Riders take to social media for more Metro summer shutdown grievances

On the second full workday of Metro’s summerlong shutdown of parts of the Blue and Yellow lines, people’s morning commutes didn’t necessarily go much better than the first day. 

The shutdown affects six Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport, which are currently closed for repairs.

Metro advised commuters Wednesday morning to add time to their commutes. Metro buses in Virginia were experiencing delays due to traffic around stations and on Interstate 395.

Riders reported escalator outages throughout the Reagan National Airport Metro stop. In a tweet, Metro acknowledged the problem and said escalator service is expected to be back on Thursday.

One rider said some people were stranded after an AT3 bus to the Pentagon was too full to continue picking up riders. DASH Bus, which is not operated by Metro, responded by saying it would be adding more buses on that route, but did not specify a time frame.

Wednesday also marks the second day of a heat wave hitting the region, and the Metro stations seemed to offer no respite for riders. One rider complained of not enough air conditioning inside trains and stations.

All this comes a day after Metro acknowledged problems with shuttle buses, some that ended up at the wrong destinations and other rides that took too long for a 2-mile commute.  

NBC Washington’s Adam Tuss told WTOP that many of the shuttle bus drivers are contractors from other states who are unfamiliar with the routes.

Tuss said around six shuttle buses on Tuesday were not taking the HOV lanes and instead getting into dense traffic on Interstate 395.

Full WTOP track work guide: Summer 2019 Blue and Yellow Line shutdown

One of the express buses went into Maryland instead of going toward the Pentagon. Riders were eventually dropped off at the Anacostia Metro station. Tuss said riders had to give the drivers directions.

While Tuss showed optimism that both drivers and riders would adjust to the workarounds in the coming days, there may be even more passengers coming in the following days, since the week has been shortened due to the holiday weekend.

Metro spokesman Ron Holzer said in an email Wednesday afternoon, “As anticipated during the first few days of a major shutdown such as this, there have been some operational issues that will generally be smoothed out during this first week as we settle into our operations and customers adapt to the travel alternatives.”

Holzer added that Metro will make adjustments where needed, which included adding buses, staff and other resources. He also encouraged commuters to consider other travel options.

“During rush hours, we have more than 90 shuttle buses providing service to the six Blue and Yellow Line stations that are closed,” Holzer said. “These buses have been running fairly smoothly, with the exception of a small number of buses on the first day that did not operate on their intended route and traffic issues, such as accidents or inclement weather, which are beyond our control.”

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