D.C.-area riders on Metro’s Red Line will see more trains during the busiest days of the week starting Tuesday.
Trains will operate every eight minutes all day Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, which have become Metro’s highest ridership days, the transit agency said in a news release.
On Mondays and Fridays, Red Line trains will continue to operate every eight minutes during the morning and evening rush and every 10 minutes at all other times until 9 p.m.
Metro said this builds on the increased service on the Blue, Orange and Blue Plus lines earlier this month, and will see 70% of all midweek rush hour trips with a train every eight minutes or less.
“That means customers will spend less time waiting, see more capacity and less crowding on trains, make quicker transfers, and have more time to spend outside of their commute,” Metro said in the news release.
The transit agency previously increased service on the Red Line last December after announcing plans to bring more of the 7000-series cars back to the rails. The series had issues with their wheels spreading apart, which led to a derailment in October 2021.
“As Metro gradually returns more 7000-series trains to service, efforts are also underway to hire and train more rail operators to fill a shortage caused by the pandemic,” Metro said.
Last January, Metro General Manager Randy Clarke told reporters that the agency would be forced to cut service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines and that wait times would increase from every 15 minutes to 25 minutes as a result of a directive from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.
The watchdog had discovered that Metro was “deliberately ignoring” its own training standards, allowing operators to skip a required eight hours of initial hands-on training overseen by instructors on out-of-service trains.
Metro later said that it would not reduce service, after the safety commission agreed to give the transit agency more time to address a dispute over training for rail operators.
More than 50 train operators who were certified — despite a finding they hadn’t met the agency’s training requirements — were provided the necessary extra training a week later.
WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.