. Coates
April 6, 2016
As an advanced transportation consultant, I found the recent New York Times headline, “Washington Metro, 40 and Creaking, Stares at a Midlife Crisis,” amusing, but not in the way the editors intended. What I find amusing is that so many people instinctively expect Metro to run smoothly and reliably forever. It doesn’t and there are good reasons why that is the case.
The stark reality is that everything has a useful life – especially machines and infrastructure. Transportation technology and its infrastructure also have what is known as an End Of Life (EOL), something ribbon-cutting politicians have a tendency to forget or ignore. For the 40-year-old lines in the Metro system, it is more precise to speak in t...