Metro rolled out its new operating plan on Sunday, which shortens the service day and reduces rush service, all while increasing fares. The changes come after a year of repairs that have closed stretches of track for weeks at a time and caused riders to flee the system.
WASHINGTON — Metro fare increases, cuts to service hours and reduced rush hour service have taken effect.
The rail system’s new operating hours is the single most important thing riders need to know so they don’t find themselves stranded, said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld.
Sundays: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (used to be 7 a.m. to midnight) Mondays through Thursdays: 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (used to be 5 a.m. to midnight) Fridays: 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. (used to be 5 a.m. to 3 a.m., for the past year has closed at midnight) Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. (used to be 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., for the past year has closed at midnight) Note: The last trains leave end-of-line stations up to 50 minutes before the official closing time.
“There are a lot of moving parts here, so we’re working very hard to get this as smooth as possible. But I’m sure that there will be some issues that we’ll work through next week as we set this up,” Wiedefeld said.
For riders, the elimination of the Yellow Line Rush Plus may be the biggest change in rush hour service. Under Metro’s new rush hour service plan, riders will see the greatest reduction in service between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza and between Mount Vernon Square and Greenbelt.
Across the system, Metro trains will now be scheduled every 8 minutes at the end of each line rather than every 6 minutes. But Wiedefeld acknowledged that riders often didn’t see the level of service promised.
“We were not able to deliver what we were advertising,” Wiedefeld said Thursday.
“For lots of reasons, over time, we had gotten to that point. We had made poor assumptions,” he said. “I think it’s more important for the customer to know when the train’s coming and that it’s there, so that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
“Every day, every week, every month it will get better,” Evans said. “It’s not where I want it to be [with] reliability. I still have qualms about myself getting on Metro if I’m going to get to where I’m trying to get on time.”