About two dozen young men and few other people converged on Dupont Circle this afternoon to vent their frustration over Metro’s delays and safety, demanding the privatization of the transit system.
Angered by Metro’s slow service and what they said are the system’s “hazardous” conditions, the demonstrators stood in a line near the Dupont station’s north entrance yelling, “Metro’s a loser! We took an Uber!”
Metro, which is undergoing a massive effort to rehabilitate its aging rail system, is “always a long delay,” the demonstrators chanted to the tune of “Tomorrow” from “Annie.”
The protesters also expressed their frustration by waving a collection of handmade signs that said, “Metro=Hazard Privatize Now,” “Can’t PokeGo Metro Slow,” “The Metro is More Lit Than My Mixtape” and “Bro, do you even Metro?”
When a Borderstan reporter asked one demonstrator for a comment, he declined.
“We can’t talk,” he said dismissively. “We’re protesting.”
The young man and his fellow demonstrators disbanded soon after.
That’s because the transit agency has again pushed back repairs of the “chillers” that help cool those Red Line stations.
“Metro’s contractor has completed pressure tests of the pipes under Connecticut Ave NW (off Metro property) that provide chilled air service to Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations,” Metro said in a statement last Friday. “The test results are currently being evaluated to determine next steps. Unfortunately, chilled air service has not yet been restored.”
The chillers stopped working last summer due to leaks in the 40-year-old pipe that feeds water into the system, officials said. Metro originally estimated it would repair those leaks by July 1, then again by July 16.
As for when those chillers might actually come online, Metro did not set a firm date.
“We are working with the contractor and other outside parties to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” the agency said. “In the meantime, tunnel fans will remain on at all times to provide air circulation to the two stations. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”
(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) A trash truck collided with a Metro bus in Logan Circle this morning.
The crash happened near the intersection of Vermont Ave. and 11th St. NW around 7:30 a.m. this morning, according Metro spokesman Richard Jordan.
Jordan said the bus was stopped when a trash truck drove its dumpster into it, shattering a window.
Nobody was injured in the collision, Jordan and D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Doug Buchanan confirmed.
Two stations on Metro’s Red Line will likely be hotter than normal again this summer.
The Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations will begin the hot season without air conditioning thanks to broken pieces of equipment known as “chillers,” WMATA said earlier this month.
“Both Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations are cooled by a common chiller plant that is located in the median of Connecticut Avenue opposite the Farragut North L Street entrance,” read a press release. “Delivery of chilled air to the stations has been disrupted by a leak in the underground line that runs between the chiller plant and the stations.”
In order to fix the problem, Metro will dig up a portion of Connecticut Avenue and repair that leaky line. Though the transit agency has said the chillers could come back online as soon as July, we all know Metro has an issue with unexpected delays.
So, we want to know: do you think Metro will actually fix these chillers by July, or are we in for a red hot summer on the Red Line?
Your daily commute might be affected at some point over the next year as Metro embarks on a massive effort to rehabilitate its aging rail system.
Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today announced its “SafeTrack” plan to “improve Metrorail safety and restore service reliability.” The plan includes 15 “safety surges” over the next year that will include closing stations at midnight all week and reducing service on many of its lines at various times, according to a press release.
“Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line,” the press release cautions. At a press conference held this morning, Wiedefeld said “the level of service will go down during these surge periods.”
(Updated at 5:18 p.m.) Metro employees briefly closed the Dupont Circle Station’s south entrance after two escalators and the overhead lights inside lost power during rush hour earlier today.
Power was restored and the entrance reopened just before 5:20 p.m.
Conditions were treacherous as riders slowly made their way down the stopped escalator this afternoon. Several Metro employees and one D.C. Police officer were spotted helping riders down the escalator just before 5 p.m.
See a video of the outage below:
Riders slowly walking down the dark Dupont Circle escalators. Metro employees with flashlights helping pic.twitter.com/JGLH8l64rc
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) April 21, 2016
Metro riders who use the Columbia Heights station are slated to have one less way to get in and out of it during the next several months, starting next week, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The entrance at the northeast corner of 14th and Irving streets NW is scheduled to close Monday for about nine months of work to install new escalators. Without the complete closure of the entryway, crews would spend about 18 months on the project, according to WMATA.
“Metro will begin installing two new entrance escalators on the east side of Columbia Heights Station, marking the final phase of a major capital project to replace all seven of the station’s escalators,” a WMATA notice says. “To date, five of the station’s escalators have been replaced with safer, more reliable units.”
Some frequent Metro bus riders and at least one Logan Circle community leader have differing opinions on whether to remove a shelter that covers a bus stop on 14th St. NW.
Members of Logan Circle’s ANC 2F voted last week to ask DDOT and WMATA to consider removing the shelter above the stop at 1336 14th St. NW. Among their concerns was that the stop was infrequently used, and sometimes attracted litter and the occasional loiterer.
Prior to last week’s meeting, a group of residents and a representative from the forthcoming Jinya Ramen bar came before the commission’s Community Development Committee and asked that the bus stop be removed altogether.
— Metro (@wmata) March 16, 2016
Metro will reopen its rail system tomorrow morning at 5 a.m., announced General Manager Paul Wiedefeld at a press conference this afternoon.
The transit agency shut the system down for “emergency repairs” yesterday.
(Updated at 10:28 a.m.) With Metro’s rail system shuttered for the day, many locals were forced to find an alternative route to work.
— Metro (@wmata) March 15, 2016
(Updated at 9:29 a.m. Wednesday) Surprise! Metro closed its rail system to riders for a full 24 hours at midnight. The transit agency announced the news at a press conference yesterday afternoon.
The Metrorail system will closed midnight and will remain closed until 5 a.m. Thursday, according to officials. All six Metrorail lines and all 91 stations will be closed on Wednesday.
More information from a Metro press release:
Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority’s Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system’s third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.
The inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.
Despite the closure, D.C. Public Schools remained open.
DCPS will be OPEN tomorrow, March 16. We are working with Metro to add additional bus service. Tardies and absences will be excused.
— DC Public Schools (@dcpublicschools) March 15, 2016
News of the shutdown also appeared to briefly crash the WMATA website yesteday afternoon:
oh my god did the wmata site crash pic.twitter.com/SUgSjbAMVS
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) March 15, 2016
The move comes days after an early morning cable fire caused massive delays on Metro’s Blue and Orange lines.
Metrobus operating normal service on all routes, Feb 16.
— Metrobus Info (@Metrobusinfo) February 16, 2016
The thaw is here and Metro says bus service is back to normal.
As of 4 a.m. Metrobus is operating a regular weekday schedule today, February 9. #wmata
— @wmata (@wmata) February 9, 2016
(Updated at 6:57 a.m. on Tuesday) Metrobuses are slated to run normally today, Metro announced earlier this morning.
The transit agency previously enacted its “moderate snow plan” ahead of today’s expected winter weather. Though wet snow continues to dampen roads across the area, it likely won’t accumulate much, says the Capital Weather Gang.
More infromation from Metro:
UPDATE: All Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess service is operating on a regular weekday schedule today, Tuesday, February 9. There are no weather related issues to report.
Buses will operate on a “light snow plan” on Thursday, meaning that all Metrobus routes will be in service but some lines may have detours.
On 16th Street, all buses will operate on a normal daily schedule.
Information on which lines might be taking detours is available on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s website. (more…)
Metrobus service is slated to get closer to normal tomorrow. But buses still won’t run on some routes.
Only buses on “moderate snow routes” will operate Wednesday.
For U Street, the 90, 92 and 93 buses will operate normally. But the 96 buses will take a detour, and the X3 buses won’t go out.