WASHINGTON–Good Friday turned into a very bad Friday for Metro. The Red Line’s issues all morning left passengers stuck and frustrated, which negated an otherwise uneventful rest of the week for a transit agency that has been plagued with problems for months.
Single-tracking and Red Line issues
When WMATA is trending on Twitter, you can guess it’s not for a good reason. Red Line riders experienced major delays Friday morning and let the world know about it.
The Green Line single-tracking between the Naylor Road and Branch Avenue stops before 6 a.m. seemed bad enough, but the Red Line quickly surpassed it with morning commuting drama.
The Glenmont stop closed first because of “fire department activity,” and the Wheaton stop closed soon after for the same reason. Just before 7 a.m., Metro Transit Police reported “haze/smoke” in the tunnel between the two stations. Metro updated commuters, declaring there were no active smoke problems or fires, and at 7:33 a.m. the stations reopened.
Shortly afterward, however, trains between Glenmont and Wheaton were single-tracking due to water discharging from a fire department pipe. Then a Glenmont-bound train near the Cleveland Park stop had brake problems and was disabled for two hours.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for Metro or its riders, trains between the Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations began single-tracking, which lasted from 8:07 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.
The Red Line problems had Metro riders taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
Reforming Metro would require reforming WMATA, which would likely require action by Congress. And it is out of the action business
— Phil Ewing (@philewing) April 3, 2015
“The Red Line is a nightmare We do not apologize for constantly failing the public. We appreciate your continued complacency.” #wmata
— Sunfire (@Sunfire2109) April 3, 2015
Purple Line forum at the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland hosted a forum Tuesday about the long-discussed Purple Line, a transit project that would directly affect the College Park campus.
Those in favor of the line cited the need for more public transportation as a major plus and those against it cited cost as a deterring factor, according to The Diamondback.
The Student Government Association’s student sustainability committee hosted the forum, and the SGA has passed legislation formally supporting the Maryland Transit Administration light-rail project. Gov. Larry Hogan and his administration, however, are still reviewing the project’s construction.
The Purple Line, which has been deliberated for more than a decade, would be an east-west link between the Bethesda and New Carrollton stops. The line would link the Orange, Blue and Green lines and also have stops on the University of Maryland campus.
D.C. mayor proposes tax increases to help Metro hardships
If D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed budget is approved, Metro could get some much-needed financial help.
In Bowser’s budget, released Thursday, she proposed raising the taxes on e-cigarettes to match the tax on traditional cigarettes as well as raising the charge residents and commuters pay to park in downtown garages, from 18 percent to 22 percent.
Bowser said this monetary bump could raise almost $10 million and cover a third of the city’s cost next year to support a $323 million portion of operations at Metro, according to The Washington Post.