WASHINGTON — Long-planned changes to Metro took effect Sunday and, despite plenty of news coverage both when they were announced and leading up to the day they were implemented, not everyone knew what it meant for them.
The first, most notable change for Metrorail riders was the new 8 a.m. opening on Sundays.
But at 7 a.m., there were about a dozen people outside of the New Carrollton stop waiting for the station manager to open up. None of them seemed to know about the changes.
Ayo, a woman who works in Virginia, was already late for work.
“I just discovered it’s changed,” she said. “I’m just seeing, this just came up right now,” she said, pointing to the monitors inside the subway station that warned about the new changes.
“Be ready for Metro changes,” she read out loud. “I’m not aware about this. And a lot of people are not aware about this.”
Inside the stations, there wasn’t very much in apparent signage warning people about the changes beyond the aforementioned monitors above the station manager’s kiosk.
And those monitors are constantly changing with information about train departures, escalator outages and other messages.
“There’s still a lot of people who work on Sundays,” said Cathy Manzon. “The airport doesn’t close.”
Manzon would know, since she works for an airline and was taking the train to get to work at Dulles Airport.
Manzon lives in Florida but visits her sister in the area during layovers, relying on Metro to help get back to the airport at the end of those visits.
As an occasional user, it’s understandable she wouldn’t be up to speed with the changes and she was less stressed than other people because she had budgeted more time.
But still, she was bothered.
“I’m caught off, really off guard,” she added.
Other people who showed up to the station on a visit from out of town chose to Uber into D.C. instead of waiting 45 minutes for the first train of the day.
Jerry Franz, who drove in from the Eastern Shore, decided he would just keep driving into the city instead, rather than show up for work an hour late.
“Is it just Sundays,” Franz asked about the new 8 a.m. opening. “Saturdays is seven o’clock still?”
“It’s frustrating,” he added before listing off the same complaints that angry riders have hurled at the transit system for years now. “I’m not a happy commuter,” he said as he got ready to walk back to the parking garage to get his car.
“It’s Sunday morning so [traffic] should be light,” Franz said about driving into the District before lamenting: “but then you gotta find parking.”
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