Metro Apologizes For Orange Line Gridlock Wednesday | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Metro Apologizes For Orange Line Gridlock Wednesday

Play associated audio
A disabled train outside the Clarendon Metro station caused havoc for evening commuters.
Flickr/Brian Aydemir
A disabled train outside the Clarendon Metro station caused havoc for evening commuters.

An Orange Line train with a brake problem caused massive problems on the Blue and Orange Lines last night, prompting an apology from Metro.

Some riders took to Twitter to complain that it took more than three hours to get home. Passengers were stuck on the disabled train outside the Clarendon station for an hour and a half. Platforms were packed, single-tracking trains were jammed.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles says he's sorry, but the rescue went as planned.

"First we tried to move the train out without having to send a rescue train. We had a car repair technician on board the train to try to do that. He was unsuccessful," Sarles says. "Then the next step is to bring in a rescue train, which we have to do that very carefully. In this particular case we walked the passengers off the train that had been disabled to the rescue train."

Disabled trains are just one frustration for riders, some of whom seem to be losing patience with Metro. Twice recently, trains went down the wrong tracks,  taking passengers to out-of-the-way stations. There have also been a spate of red signal violations by train operators. And it took four years for Metro to identify the cause of emergency intercom failures, which are currently being fixed. Officials also learned some train operators were disabling intercoms themselves because of noise and feedback.

"But we've been on a steady program of improving this system over the last few years," Sarles says. "Back in 2009 and 2010, the system was in really, really bad shape. We've been going from spending $400 million in capital money per year to nearly $900 million to get this system back in shape."

Although average weekday rail ridership is up 48 percent since 1997, it has dropped recently. Metro riders took 5.5 million fewer trips last year than in 2011.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 18

You can attend an annual Latin American film festival or see a new play about strength, war and family.

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.
NPR

Ukrainian President Thanks Congress For Supporting Freedom

Petro Poroshenko called Russia's annexation of Crimea a "cynical act of treachery." He is in the U.S. meeting with President Obama and others to lobby for increased aid to fight insurgents.
NPR

Apple: iOS 8 Prevents Cooperation With Police Unlocking Requests

In the rollout of its new mobile operating system, Apple says it has made it technically impossible for the company to unlock phone data, even in response to a law enforcement warrant.

Leave a Comment

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