How Metrorail service is expected to improve

Metro is looking to alleviate concerns from frustrated rail riders by outlining a return to normalcy on Metrorail in the coming days, weeks and months.

“This community has had a lack of quality service for over a year,” said Metro General Manager Randy Clarke. “We’re just trying to show the community that there is a path forward here.”

That path includes resuming service for six Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport on Sunday. Those stations have been closed since Sept. 10 for a construction project.

Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn St. and Franconia-Springfield stations will reopen this weekend.

More trains could then be used starting Nov. 21 to reduce crowding, according to a presentation given to Metro board members.

Around Dec. 5, Red Line train frequency would improve to every eight minutes.

Then on Dec. 27, peak train frequency would improve to every six minutes on the Red Line, and every 12 minutes on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

Things would fully normalize on the system by May, when the Yellow Line reopens.

The moves from December on assume that further steps are allowed in Metro’s return to service plan for its troubled 7000-series railcars.

Clarke said that currently, “We’re actually starting to run pretty decent service … and we’re just going to keep building that day by day.”

Metrobus problems

While service may start to improve on Metrorail, Metrobus riders have expressed a lot of frustration about the inaccuracy of the busETA app.

They say many times the app shows buses are pulling up where they are waiting, but the buses are not actually there. Sometimes the bus on the app disappears.

Metro said the software isn’t capable of deleting a scheduled bus, even when Metro knows that a bus isn’t actually running its regular route on a given day.

Metro said its software team is working on the problem. Improvements are reportedly being rolled out before the end of the year.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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