Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson urged Metro in a Thursday letter to commit to city rail and bus service amid an announcement of extended closures, particularly on the transit agency’s Yellow Line.
In his letter to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority CEO Paul Wiedefeld, the Virginia mayor said he is “excited” about upcoming improvements, but raised concerns about shuttering the line during the work.
“In 2021, WMATA informed Alexandria that the Yellow Line bridge closure would last 3 to 4 months and that some tunnel work would be involved,” Wilson wrote. “The recent announcement that this closure will last at least twice as long is disappointing to say the least.”
Alexandria supports efforts to restore Metrorail to a state of good repair.
Protecting Alexandria’s transit riders during this next phase of work requires:
*Maximum Blue Line service
*Robust (bus/shuttle, etc) alternatives for commuters
*Return of 7000-series cars pic.twitter.com/eQlmeKym6k
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) March 25, 2022
Wilson goes on to say that Alexandria spent much of 2019 disconnected from the Metrorail system during the platform improvement process.
Wilson’s letter, which comes one day after Wiedefeld said Metro’s 7000 Series rail cars would not return to service until summer, at the earliest, as the transit agency tries to determine the root cause for wheel problems that caused a Blue Line derailment more than five months ago.
Wilson said another round of service interruptions will “hamper our ability to return to a new normal” as the pandemic recedes.
“Even with telework, we know safe, frequent and reliable transit is critical to our economy.”
Wilson said it’s hard to convince riders to use Metrorail with the closures.
In order to mitigate the loss of the Yellow Line in Alexandria, Wilson said he wants to see the following:
- Maximum Blue Line service;
- Robust (bus/shuttle, etc) alternatives for commuters
- Return of 7000-series cars
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