Metro leaders urge for similar commute plans moving forward

WASHINGTON — Metro leaders say the first weekday of the first surge of their track work plan went fairly well, but they’re urging riders who changed their routines to keep it up.

“Whatever you did, I’m stressing, do it again, and we should be able to get through this first surge with the level of inconvenience that we now have,” said Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans outside the Foggy Bottom Metro station.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, who rode the rails Monday morning, described the changes in rider behavior he noticed.

“A lot of people are starting earlier, so they were spreading out the peak, so that was one big initiative. It seemed that bus ridership was higher,” he said.

Metro says stations west of Ballston saw ridership that was 26 percent lower than normal Monday morning, and ridership systemwide was down 1 percent.

But Evans said what riders do Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be even more crucial.

“Generally on Mondays, it’s one of our lowest riding days,” he said, adding that if riders who did something different than they usually do on Monday rush back to the system on Tuesday, it could cause “serious overcrowding.”

Wiedefeld, who thanked riders for taking action, wants everyone to remember that this is just the start of a year long program to improve safety systemwide.

“We’ve got a long way to go. There’s going to be ups and downs, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

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