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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) was created by an interstate compact in 1967 to plan, develop, build, finance, and operate a balanced regional transportation system in the national capital area. Metro began building its rail system in 1969, acquired four regional bus systems in 1973, and began operating the first phase of Metrorail in 1976. Today, Metrorail serves 91 stations and has 117 miles of track. Metrobus serves the nation's capital 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,500 buses. Metrorail and Metrobus serve a population of approximately 4 million within a 1,500-square mile jurisdiction. Metro began its paratransit service, MetroAccess, in 1994; it provides about 2.3 million trips per year.
Metro today announced the issuance of Climate Bonds Certified green bonds as part of the agency’s commitment to delivering sustainable, cost-effective transportation service to the Washington Metropolitan Region. This green certification confirms that Metro’s planned capital investments support climate change solutions, including within the categories of clean energy and energy efficiency. Issuing Climate Bonds will help Metro attract more environmentally conscious buyers to increase investor demand and result in a better, more competitive rate for the transit agency. “This is an important step in supporting sustainability and contributing to the national capital region’s climate change objectives,” said Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “This green bond issue funds important capital investments in safety, reliability and Metro’s Energy Action Plan.” The projected $874 million bond offer, approved by Metro’s Board of Directors last week, will fund capital projects in support of Metro’s \[Energy Action Plan\](https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/sustainability/2025-Energy-Action-Plan.cfm) to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiencies. “As we build for the future, we recognize Metro’s leadership role to address the region’s climate challenges through sustainable transportation and solutions,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Issuing these bonds demonstrates our commitment to support the region’s sustainability goals and helps expand zero- and low-emission public transportation options in the Washington Metropolitan region.” Over the next six years, Metro will make extensive capital investments in its fleet, traction power and infrastructure that will shape the region’s sustainability efforts. The Climate Bonds are based on the environmentally sustainable elements of the Capital Improvement Program and will finance green infrastructure and climate resiliency projects including: \* Traction power upgrades to support additional 8-car trains \* Fare collection modernization \* Zero-emission bus system upgrades \* Bus facility upgrades including Bladensburg and Northern which are expected to meet LEED green building standards The bond offering is verified by Kestrel Verifiers against the Climate Bonds Standard to ensure the proceeds are used exclusively to fund projects with material environmental benefits. Climate Bonds are bonds which have been verified against rigorous criteria to confirm consistency with the 2-degree Celsius warming limit established by the Paris Climate Agreement. Issuing these bonds aligns with Metro’s commitment to sustainability. As outlined in its \[most recent sustainability report\](https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/sustainability/Annual-Sustainability-Report.cfm), Metro has made an impact on regional sustainability in three primary areas: Livability & Accessibility, Economic Prosperity, and Environmental Impact. The Climate Bonds will help advance sustainable investments that protect the environment, improve the quality of life of residents and visitors to our region, and help facilitate a transition to a low-carbon economy. Between 2018 and 2020 the amount of debt issued in the Green Bond market in the United States increased by a multiple of six times to $46.9 Billion. Metro’s Series 2021A Bonds, projected at $874 million, represents the fourth largest issuance of Green Bonds since 2020 in the municipal market. For more information on the bond sale, please see the Preliminary Offering Statement here.
Creating a more resilient, sustainable future will require businesses, governments and citizens to work together to find innovative solutions. JLL, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and SunPower are working together in a private-public partnership that will create one of the largest community solar power projects in the U.S. By attaching solar power arrays across 17 acres of its parking lots and garages, Washington Metro can supply 12 MW of clean power to 1,500 homes in the Washington DC area. It will also provide the transit authority with $50 million of revenue over a 25-year period, demonstrating an innovative approach to sustainable solutions. Produced in partnership with JLL.
Metro has reached a deal worth up to $50 million over 25 years with SunPower Corp. and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (GSRP). The plan is to install solar paneled carports or canopies over surface lots and above parking garages at four rail stations. The four sites will have a combined 12.8 megawatts of electrical capacity, making this the largest community solar project in the National Capital Area and one of the largest in the nation. Under the agreement, SunPower will install photovoltaic solar panels at Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road, and Southern Avenue stations at no cost to Metro. GSRP will own the solar power system and provide annual payments to Metro through 2047. This will ensure a long-term revenue stream that will support our operations. This project advances the region’s sustainability goals while generating revenue to help keep Metro safe and affordable in an increasingly tight-budget environment.
Metro is considering the redevelopment of the Park & Ride surface lot of the east side of the College Park-U of Md station into a multifamily residential building with ground floor retail. The proposed project concept by a private developer is anticipated to include:
To implement this joint development project, the surface lot on the eastern side of the station will be removed. In anticipation of this project, the State of Maryland and Prince George's County financed the construction of the 1,290-space Park & Ride garage that opened in 2005 to replace and expand the number of spaces lost from this proposed project.
Curtain grouting is a leak-mitigation technique used to treat an entire area that is leaking by adding a rubberlike membrane on the outside of the concrete tunnel wall. To do this, holes are drilled in the ceiling of the existing tunnel until the exterior of the tunnel is reached. From there, a proprietary polymer-based emulsion (PBE) grout is injected into the hole at high pressure, which begins cascading down the curved exterior of the tunnel (like the way chocolate syrup cascades down an ice cream sundae). Two holes are drilled every 10 feet for the injections. The holes are then sealed at the conclusion of the process. The injected material forms a rubberlike impenetrable membrane, or "curtain," between the exterior of the tunnel wall and the surrounding ground medium.
The contractor has successfully used this solution in the mining industry to seal ground water inflows - some with flow rates of 50 gallons per second.
Metro plans to test this technique in the two different environments that exist along the Red Line segment - one in a linear bored tunnel and one in a blasted-rock cavern. The linear tunnel segment that will be used for the pilot will be a 2,000-foot section of the inbound track between Medical Center and Bethesda. For the second test location, Metro plans to use the entire Medical Center interlocking area, which is a cavernous space that was constructed out of blasted rock.
Metro is seeking feedback on the two proposed projects: surface lot removal for a Capitol Heights Metrorail station joint development project and a surface lot reconfiguration at the Morgan Blvd Metrorail station.
Metro is considering the conversion of the Capitol Heights Metrorail station’s surface parking lot into a new multifamily residential project with self-contained parking for residents and retail space facing the Kiss & Ride area and the Metro entrance as part of a joint development project.
Metro's contractor, KONE, replaced the escalators two at a time in succession. The overall project took more than two years to complete, including site preparation, demolition and removal of the old escalators, installation of complex gantries and cranes to move the new escalators and supporting structures into place, as well as testing and tuning.
"Metro's infrastructure is aging and this is another example of the kind of investment that is needed across the system to provide customers with good, safe and reliable service," said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. "Before being replaced, these escalators were more than 30 years old and beyond their useful life. With these brand-new escalators customers will see the improvement."
With the completion of the escalators at Woodley Park, construction will begin Monday, June 5, to replace five entrance escalators at Cleveland Park Station. The project is expected to take 20 months to complete. The station's elevators will remain in service for the duration of the project.