34 Comment

  • This is absolutely ridiculous. First off, Dupont Circle has the 5th-highest traffic in the entire system, right after Union Station, Farragut North, and the transfer stations at Metro Center and Gallery Place.

    Even if Metro is able to complete the repair work on the three escalators at the Q Street entrance, Dupont Circle will not be able to handle the crush of passengers who use the station.

    During this escalator repair work at Dupont Circle, Metro is planning to suspend maintenance at Farragut North station to prevent a water main from bursting and and flooding the Red Line.

    While I agree the escalators should be fixed at the south entrance of Dupont Circle station, it’s more prudent to repair the escalatprs one at at a time, as has been done at Foggy Bottom station. Closing an entrance at such a high-traffic station is the height of stupidity and will only add to transit delays and further distrust.

  • For safety reasons I would have thought they’d need to keep one escalator (going up) functional at the south entrance — otherwise the platforms could become dangerously crowded and lines of riders will get backed up as they all attempt to leave the station through the same exit.

  • I have a feeling in China this would be completed in one week.

  • why does it take a year? you can build entire office buildings in that time, including the escalators for them.

  • Insane. At the north entrance, one escalator is down for repair, another has been broken all week, and the third one is going up. I am guessing many more people exit at the south side of the station. Please tell me how Metro plans to deal with more than twice as many people trying to use the north exit. WTF.

  • A year?!?!!? To fix 3 escalators?

    Makes me glad I don’t hang in Dupont anymore.

  • pablo .raw

    Wow, I use those escalators everyday… they were not working the other day and the backup line waiting for the elevator in that tunnel.. it was a little bit claustrophobic.

  • Nuts! In 1851, the Crystal Palace was built in London – from sketch to opening day of “The Great Exhibition” in just 9 months!

  • Emmaleigh504

    I don’t consider a year short term.

  • As much as I hate Metro, I think this was the best choice out of only a few choices, all of them pretty lousy.

    The companies that manufactured the escalators are out of business and parts are unavailable. That means each broken part needs to be removed, taken to a Metro machine shop, inspected, recreated, and tested. The middle escalator was a custom one-off job that was installed at a later date than the outer left and right escalators. That means even more different pieces that need to be tracked. This is why the escalators are off more than they are on.

    All three escalators need to be removed and replaced at the same time because they share the same underlying infrastructure, which also needs to be upgraded. At the Tenleytown station, the mezzanineplatform escalators had all new power and control systems installed and most of the mechanical systems replaced. This took a while and it was for only two relatively short escalators.

    The only option that would have kept the entrance open would be piecemeal replacement/upfit of the existing escalators, and that would mean they would remain custom jobs that would take longer to repair and more expensive to support. In the long term, this is the best solution even though it’s going to make that station hell during rush hour.

    • “That means each broken part needs to be removed, taken to a Metro machine shop, inspected, recreated, and tested.”

      Wha?? Why don’t they just replace the escalators completely? Isn’t that what they’re doing? Why would it take a full year to do that?

    • By “completely” I mean why would they need to care about recreating parts that match decades past? Just stick in a brand new escalator from a company that is, you know, in business. I can’t imagine that’d take very long at all.

      • I was talking about the current state of the escalators – why they are down so much, and why they are being completely replaced instead of upgraded one at at time.

        Escalators are complex systems and each installation is somewhat custom -e.g. length of escalator, finishes, etc. The main parts are expensive and are usually built to order, and not sitting in some warehouse waiting to be used. It’s like any construction project – bid, design, and implement. That takes time.

        The goal is to get common components across each metro station so that in the long term, problems can be resolved faster and cheaper.

        • Couldn’t the vast majority of that be done prior to closing the work site? I certainly hope they’re not pulling everything out then waiting 8 months for new parts to arrive, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised and that’s probably the only way 1 year to replace a couple escalators makes sense.

          • I wonder the same thing. Shouldn’t WMATA be able to pre-plan most of the work so that the entrance is closed for as little time as possible?

            If other escalator projects are any guide, there will be 1-2 people working on this repair intermittently for 12-16 months. There will be weeks where nothing appears to get done, probably waiting for some of those “custom” parts.

            It seems to me that WMATA plans most everything for its workers’ conveniences and thinks about its customers last or perhaps not at all.

          • Everybody here apparently has serious reading comprehension problems.

            The OLD escalators are the ones with weird custom parts that take a long time.

            The NEW escalators are going to be off-the-shelf regular ones.

            They are REPLACING the OLD escalators with NEW ones. That means they do not have to wait for parts and they ARE putting in 3 brand new escalators.

          • Alright, if the new escalators are simply off-the-shelf, then why does it take a YEAR to install three of them? Isn’t there some way to speed up the process so that it’s less inconvenient? If there’s some newer modular escalator standard shouldn’t it be easier and quicker to install?

  • Jesus, Metro is terrible.

    Has anyone mentioned that the Dupont North entrance is also a complete clusterf*ck? Half the escalators have been closed for months now. Incoming and outgoing riders to the platform have to share a single stopped escalator on the Shady Grove side, causing HUGE lines and delays even during off-peak every time a train offloads.

    I can’t imagine a more poorly run and blatantly inept organization.

  • Sometimes I think WMATA just *wants* people to boycott them.

  • The entire entrance is being closed, so there is no way to walk up. Unless there is a hidden stairway at that station I’m not aware of…

  • There’s a lot of WMATA bashing going on. I get it, they’re slow, unreliable, etc etc, but in the end DC actually has a functional public transit system that many people use. Try going to Baltimore and see how many people ride the subway there (or even know that one exists). A year is a long time, and it’s definitely going to suck, but they’re replacing the escalators for the people who ride the Metro…why is that a bad thing?

  • Yeah it’s gonna suck, but it’s gotta be done. What I’m not looking forward to are the times when the north escalators are inevitably broken down during this construction project, and they have to close the station because people start backing up on the platform. Now THAT’s gonna really suck.

  • Metro. Further proving their worthlessness.

  • I’m a Dupont resident who used to commute to Silver Spring on the red line. Things were never good, but recently they’ve been terrible. I don’t think there was one day in either October or November that metro didn’t force me to walk up/down on a broken escalator. I’ve been driving much more lately, and realizing that its so much easier, and surprisingly faster. They honestly lost me as a regular customer. And with my bikesharing in the city, I basically never need metrorail.

  • they did this 15 years ago to install the current escalators and the canopy. Somehow, people, even whiny Washintonians survived. And, yes, i use this everyday and don’t relish the longer trek to the other entrance, but somehow I’ll survive. the whiners probably should go to public meetings rather tha rant here.

  • In no world at no time should replacing 3 escalators take a whole year. That’s it.

  • Im glad metro is trying to fix its aging infrastructure. But I agree with everyone, 1 year to replace 3 esclatlors is unacceptable. China and Russia could do this in a 3 weeks.

  • Yikes! Well, looks like the buses and the L Street exit at Farragut North are going to see a lot more traffic now. Glad I don’t live there.

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