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Metro to Begin Closures, Service Reductions Next Month

by Tim Regan — May 6, 2016 at 12:05 pm 0

Your daily commute might be affected at some point over the next year as Metro embarks on a massive effort to rehabilitate its aging rail system.

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today announced its “SafeTrack” plan to “improve Metrorail safety and restore service reliability.” The plan includes 15 “safety surges” over the next year that will include closing stations at midnight all week and reducing service on many of its lines at various times, according to a press release.

“Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line,” the press release cautions. At a press conference held this morning, Wiedefeld said “the level of service will go down during these surge periods.”

Orange, Blue and Silver riders can expect a shutdown between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6, according to Metro. On the Red Line, the agency will shut down service between NoMa and Ft. Totten between Oct. 9 and Nov. 2. Shuttle buses will replace service at stations affected by shutdowns, according to Metro.

The transit agency will also put in place a moratorium on early openings and late closings, and the system will close at midnight seven days a week beginning Friday, June 3, it announced.

Read the full press release below:

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today released SafeTrack, an expanded track work plan to improve Metrorail safety and restore service reliability.

Wiedefeld’s SafeTrack plan includes 15 “safety surges” over the next year that will accelerate maintenance on Metro’s rail system from the ballast up. By closing the system at midnight on weekends and expanding weekday maintenance opportunities, the plan addresses FTA and NTSB safety recommendations and deferred maintenance backlogs while restoring track infrastructure to good health.

SafeTrack accomplishes in one year, work that otherwise would take about three years to complete.

Fifteen “safety surges” are planned that will allow track crews to exponentially increase productivity and achieve safety results for customers faster. These long-duration track outages use either around-the-clock single tracking or line-segment shutdowns that will impact rush hour commutes. Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line.

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