The Washington Metro transit system may suspend operations for as long as six months for repairs and maintenance, D.C. Metro officials announced March 30.
The announcement follows the unprecedented 24-hour shutdown of the entire Metro system for emergency track inspections March 16.
At Wednesday’s symposium for the Metro’s 40th anniversary, Board Chairman Jack Evans said commuters should expect the closure of certain rail lines for extended periods of time.
“There may be decisions where we have to close down whole lines and repair them, which are going to be very unpopular,” Evans said. “But the only way that we are going to get this system fixed is to make unpopular decisions.”
Until now, repairs to the transit system have taken place at night and on weekends in shifts lasting for only several hours at a time.
According to Evans, in order to complete the necessary repairs, there will need to be more time-extensive periods of maintenance.
General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said at the symposium that he has not yet made a decision about the lengthy closures, but is considering various options in terms of the time frame for repairs. Wiedefeld is expected to release a potential plan for the system in four to six weeks.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s spokesman Michael Czin expressed the mayor’s discontent with the decision to halt Metro operations for a longer period of time.
“Shutting down Metro for one workday was an inconvenience; shutting it down for months at a time will have far-reaching consequences for riders and the entire region,” Czin said to The Washington Post.
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