WASHINGTON — Metro officials say they will be scaling back on both Metrorail and Metrobus service across the D.C. area even further.
Going into effect on Wednesday, Mar. 18 until further notice, Metro trains will now arrive every 15 minutes on each line at all times, including the Red Line. All trains, according to officials, will operate with eight cars, the maximum possible length, to help maintain social distancing between customers.
In addition, the new hours for Metrorail service are weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Metro is also reducing and canceling track work, except emergency maintenance and inspections, to avoid unexpected delays and maintain 15-minute intervals between trains.
"The actions directed by the Task Force today will help Metro return to normal service when the pandemic emergency is over and our region begins to recover," Theresa M. Impastato, Metro’s Chief Safety Officer said.
Metro officials are acting urgently to further reduce the number of employees required at any time and as they are working to create additional redundancy in Metro’s workforce to protect service continuity.
"As members of our community stay home from work, school and social gatherings – following the critical emergency guidance of Governors Hogan and Northam and Mayor Bowser – Metro will reduce service and implement measures to reduce risk for employees and the public,” Metro General Manager, CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said. “If everyone does their part and stays home whenever possible, Metro will be there for hospital staff and other heroes who need us at this unprecedented moment in our lives.”
Metro ridership was down nearly 70% across the board Monday, officials said. WMATA officials are also urging riders not to take the Metro to see the cherry blossoms this weekend so that trains can be available for essential travel (e.g. doctors, nurses, essential governmental functions, etc.).