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Metro riders react to Huntington-Pentagon express shuttle changes as Alexandria shutdown continues

Monday morning was the first time Metro riders could get a feel for changes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has made to its Huntington-Pentagon express shuttles after a rough start for the Blue and Yellow Line shutdown between the Huntington and Pentagon stations.

Riders expressed a range of feelings toward the changes. For some, the sting of last week’s debacles are still fresh in their minds.

Metro rider Dennis Lewis expressed his frustration, hoping Metro drivers are better informed when it comes to their assigned routes.

“Otherwise, you have extra buses that could just get lost,” Lewis said.

During last week’s commute, there was at least one instance of a shuttle bound for Pentagon Station that ended up at Anacostia Station after the driver asked riders for directions and took a series of wrong turns.

As of Monday, the Huntington-Pentagon express shuttle will now run directly to Pentagon from both the south and north sides of Huntington.

“With separate routes established from each side of Huntington station, customers on the north (lower) side will benefit from reduced crowding on buses and customers on the south (upper) side will experience shorter travel times,” a Metro news release said.

During the first week of the shutdown, the shuttle drove from one side of the station to the other to pick up passengers.

Bus stops along the route have also been adjusted with the aim of improving on-time performance and traffic flow.

Waiting for the Huntington-Pentagon Express shuttle along the north side of the Huntington station, commuter Greg Haugan kept an open mind to the changes, despite a rough start to last week.

“The folks here assisting are doing a great job,” Haugan said. “I think it’s great — it will help since there’s more people that need more shuttles.”

Other riders said they plan to see how the day goes before applauding Metro, but many are glad to see changes being made.

Customers on the south side of Huntington station are expected to experience shorter travel times, and those on the north side should see less crowding, according to Metro.

The changes are intended to make for an overall smoother commute as platform upgrades continue through Sept. 8 in Alexandria.

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