Metro GM Can Now Name Silver Line Start Date, But Probably Won't | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Metro GM Can Now Name Silver Line Start Date, But Probably Won't

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The end of July is the best guess for a Silver Line opening, but officials refuse to commit to a date.
Merrick Brown: https://flic.kr/p/eRmBc
The end of July is the best guess for a Silver Line opening, but officials refuse to commit to a date.

By a unanimous vote, Metro's board of directors authorized General Manager Richard Sarles to name a start-date for the Silver Line. That does not, however, mean you're likely to see one any time soon.

Metro believes floating any possible date could create an unreasonable public expectation that the Silver Line will open at that time. After all, the Silver Line has been plagued by delays and the contractor Bechtel is behind schedule fixing the last remaining punch list items holding up the project's completion.

Metro's general manager Richard Sarles told reporters he is not ready to make an announcement yet.

"When there is a time that I believe, based on the reports to me, that I can be highly confident of starting on a specific date with service, I will announce that and you will be among the first to know," Sarles said.

The head of the local transit union is not afraid to discuss when the Silver Line might open. ATU Local 689 president Jackie Jeter said Metro has notified her to prepare work schedules for the start of simulated Silver Line service — trial runs to train rail operators.

"We have a July 20 simulated service date. So unless they come to me and tell me we are not ready to go and the service is not going, then we are set to go. But when I asked him about it today, he told me we are still on board so that is what we are going with," Jeter said.

Metro has said passenger service would begin one week after simulated service is underway.

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