OPM: Agencies will decide how to cope with reduced Metro service

WASHINGTON — Federal workers will have to wait for their agencies to decide whether extra telework days or unscheduled leave will be available during the upcoming year of Metro track repairs that will cause significant service disruptions for commuters.

Individual agencies will be in the best position to determine the impact of Metro’s rehabilitation work on their own employees, said Samuel Schumach, press secretary for the Office of Personnel Management.

“Given the scope, duration and nature of the disruptions, the impact to agencies in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will differ,” Schumach said in an email to WTOP. “That means individual agencies are best positioned to determine the impact that the SafeTrack project will have on their workforce and therefore agencies should make decisions regarding how to adjust.”

OPM is finalizing guidance to agencies so that managers understand their options.

The intensive repairs will create round-the-clock service disruptions. More routine maintenance work will reduce service earlier in the evening and during the midday. But safety-related repairs will require trains to share tracks or even shut down entire stretches of track for weeks at a time.

The work begins June 4 and Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld is urging riders to avoid the rail system if they can.

More than 700,000 riders take Metrorail daily and it is the backbone of the region’s congested transportation network. About 20 percent of rush hour riders are federal employees.

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