Patience Is A Virtue: Metro Escalator Repairs Could Take Five Years | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Patience Is A Virtue: Metro Escalator Repairs Could Take Five Years

Play associated audio
One of the escalators at the Columbia Heights Metro station is thoroughly closed off, and may remain so for some time.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/866034346/
One of the escalators at the Columbia Heights Metro station is thoroughly closed off, and may remain so for some time.

Metro Red Line riders are happy to see the return of the Dupont Circle south escalators, three of 94 escalators that will be entirely replaced across the rail system. Riders may need to be patient waiting for their station's replacements to be installed, however, as it will take at least five years to replace all of Metro's troublesome escalators.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says contracting and design take about a year before the work can start at a station, but the agency is making progress.

"Escalator availability has gotten better in the last year," says Stessel. "When we were having this conversation a year ago, there were on any given day more than 20 percent of Metro escalators that were out of service. In some cases that was for scheduled repair, and in some cases it was for mechanical problems."

Stessel says that figure is now below 10 percent. Of 94 escalators targeted for replacement, six are done. Stessel says others that did not need a complete overhaul have also been repaired — including seven at Union Station. Jack Corbett, the attorney for watchdog group MetroRiders.org, says Metro is making improvements, so riders should try to be patient.

"From the viewpoint of the passengers, it is frustrating, but give some patience to Metro," says Corbett. "They are putting funds into it, not going to be fast. It doesn't help for riders to say, 'Let's stop funding Metro until they get their problems fixed.'"

Red Line rider Mark Simons says he will pay the new, higher fares as long as the money goes to keep the system running.

"No one is cool with paying more. I think everybody understands the need for the fares to rise," says Simons. "I'd be a bigger fan of increased public support for the system."

The latest fare increase is supposed to fund Metro's ongoing maintenance and operations costs — so escalators, once fixed, don't fall apart again.

NPR

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dared To Dream

In her new memoir for young adults, Woodson uses free verse to tell the story of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Her work for young readers often touches on themes of race and identity.
NPR

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

If you don't think you like bitter foods, try them again. Jennifer McLagan, the author of Bitter: A Taste Of The World's Most Dangerous Flavor, is on a mission to change hearts and minds.
WAMU 88.5

Most Of D.C. Region's Lawmakers Back Plan To Arm Syrian Rebels

The House has passed a bill that authorizes the arming of moderate rebel groups in Syria — it's a vote that most, though not all, local lawmakers supported.

NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.