D.C. Metro overhaul to disrupt service, riders must make ‘sacrifice’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to recent, and sometimes fatal, maintenance issues on the Metro in Washington, D.C., Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld announced his SafeTrack plan which will “accelerate maintenance on Metro’s rail system from the ballast up.”
“By closing the system at midnight on weekends and expanding weekday maintenance opportunities, the plan addresses FTA and NTSB safety recommendations and deferred maintenance backlogs while restoring track infrastructure to good health,” a Metro spokesperson said. “SafeTrack accomplishes in one year, work that otherwise would take about three years to complete.”
Fifteen “safety surges” are planned that will allow track crews to exponentially increase productivity and achieve safety results for customers faster. These long-duration track outages use either around-the-clock single tracking or line-segment shutdowns that will impact rush hour commutes.
Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line.
In addition, Wiedefeld announced a moratorium on early openings and late closings. Closure of the Metrorail system at midnight seven days a week will begin Friday, June 3.
“This plan is going to take some sacrifice from all of us,” Wiedefeld said. “But it is clear that the current approach is not working, more aggressive action is necessary.”