Plagued by problems, Metro works to restore its system

WASHINGTON –More repairs are coming to Metro, but there are chances it could mean major changes for commuters in the D.C. region.

D.C. Councilman and Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans says it’s possible some lines could be shut down for months as Metro works to get a handle on safety and reliability.

“In order to do repairs that are necessary, it may come to a point where we have to close the entire Blue Line for six months,”  Evans said during a press conference. “There are going to be  hard decisions that have to be made in order to get this fixed.”

Dozens of business, government and public service leaders gathered for a summit at the Mayflower Hotel, speaking about the importance of Metro to the D.C. region, voicing their ideas and concerns, and hearing about the issues facing the system.

Those issues are significant, according to Evans, who called the situation dire.

“If we are going to fix the infrastructure, we can’t do it [by working for] three hours at night,” he said. “There may be decisions where we need to close down whole lines and repair them.”

Evans said that rather than study possible solutions, now is the time to begin implementing ones that have already been proposed.

“If we do nothing, 10 years from now, the system won’t be running,” he said.

Evans said Metro is looking at a budget gap next year and he is not sure how they will handle it. He said he does not plan on raising fares or cutting service. He and others said that, moving forward, Metro needs a reliable federal funding source.

General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the agency cannot keep going from “crisis to crisis,” and that he will put out a plan to deal with issues facing the system in about a month.

Wiedefeld says those plans will require sacrifices to be made by many, including riders.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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