Metro only tracks escalator outages during business hours, but seeks to expand

Metro riders use the escalators in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – Metro plans to soon start monitoring elevator and escalators that break outside of business hours.

Metro’s latest Customer Accountability Report cites plans to extend remote monitoring of outages, which could be used to communicate to riders who need the elevators or escalators during all hours that the system is open. Later, the monitoring would be expanded to around-the-clock.

If the outages are not recognized until the following day, or in the case of a weekend until Monday morning, repairs can be delayed and the elevator or escalator can remain out of service longer than it needs to be.

Metro is separately planning to hire an engineer to look into the trends of breakdowns and common root causes that Metro may be able to address.

Overall, elevators and escalators are among the few bright spots in Metro’s most recent customer service reports.

Even with a significant number of escalators being replaced, Metro met its goals for escalator availability (93 percent) and elevator availability (97 percent) in the first three months of 2016. Metro statistics show elevators ran an average of 21 days before needing service, about half a day longer than the year before.

Over the last three years, elevator and escalator availability are relatively flat.

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