Metro offers riders involved in derailment $21 SmarTrip credit

Metro is offering the riders who were on board the Blue Line train that derailed on Oct. 12 a SmarTrip credit for future rides.

Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said the agency is currently in the process of reaching out to those who were on Train 407 when it derailed inside a tunnel between Rosslyn and Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to offer them $21 in SmarTrip credit.

“While it does not make up for their experience, we wanted to offer an apology along with this small gesture of appreciation,” Ly said in emailed statement.

Metro was forced to drastically reduce service on all lines after the derailment, as an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the issue that caused the derailment was present on many of the 7000-series rail cars. All 7000-series trains were taken out of service.

The board said the train cars had a flaw in their wheels and axles that allowed the cars to derail, and that Train 407 had actually derailed three times on Oct. 12, though it righted itself in two of the derailments.

The investigation also led to the discovery that Metro had experienced these issues with the 7000 trains going back to 2017, and that the problem had become more pronounced over time.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) called on Metro to increase the number of Metrobuses it runs while rail service is disrupted.

“While they continue to work towards the safe resumption of regular service, WMATA must take necessary steps to maximize bus service across the region,” Beyer said in a statement. “It is simply unsustainable to cut train service in half without a significant corresponding increase in bus service. WMATA should work with regional leaders to increase bus lane capacity where it is needed.”

Beyer also called on employers to maximize their telework options while Metro service is disrupted.

Ly said Metrobus ridership is currently around 70% of its pre-pandemic levels, while bus services have been restored to around 97% of pre-pandemic levels. She also said “all of our available operators and buses are already in service.”

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Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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