It Really Happened – Dupont South Metro Station Opens


Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles joined local officials today to cut the ribbon on three new “transit-grade” escalators at Dupont Circle’s south entrance, marking the completion of an 8 ½-month project to improve reliability and safety for customers using the station.

Completed on time and on budget, the replacement project was necessary because the three escalators formerly serving the south entrance were among the least reliable in the Metrorail system. The original manufacturer had gone out of business and the units were “non-standard,” thereby making it nearly impossible to find replacement parts to keep them in service.

Now that these escalators are fixed which others would you nominate as among the “least reliable in the Metrorail system”?

21 Comment

  • $5 says the escalators will be busted again within a month….

  • I went by there yesterday and I must say I was impressed. The lighting is awesome — even when its not dark. Lets just hope these escalators are more reliable than the old ones. My only complaing is the entrance was closed for over 8 months and no one cleaned the glass in the overhang. When you come up the new escalator the first thing you see are those dirty glass partitions.

  • rosslyn! I walk up those bad boys at least 1-2 times a month. How can both break so regularly??!

    • Well, they are the second largest in the system (with Wheaton claiming the largest escalators in the system as well as the largest in the Western Hemisphere). My guess is that once the second entrance to the Rosslyn station opens, we’ll get an announcement for new escalators to replace Rosslyn’s old ones.

    • Not that it’s an excuse for never having escalators that run, but I suspect that METRO likes to shut down escalators during “off hours” as a preventative measure to avoid having them break when they run for “too long”. I’ve also wondered if they’re trying to conserve power by shutting them off during “off hours”. How a technology that, according to wikipedia, was invented 150 years ago, is so difficult to maintain in working order is beyond me. Makes me wonder if it’s another case of DC graft where perpetual amounts of taxpayer money is awarded for seemingly perpetual contracts to fix an issue that’s perpetually “un-fixable”.

  • Alright, then let’s get the Bethesda street elevator fixed! The sign says October but my bets are against it.

  • I still wish they had added a set of stairs in the center. Yes I know many claim that a stopped escalator is a set of stairs, but that is not true. The rise/run is different plus as some remember Metro escalators have also broken to the point of sliding down backwards and ejecting all those on them.

    • a staircase by code can only have a maximum rise and run that is MUCH less steep than the escalator AND landings as deep as the stair is wide are required every 12′ of climb.
      Basically it would create a bottleneck at the top or bottom (or both) where the staircase would be so much longer than the escalators.

  • The escalators look great, but did it really need to take 8 months? It couldn’t have been done in 3? 4? They couldn’t have really been working straight for 8 months, could they have? Just from observation, I think construction companies can erect 500 foot skyscrapers in 8 months, complete with escalators in the lobbies and elevators.

  • Here are some ‘least reliable” escalator candidates that were identified earlier in the year by WTOP.

  • The Columbia Heights escalator on the east side of 14th Street almost never works. It’s a total disaster. I live east of 14th and have learned to cross over to the west side under the invariably correct assumption that the east side is broken.

    • Let’s be fair Dave. There was that one time in August 2010 that the escalators at the entrance were working for like two whole days. You must’ve been out of town.

  • The 10th St entrance to the U St station is out of service at least 5 days a week. It’s probably due to the lack of cover over the entrance, but they need to fix it. There’s no elevator – awful when you have luggage or groceries to carry!

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