Full Metro service not expected in DC until next spring

Full Metro service in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs, which has been dramatically reduced amid the coronavirus pandemic, is not expected to return until next spring, The Washington Post reported Monday. 

The transit agency is planning to gradually increase service levels over the course of a year, the Post reported, citing a plan that is set to be presented to Metro’s board on Thursday. 

Metro plans to keep a reduced-service schedule through most of the summer until the start of the school year, according to the newspaper. 

“We would revisit that in the fall-slash-winter, dependent upon what’s happening on the ground and what we learned at that point,” Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld told the Post. “Full recovery, we don’t anticipate till the spring of next year.”

Wiedefeld also said the safety of employees and customers is driving the agency’s recovery plan. 

Part of the plan reportedly includes continued boarding of Metrobuses through the rear of the vehicles and allowing free rides due to safety concerns for bus operators and passengers. 

The plan also includes attempts to limit passengers on buses and Metro train cars to allow for the recommended 6-feet distance between riders, which would require about 20 people in cars that can hold more than 100 passengers, the Post reports. 

To help customers keep the proper distance from other passengers, the agency plans to place markers on platforms and on vehicles, according to the Post. 

Metro also expects 15- to 20-minute wait times to remain in place until spring, when peak service is expected to be restored and wait times will be diminished to 7 1/2 to 10 minutes on all lines, the newspaper noted. 

The 19 stations closed last month due to the pandemic will also be gradually reopened during the fall, it added. 

Washington is currently under a stay-at-home order amid the pandemic. The virus has infected 6,389 people in the district and killed 328, according to data released by D.C. on Sunday.

Tags Coronavirus DC Metro Transit Washington DC. Washington Metro

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