With ridership up, Metro adds more rail service at busy stations

The word of the day on Metro is more — with more people riding on Metro, the D.C. transit agency is adding more service to some of the busier stations on Monday.

These days there are more riders than the transit system has seen since the pandemic started in 2020. In fact, last week saw the two busiest single days on the rails yet.

Beginning Monday, trains on the Blue, Orange, Silver and Blue Plus (the temporary replacement while a Yellow Line tunnel undergoes maintenance) lines will depart every 12 minutes during peak periods, defined as the hours of 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

But in the area that Metro General Manager Randy Clarke refers to as Metro’s core — the stops between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory where all those lines overlap — riders see a new train coming, on average, every three minutes.

It’s the latest step in what’s been a gradual boost in service over the last couple of months.

The growing ridership could set even more post-pandemic records soon.

The impending peak bloom of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin always brings extra riders into the city, as will baseball games at Nationals Park and soccer games at Audi Field. That’s not to mention the host of other sporting and entertainment events on the calendar.

Metro also vows that the increased service that begins Monday will just be the start of something more.

This weekend, more Red Line trains hit the tracks, and wait times between trains on that line will be reduced to eight minutes all day long, seven days a week — matching the level of service that already exists on the Green Line.

The transit system says it’s also adding more train operators, mechanics and maintenance staff in the coming months, which will further boost rail service as more 7000-series cars return to action.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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