Huge Crush on Red Line at Union Station


@meagansham 29m29 tweets us that insane photo above:

“Absolutely absurd riding conditions on @wmata red line at Union Station this morning @PoPville. No mention of delays.”

26 Comment

  • west_egg

    Email at 8:45: “Expect residual delays to Shady Grove due to an earlier signal problem outside Rhode Island Ave.”
    I attempted to board a Red line train at Chinatown this morning that ended up holding for an unusually long time. Finally the conductor came on and said there was a switch problem that had trains backed up “all the way to Grosvenor.” But that doesn’t make a lot of sense if the problem was at RI Ave.
    There was another major delay on the Red line late last week that came and went without a peep from Metro. This seems to be the new normal for WMATA, and it’s pathetic.

    • Not surprised about a problem in one place causing issues way down the line, unfortunately the nature of the system design. Completely agree on the communication piece, though. Most often I find the only accurate, near-real time source of information on delays/problems is on Twitter from other riders.

    • Apparently they alert via twitter. For those of us who don’t check twitter at all or don’t have twitter, we’re SOL.

      • They do officially alert via Twitter, but it’s still hit or miss and often still not timely enough to matter. I find it much more useful just to do a quick scan of #wmata for all tweets. When a bunch of folks start complaining about holding at [STATION], or offloading, or smoke, etc. long before WMATA says anything, you have more time to consider your options.

        • My issue with that is that I don’t check twitter – I have one for work so I can access the work twitter, but I hate using it. I shouldn’t have to rely in it for information regarding public transit.

          • “I shouldn’t have to rely in it for information regarding public transit.”
            That’s a fair point, but clearly not something that is likely to be resolved anytime soon. On the other hand, if the information is available and you know where to get it but you choose not to, that seems a bit silly to me. I never tweet, but I always scan my twitter feed briefly before I head out in the morning. If it seems like the bus or train is messed up I go straight to plan B. It’s so easy to sign up for a twitter account and just use it for informational purposes.

        • That’s absurd. They have a dedicated website that is not updated when issues arise.

      • What do you want, info scrolling on the bottom of your TV every time there’s a metro delay? Sirens blaring around the city to let everyone know there’s a delay? Someone to knock on your door to tell you personally?

        Metro has chosen twitter as its way of informing the public about delays. I think that’s a reasonable way to do it. Sorry you’re too cool for the twitter.

      • I’m not on twitter. When there are Red or Green line delays I get text messages alerting me. I work near Union Station and I left early enough to avoid this mess.

        • Just curious – what time was the first text message you got this morning about the Red Line delays?

          • I’m not sure – I deleted all of the alerts I got because I was already at work. Maybe around 8:00.

          • Thanks, PG!
            The alert didn’t go onto WMATA’s website until 8:45. So there was about a 45 minute delay between sending it out by text and putting it onto the site (and all of the transit apps).

    • albany

      Are you referring to the debacle Friday afternoon?

      If so, I was at the NoMa station around 5:15 where a sick passenger delayed everything about 10-15 minutes. The sick passenger apparently hit their head (or something?) and eventually walked off the car to the elevator with an EMT. I’m sure that this caused residual delays everywhere else on the line, and if I’m remembering correctly there was single tracking briefly as a result.

      • west_egg

        No, it was either Thursday or Friday morning that crowds were at crush level around 8 a.m. and trains were running abnormally far apart (7-8 mins if I recall). Something was definitely going on.

  • Funny- my boyfriend just messaged me to say that he was in that mess and how it was really good that I didn’t leave with him today. “You would have had a panic AND heart attack.” He knows me so well.

  • This morning, I saw the beginning of this mess while on the Red Line headed towards Glenmont. I thought it was due to a broken down train because I had seen an empty train headed towards Grosvenor. I assumed the train disembarked passengers at Union Station causing a crowd on the platforms.

    I agree with West_Egg that this is now a common occurance with WMATA because the same delay occurred on this past Friday but on the Green/Yellow line at Chinatown. The trains headed towards Branch Avenue and Huntington were delayed, the platform was packed, and passengers patience was wearing thin.

    I’m sick of Metro but only deal with it because my job is right next to the Metro and parking is ridiculously expensive. I’m glad their problems are being exposed heavily in the media. They need the scrutiny to correct these issues.

  • Green/Yellow was also delayed. I saw a train sitting for about 10 minutes in the tunnel at Shaw until it finally came to the platform and unboarded. Took a bit for another to come.

  • After a weekend of surge pricing, Uber users flock to Metro.

  • Same up the line at Woodley Park between 9 and 9:30 where a crowd on the platform had to wait for several trains to pass until one with enough space rolled through. Must’ve just been residual delays up the line.

  • Around 8:20am my Red Line train to Glenmont/SS had to unload at Dupont. What a disaster. Wonder if this is related. Thankfully was able to take a bus to work and ONLY delayed an extra 20 mins.

  • I boarded a train at NoMa this morning that was labeled “Silver Spring.” Then it went directly to Union Station. I hopped off, majorly confused, and the train continued towards Shady Grove still labeled “Silver Spring.” Forge the single tracking and lack of updates – can we at least start by labeling the trains correctly??

  • Yesterday after work around 5:15 was brutal on the red line. Had to wait 10 min for a train at Metro Center, then it just bypassed the NoMa stop and went right to RI Ave from Union Station. Red Line struggles.

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