Metro’s annual performance report says rail reliability and customer satisfaction was high during the first quarter of the fiscal year, but dropped dramatically after that.
That’s likely because on Oct. 12, a passenger train derailed due to wheel issues. It sidelined the 7000-series cars, which at the time were around 60% of rail cars, and led to long wait times between trains as older cars were brought back into service to help capacity.
The report found 79% of customers’ trips were on time for the year; the previous two years were both around 90%. At the end of the fiscal year, one-third of all customers were dissatisfied with their Metro experience.
Last month, Metro had around 20 of the 7000-series cars back into service and have plans to return hundreds more to service and continue regular manual inspection.
Ridership beat expectations, the report found — 142 million people rode Metrorail or Metrobus, 35% above forecasts and 75% better than fiscal year 2021, but still far below the 301 million riders in 2019.
In the report, Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said the agency will focus on getting more reliable and frequent service in the future, and pointed to the new stations opening in the coming months.
“In the next few months, we’ll open six new rail stations on the Silver Line, completing a 20-year goal to get rail service to Dulles Airport,” Clark wrote.
And despite recent headlines about brutal attacks on Metro trains and buses, the report showed that crime on Metro has gone down 27% compared with the past fiscal year.
The report found 26% of crimes reported were “crimes against people,” such as homicide, rape and aggravated assaults. While lower than last year, those numbers still exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
The most common calls for police were property crimes. The Metro police reported around 51 crimes a month, most of which were on Metrorail, dropping to around pre-pandemic levels.
Metro said they will prioritize posting more police on buses, trains and platforms moving forward. They will also hire crisis intervention specialists for mental health episodes.