The seven major urban rail systems in the U.S. face a backlog of more than $50 billion in maintenance and repairs. In New York City, the subway's "L train" has shut down for crucial repairs. And In Boston, it could take two decades to work through the long list of repairs for the "T."
The metro system in Washington, D.C., might be the best microcosm of the issues faced across the country: deferred maintenance, tight budgets and metropolitan areas with rapidly growing populations. And its solutions could help transit systems nationwide adapt and survive.