Pre-pandemic Wait times in the metro may resume soon
Metro has been attempting to quicken the pace for a while, but roadblocks continue to stand in the way.
Why it’s important One of the agency’s primary priorities since its 7000-series trains, which account for more than 60% of its fleet, were retired as a result of the October 2021 Blue Line derailment is getting back to normal service levels.
The Metro CEO, Randy Clarke, stated at a board meeting last week that he aims to resume pre-pandemic service levels this summer, which would entail trains every five to six minutes.
Since March 2020, the agency has not operated at that frequency.Current situation: In response to recently revealed National Transportation Safety Board findings that demonstrated a wheel pressure issue, Metro yesterday said that it is working toward correcting all 7K wheels. The three-year, $55 million wheel repressing procedure is anticipated.
As more trains are brought back into service, Metro says it will maintain its present service levels while making improvements. This is subject to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission’s approval of the plan.
What’s happening: After years of economic setbacks that continued to negatively affect the agency’s financial line, Metro ridership is increasing. Having access to the entire fleet of railcars will be crucial during D.C.’s busiest spring season.In 2021, 136,000 people on average rode Metro each day. While still below pre-pandemic levels, that number increased in 2022 to an average of 228,000 daily riders.
Metro was able last summer to start bringing back some of its 7K trains, improving wait times of more than 20 minutes on some lines.