“More Metro escalators are in service and available for riders than at any point in nearly five years”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC


“More Metro escalators are in service and available for riders than at any point in nearly five years, the Authority will report Thursday in its Vital Signs presentation to the Board of Directors. The improvement is largely attributable to the major “Metro Forward” rehabilitation effort that has been underway for more than two years.

“This is what Metro Forward is all about: delivering more reliable service and significantly improved escalator availablity our riders,” said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.

For the 2nd quarter of the year (April through June), Metro achieved an availability score of 91.9 percent — meaning that more than nine of every ten of the system’s 588 escalators were in service during operating hours.

Metro has taken a number of steps to improve the safety and reliability of its escalator fleet, which is the largest of any transit agency in North America and includes the longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere. Specifically:
• 89 escalators have been rehabilitated since 2011, a process that replaces the motor, steps, control system, handrails, drive chain and all other major parts resulting in a “like new” unit.
• 18 new escalator mechanics were hired this fiscal year to ensure that preventive maintenance is done on schedule.
• 97 percent of preventive maintenance was completed on time in the second quarter, as compared to 90 percent in Q2-2012 and 40 percent in Q2-2011.
• Strategic use of contractor services to augment in-house staff and achieve faster response times.
• Increased use of remote monitoring technology.

Within months, Metro will begin full replacement of an additional 128 escalators across the system. Already, Metro has fully replaced six escalators under the Metro Forward rebuilding program, and three more units are currently being installed at Pentagon Station.”

12 Comment

  • Sounds like WMATA thinks they deserve a cookie?

    • Seriously. This isn’t really brag worthy – the escalators should be working.
      That’s like me asking for a raise simply because I did the bare minimum at work. Um, no.

    • Sounds like the customers have been demanding better communication and better performance from WMATA. Sounds like WMATA is giving some of what the customers are asking for. Hard to see anything wrong with that.

      • Ah ah ah! You’re funny.
        Meanwhile Metro forgot to communicate about the drop of ridership (-20% on the weekend compared to the FY2013 budget) or the numerous service disruption (remind me how many derailment Metro got in 1 week on the exact same portion of the red line?).
        So NO: it is not “better performance”, they barely reach normal escalator service.
        And NO: it is not “communication”, it is Propaganda.

        Metro is pathetic and is lying straight to our face…

  • Filed under “Patting yourself on the back for doing your job”… Hah.

  • So in other words, the equivalent 48 escalators are still out of service at any given time. Not good enough, Metro.

    Getting better? Yes. Acceptable? Not even close.

  • austindc

    Yay! I am excited to ride both of them!

  • Notice that the information is presented quarterly. So it’s not that there are more escalators available in “any” period of the past five years, but rather that as far as second quarters go, it was the best of the past five years. I wonder, are there intrinsic seasonal effects to the functionality of escalators? I’m inclined to think there isn’t. But I did notice that it was not hot as balls this summer, so maybe the crews were more willing to actually work in 2013, resulting in the higher functionality (though a 2 percentage point increase is hardly significant). Who knows. The impression is that WMATA has to obscure some data when patting themselves on the back because they’re such a shady, incompetent bunch of buffoons.

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