by Tim Regan March 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm 1 Comment

(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.

News of the shutdown also appeared to briefly crash the WMATA website yesteday afternoon:

The move comes days after an early morning cable fire caused massive delays on Metro’s Blue and Orange lines.

by Tim Regan February 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

(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.

by Tim Regan January 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm 0

S2 busMetrobus service will be nearly back to normal tomorrow.

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.

On U Street, the 90, 92 and 93 buses will operate normally. Depending on road conditions, the 96 bus may take a detour, as might the X3 bus.

Information on which lines might be taking detours is available on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s website. (more…)

by Andrew Ramonas January 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm 0

S2 bus travels past snow on 16th Street NW

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.

On 16th Street, only the S4 buses will have normal service. The S2 and s9 buses will take detours, and the S1 bus won’t run.

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.

(more…)

by Andrew Ramonas January 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm 0

Metrobus (Photo via Twitter/WMATA)More buses are set to hit the roads tomorrow. But some routes still won’t have service.

Metrobus is restricting its service to “severe snow routes” on 16th and U streets NW, among other roads.

On 16th Street, only the S4 buses will have normal service. The S2 bus will take a detour, and the S1 and S9 buses won’t run.

For U Street, the 90, 92 and 93 buses will operate normally. But the 96 and X3 buses are out of service.

(more…)

by Tim Regan January 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm 0

Dupont Metro station escalatorsMetro today announced it will reopen its stations for limited — but free — Metrorail and Metrobus service tomorrow.

Red, Orange and Green line trains only will run between at 7 a.m. tomorrow and midnight.

Service on these lines will be limited to underground stops only, and trains will run every 20-25 minutes, Metro said.

Orange Line trains will run between Ballston and Eastern Market, Red Line trains will run between Medical Center and Union Station and Green Line trains will run between Fort Totten and Anacostia.

Buses will operate every 30 minutes on just 22 routes between 12 and 5 p.m. tomorrow. According to Metro, “many of these routes will operate on snow emergency routes only to keep vehicles off hilly terrain, narrow side streets and other problem areas.”

The following bus routes will have service throughout the day tomorrow:

  • D.C.: 32, 33, 36, 53, 70, 90, A6, A8, P12, S4, U8, X2
  • Maryland: C4, D12, K6, Q2, V4, Y2, Z8
  • Virginia: 16A, 16E, 28A

by Tim Regan January 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm 0

As winter storm “Jonas” — or no, actually, “Gorf” — threatens to annihilate the D.C. area, locals have something new to worry about: Metro service suspensions.

Trains will shut down tomorrow night at 11 p.m. and cease service until Monday due to the blizzard, Metro announced today. Additionally, buses will only operate only on major corridors under a “severe” snow plan on Friday, then cease to run at 5 p.m.

“This is not a storm that anyone should take lightly, and I would urge all residents to plan to get to a safe place before the storm arrives Friday afternoon,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld in a statement.

“The actions we are taking today are all in the interest of our customers’ and employees’ safety, and will help us return to service once the storm passes and the snow is cleared,” he added.

by Tim Regan January 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

Metro play, photo courtesy of Pinky Swear Productions

What’s the most memorable thing that ever happened to you on the Metro? A local theater company wants to know.

Brittany Willis, a playwright with women’s theater group Pinky Swear Productions, launched a survey to collect “unforgettable public transportation stories” last week. The idea, Willis said, is to incorporate some of those submissions into a new play she hopes write later this year.

“I am using the WMATA Metro as a framing device for small stories and experiences on the Metro,” Willis said. “We want the horror stories. People getting caught on the train for two hours. Those kind of stories.” (more…)

by Andrew Ramonas January 14, 2016 at 12:30 pm 1 Comment

Police car light(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) Authorities have apprehended a teenage girl wanted for punching and kicking a man during a robbery on a Green Line train in November, the Metro Transit Police Department announced today.

The 15-year-old juvenile was charged with felony assault and robbery in connection with the violence between the Fort Totten and Shaw-Howard Metro stations on Nov. 22.

The girl was arrested at her home in Northeast D.C. without incident this morning, according to MTPD. She had a warrant out for her arrest.

(more…)

by Jennifer Currier October 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm 5 Comments

Andrew Lewis in Dupont Circle

Metro riders have probably heard a man with a booming voice singing hymns and songs of worship at station entrances near Dupont Circle, Farragut and downtown. Andrew Lewis is the 50-year-old owner of that voice, and he’s been spreading his sharing his message with morning commuters for the past three years.

“The Lord spoke to me and told me to step out here on the streets and do full-time ministry,” Lewis said. “That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, reaching out by singing praise and worship.”

Ask Lewis what he does for a living and he’ll tell you: this. He keeps a donation box close by while he belts out holy praises at the top of his lungs.

Despite not having any formal musical training, Lewis shares this message through song. Though his message isn’t always well-received, Lewis said his goal is to be heard, even if people aren’t listening.

“I don’t have any complaints,” he said. “I’m doing what I’m passionate about, and that’s key. Regardless of what I’m going through, I know who my source is. That’s what got me through the fire.”

“The fact that I can reach people in the great capacity I have over the last three years is a blessing in itself,” said Lewis. “We’re in a world where not everyone believes, so I know what I’m up against. For the most part, it’s been a great journey.”

The Richmond native was ordained as a Baptist deacon in the summer of 2009. At the time, he lived in Newport News, Va., and worked with the ministry at the Providence Baptist Church.

About month after his ordination, Lewis was preparing to make dinner late one night by heating up some vegetable oil in a stockpot. He left the room for a moment and came back to find a disaster.

“When I came back into the kitchen, the apartment was on fire,” Lewis recalled. “I didn’t have a fire extinguisher and I wasn’t really thinking, so I pitched some water on it. It was just instinct.”

That panic-driven instinct resulted in an explosion that covered Lewis in hot oil. He was able to exit the apartment through a window and seek help at a fire station across the street, but he was badly burned.

After a full day of being blind in both eyes, skin grafts, surgeries and five months of recovery, Lewis was well enough to leave town. He bounced between Virginia and New York before settling in D.C. three years ago.

Though Metro riders have gotten used to his morning gospels, Lewis said his journey is coming to an end, at least for now. In December, he’ll move back to Richmond to care for his elderly mother and try to find other work.

In terms of the rest of his future, there’s only one thing Lewis knows for sure.

“Even if I’m not singing, the ministry will always be in my life because that’s just who I am,” he said. “I just want to keep reaching people and letting my light shine.”

by Tim Regan August 27, 2015 at 11:40 am 0

Metro bus crash at 14th and U streets NW

(Updated at 11:48 a.m.) A near-collision involving a Metro bus at the intersection of 14th and U streets NW sent at least two riders to the hospital with minor injuries earlier today.

A Metro spokesperson said a car swerved in front of a 52 bus heading southbound on 14th Street NW near the intersection around 10:30 a.m. today. To avoid a collision, the driver of the bus applied the brake suddenly, lurching several passengers forward.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson Oscar Mendez said two riders were taken to the hospital with minor injuries following the near-accident. A Metro spokesperson said four riders were transported to the hospital.

Both Mendez and the Metro spokesperson said the riders were likely transported to the hospital as a precaution.

Image via D.C. Fire and EMS Twitter

by Tim Regan August 21, 2015 at 10:45 am 0

Trans-rights activists at Dupont Metro

Seven transgender-rights activists hoisted a banner to protest the unjust treatment of transgender people at the Dupont Circle Metro station between 8 and 9 a.m. this morning.

The public display was organized by transgender rights group DC Trans Power.

Activist Jes Grobman said the banner was meant to disrupt commuters’ lives to bring attention to the cause.

“Last week, there were three trans people killed,” said Grobman. “It’s hard to connect those stories to reality. People need to be confronted and faced with the fact that we are dying.”

“We got a lot of support,” they added. “People on the streets walked by thanking us.”

Grobman said today’s protest is the first in a series of impromptu public displays.

“We’re going to keep doing things,” they said. “We keep being killed. We keep being unable to get jobs and afford housing. These are issues that are continuous.”

Image courtesy of DC Trans Power

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