Metro: Bethesda Escalators Are At End Of Useful Life | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Metro: Bethesda Escalators Are At End Of Useful Life

Play associated audio
Bethesda commuters still have a few years to wait for replacement of the escalators at their Metro station; all three escalators went out at the same time last week and twice Tuesday before the Montgomery County Council held a meeting on the problem.
Edward J. Welker (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed_welker/3490672550/)
Bethesda commuters still have a few years to wait for replacement of the escalators at their Metro station; all three escalators went out at the same time last week and twice Tuesday before the Montgomery County Council held a meeting on the problem.

Metro is facing more criticism over frequent escalator outages, and commuters who travel through the Bethesda stop remain frustrated even after an emergency meeting Tuesday night.

The gathering of the Montgomery County Council's transportation committee was announced after all three escalators at the Bethesda station were shut down last Wednesday. Ironically, another escalator outage occurred before the meeting, prompting fresh complaints from Metro riders and council president Roger Berliner.

"None of us want to be talking about three escalators out at one time, 175 stairs to climb," he said. "It is not acceptable."

Taking the brunt of the outrage from council members and the public last night was Rodrigo Bitar, Metro's superintendent for escalators and elevators. He told the crowd that Bethesda's escalators were last refurbished in 2001 and 2002, adding it makes some sense that the units are having more problems now.

"The life cycle for a rehabilitated escalator is somewhere between 10-12 years," he said. "We are right there." Bitar also outlined a lot more information about how escalators work, and how Metro is working to improve maintenance practices.

But he didn't offer any immediate solutions for regular Bethesda commuters. That left Katherine Martinez, who rides -- or walks -- the escalators every day, worried about the local economy.

"I think it means Bethesda is going to be avoided," she said. "I really believe that." Metro currently has the Bethesda escalators scheduled for replacement in 2015.

NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
WAMU 88.5

Abortion Is Back In The Spotlight In Virginia

The state's current attorney general is overturning a ruling from the previous attorney general that would have shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state, and the issue isn't just about regulations and politics. It's also about money.
NPR

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

If someone is infected by the Loa loa worm, taking a drug to treat river blindness could be risky. Now there's a fast way to identify the worm — by turning a smartphone into a microscope.

Leave a Comment

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