Press Release

University of Maryland Transportation Experts to Offer Insights on Potential Impact of WMATA’s SafeTrack

Media call scheduled for Thursday, June 2 at 10 a.m. ET.

MEDIA ADVISORY  June 1, 2016

Alyssa Wolice
301 405 2057


As D.C.-area commuters prepare for imminent Metrorail single-tracking and station closures, University of Maryland (UMD) transportation experts are using transportation modeling and simulation technologies to enable commuters to make informed decisions while the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) SafeTrack plan is in effect.

Experts will demonstrate how transportation modeling and analysis of traffic trends can help predict the potential impact of the different phases of SafeTrack on area roadways and alternative transportation systems. Experts will field media questions relating to:

  • Predictive modeling and simulation capabilities
  • Socioeconomic impacts of public transportation access and traffic congestion
  • UMD’s work with regional and national transportation authorities


  • Chenfeng Xiong, Research Scientist, University of Maryland National Transportation Center (NTC@Maryland)
  • Mark Franz, Assistant Director of Outreach and Technology Transfer, NTC@Maryland
  • JJ Biel-Goebel, Program Manager, UMD Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab)
  • Taran Hutchinson, Facilitator, Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC)


Members of the media who wish to participate in the call must register online ( by 9:00 a.m. ET Thursday, June 2, to receive call-in information.

WHEN: Thursday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET by registration only.


At the start of the call, participants will receive access to materials including applications of transportation modeling and situational awareness tools, and transportation trend analyses collected from previous instances during which area transportation systems reduced operations.


UMD’s CATT Lab is the largest transportation data center in the nation, and NTC@Maryland is one of five national centers funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Center program.

Beginning June 4, WMATA will implement a track work plan centered on 15 “Safety Surge” periods and expanded weekday maintenance opportunities, extending into 2017. On an average weekday, more than 712,000 passengers board a Metrorail train, according to 2015 data reported by WMATA. WMATA has encouraged Metrorail riders to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is scheduled on their line. This could translate into increased use of buses, an uptick in traffic volume, and increased demand for car and bike share services.


More Information: 

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