“Red, Orange, Silver, Blue and Yellow line trains will operate every 24 minutes”

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend


“Reconstruction of the Metrorail system will continue over the weekend of September 11-13 with service adjustments on all six rail lines beginning at 10 p.m. Friday and continuing through system closing on Sunday.

This weekend, Red, Orange, Silver, Blue and Yellow line trains will operate every 24 minutes. Green Line trains will run on a regular weekend schedule between College Park and Branch Ave stations. At Greenbelt Station only, buses will replace trains on Saturday and Sunday.”

20 Comment

  • Imagine how many thousands of people have become conditioned to the idea of never taking Metro on the weekends – or have never even considered it, as they have known nothing but 24+ minute headways their entire time living in DC. Pretty sad.

    • Running weekend trains would get in the way of WMATA’s main mission, which is to provide fat salary and benefits to its highly-skilled workforce:


      70% of WMATA’s budget goes to personnel (including $400,000 pension plans). Even the civil service has moved to an employee-contribution (FERS vs CSRS) plan.

    • I completely agree. I understand that work has to get done, but 24 minute headways all weekend is just absurd and is not enough to meet the demand. Last weekend, when the red line was at 26 minutes, the trains were packed, even more so when one went out of service. Plus, as you mention, most people within the District just avoid metro alltogether on weekends, leaving it functioning as some kind of commuter rail system for people in the burbs. It really is sad.

      • “leaving it functioning as some kind of commuter rail system for people in the burbs.”

        That was, and still really is, the main purpose of Metorail.

        That Metrorail serves intra-city mobility is sort of a bonus.

        • It’s a self-perpetuating system in that way, though — if service is limited except during commuter hours, of course people are going to use it primarily for commuting.

          • I think Cynic’s point is that that’s how WMATA intends the system to be run.

            I mean come on, they practically stop service on the weekends and charge extra to ride late-night. What more do they need to do to indicate that they are an overwhelmingly M-F commuter service.

            I don’t take joy in saying it, I just think that some people moved here thinking that Metrorail was like the NY Subway when it’s more like BART. But at least SF has good streetcar/bus service to fill in the gaps.

            DC residents need to demand better bus service, not hold out for Metrorail improvements which will never materialize.

        • No you are thinking of the MARC

          • MARC is the old PRR (Penn Line) and B&O (Camden and Brunswick Lines) services shotgunned together. VRE services didn’t run in any form (commuter rail that is), until the 1990s.

            WMATA was the first comprehensive (private or public) commuter service for the entire DC region.

          • I think their point was that we in the District have much better options on the weekend, bus, bike, walk, uber than to take metro rail… so it really just serves as a way to bring suburbanites into the District.

      • People at GGW speculate the spreading out the track work is really a ruse to disguise service cuts due to budget etc.

        • This seems very likely. If they can cut staff every weekend, they greatly reduce their greatest cost. The same goes for their “minor” rush-hour service modifications. They claimed that they were slightly reducing the number of cars and trains on Mondays and Fridays only, and, yet, on Wednesday of this week, I encountered 6-3-6 headways on upcoming trains on the red line (all are supposed to be 3 minutes at rush hour) and all 6-car trains (outside of Mondays and Fridays, every third train should be 8-car…since I didn’t manage to shove my way on until the third train in, I can confirm that at least 5 trains in a row were 6-car). Heck, on Thursday, I decided to stop of at the grocery store (one stop from home) and saw headways at 6:10 PM of *8-4-8.* If you’re going to charge rush hour fares until 7, rush hour service should be provided until 7 (or, you know, AT ALL).

          • ^the 6-3-6 started at 5:25 PM. Hence why it took me three trains to shove my way in one. There were no service alerts during that time.

    • True. Another reason revenue is falling…

  • “Reconstruction of the Metrorail system will continue…”
    That sums it up perfectly. Just shut a line or section of a line down completely for a month or two, use shuttles, and be done with it already. Yes, it will be painful, but this current scheme is the equivalent to pulling off a band aid one millimeter at a time. This never ending weekend work has been going on for what seems like years, rendering the Metro essentially useless as a mode of transportation.

    • Does the track work stink? Sure. But waiting 20 minutes for a train is not earth-shattering. On Saturdays in NYC, there’s subway lines that come very 20 minutes – and that’s without track work. I know it’s not some exact comparison, but still. You can look at your phone to see where trains are in the system. 24 minutes inbetween trains on the blue/orange/silver is really not 24 minutes given they share the same track through most of the system. Is it super convenient? No, absolutely not. But is still manageable? In most cases, yes (obviously there are some instances when a major station is closed that makes it difficult at times). In January 2013, they said 4 more years – so in theory the end of next year. Obviously not every last maintenance project would be done then. So yes, it has been years.
      But it’s hardly “useless” every weekend though.

      • Maybe you have endless time to wait, but for me, it has become essentially useless. I haven’t used it on weekends in years as I don’t have any faith that I will get anywhere at a decent time.

        • Sounds like you need to hire a personal driver!

          • Either that, or just decide a taxi when you figure out it would take longer to metro from Dupont to Eastern Market than it would take to drive to Manassas.

        • It’s the variability that’s troublesome for me. Often the phone apps don’t show upcoming trains, particularly during times of track work. On Saturday night, I waited well over 24 minutes for an inbound train at Capitol Hill South (despite having three lines, which I would have assumed were at least somewhat staggered), and then over 20 minutes for a Green Line train at L’Enfant Plaza–and that’s the line without track work.

  • Hey the green line is unmolested except for Greenbelt. Respect!

Comments are closed.