Metro is preparing for increased Independence Day travel with more security at stations and the continued presence of just eight 7000-series trains.
Andy Off, the interim general manager for WMATA, spoke with NBC Washington’s Adam Tuss about the potential for increased wait times at stations like Smithsonian and Le Enfant Plaza.
“We’re just trying to make sure — you know, we’re setting folks expectations that it is going to be very busy,” Off said.
Off said people should expect Metro Transit Police officers to be at busy stations to ensure platforms aren’t overcrowded — “it’s all hands on deck.”
“I think it may even get to the point where our police are going to have to stop people before they go into the station, particularly after the fireworks, to make sure we’re not, you know, putting too many people onto the platform,” Off said.
He said Metro will be ready for the increase in travelers and encouraged riders to avoid some of the areas most impacted by the increase in travel.
Off said riders can avoid transferring stations and using highly trafficked metro stations to dodge major delays.
Metro responds to 7000-series concerns
The interim general manager also discussed the number of 7000-series trains available and concerns raised by the derailment.
Off said, though the root cause of the issue with the trains remains undetermined, the agency will continue with phase one of its return to service plan. The plan puts a maximum of eight 7000-series trains on the Blue and Yellow line.
“We’re going to continue our daily inspections until we progress our service plans to the next phase,” he said.
Responding to reports of a data backlog issue on Friday that pulled 7000-series railcars, Ian Janetta, a spokesperson for WMATA, wrote to WTOP saying there were no service impacts
Janetta also responded to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission’s report of improper storage and marking of 7000-series cars that fail inspections, saying that “no railcars have failed back to back measurements.”
“According to our return to service plan, none of the railcars in question were being prepared for service,” Jannetta said. “We conduct extensive oversight of our efforts and promptly corrected all WMSC observations regarding 7000-series railcars.”
The return to restoration plan requires that out of service decals and signs be placed on cars that have failed ba.
WTOP’s Sarah Jacobs and NBC Washington contributed to this report.