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Metro GM: 'Don't Blame Me' For Blue Line Reductions

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Blue Line riders haven't been pleased with the new "Rush Plus" service implemented by Metro last year, mainly because it results in fewer Blue Line trains.
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Blue Line riders haven't been pleased with the new "Rush Plus" service implemented by Metro last year, mainly because it results in fewer Blue Line trains.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles responded Monday to criticism of the decision to reduce Blue Line trains in order to accommodate the Silver Line.

When the Silver Line opens later this year, Blue Line service will be reduced again. The line has already seen fewer trains operating to certain Metro stations under the Rush Plus program, something that has drawn a lot of comments from Blue Line riders since it was implemented last year.

"The decisions actually were made a decade ago," Sarles said Monday during an appearance on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show. Sarles said the plan has always been to move Blue Line trains out of the Rosslyn tunnel and over the Yellow Line bridge.

"Because there was not enough capacity — which only about 26 trains an hour in the Rosslyn tunnel — to take the Silver Line trains," he said. Sarles said he has improved on the original plans.

"At that time they were talking about 14 minute headways on the Blue Line,"  Sarles said. "Now we are down to 12.  That gives you another train or so per hour."

That means one Blue Line train every 12 minutes during both peak and off peak periods after the opening of the Silver Line.

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