Delays, fare increases: Metro riders have a right to be upset

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON – Constant delays, cracked rails and talk about fare increases — it hasn’t been a pretty couple of weeks for Metro riders, and the frustrations are mounting.

The Metro Board says riders have a right to be upset.

“Yeah, [I think riders are frustrated],” says Boardmember Mary Hynes, who represents Arlington. “And I think as we talk about a fare increase — it’s a fair question for people to say, ‘how much longer before I feel like there’s improvement?'”

During a Board meeting Thursday, Metro officials spelled out plans for fixing and maintaining the system, including plans to hire hundreds more workers for that specific task. But delays are going to be here for years to come.

“Right now, they’re saying it’ll be three years [before significant projects are completed] on just the Red Line. I don’t think it’s going to take us a whole three years for people to feel like it is better. It may take us a whole three years to get to a better, better state. But I want to know where that tip point is,” says Hynes.

“Our expectations are that the shutdowns will decrease somewhat. But we will still need to have shutdowns,” said Rob Troup with Metro’s Infrastructure division.

Metro has been aggressive about maintaining the system — with strategies like off peak single-tracking and complete station closures.

“But it’s fair to say, how long?” said Hynes.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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