Washington, D.C. officials are spiking the costs to drive and park in the city, just as Metro’s 10-month SafeTrack repair plan makes it harder to enter the District, bringing massive delays to the region and promising a summer of commuter chaos.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said parking restrictions will expand during rush hour and the city will offer incentives to use the District’s Capital Bikeshare service as an alternate mode of transport, reports NBC4. City officials increased the monetary burden on District commuters using meter parking, jacking up the hourly charge by 200 percent Wednesday. The SafeTrack maintenance overall begins Saturday and everyone from commuters, local business owners and the District mayor seem unprepared to cope with the coming storm of delays, station closures and months of single-tracking
Mayor Bowser wrote a five-page letter to Metro leaders in May requesting special exceptions for events in the city, which would allow service to continue until 3 a.m. certain weekends. Officials swiftly rejected Bowser’s plea, bluntly telling her no exceptions can be made, reports The Washington Post.
“I think every jurisdiction, including the District, is raising issues with events, etc. that they have, that they would prefer not to have them disrupted,” Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans told The Washington Post. “As Wiedefeld said, ‘if I start accommodating one, we’re going to be back to where we started. And we’re never gonna get this done.’ So, this is my plan, as he said, and we’re sticking with it.”
As SafeTrack prepares to deal out a year of unprecedented closures and delays, here are the five worst Metro closures to expect as summer begins. (RELATED: Two Week-Long Track Shutdowns Imminent As DC Metro Reveals Final Repair Plan)
1. Midnight closures to affect District nightlife
The Metro will close every weekend at midnight, rather than 3 a.m., beginning Friday. Officials are expecting an earlier exodus from D.C. bars and restaurants. Metro will not provide an extended bus schedule for those staying out later. Business owners in the area are worried this could greatly affect their profits.
2. Extended single-tracking on the silver line
Officials will single-track trains between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations beginning Saturday. Major service disruptions are expected on all orange and silver line tracks and at the Ballston station in particular due to the maintenance work, which ends June 16.
Metro officials are warning riders to expect overcrowded trains. Orange line trains will run once every 18 minutes between the Vienna and Ballston stations. Silver line trains will run once every 18 minutes between all stations.
3. A 16-day shutdown of portions of the orange, blue and silver lines
Officials will initiate a 16-day shutdown beginning June 18 of the orange, blue and silver lines between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road. Significant delays on these lines are expected, as well as overcrowding on platforms and trains.
4. Two stations will close during the 16-day shutdown
The Stadium-Armory and Potomac Avenue stations will close for the entirety of the 16-day shutdown repairing sections of the orange, blue and silver lines. The stations will reopen July 3, but in the meantime, officials implore passengers to find alternate modes of transport.
5. Two-weeks of track closures on the blue and yellow lines
Metro will close the blue and yellow line tracks between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road stations starting July 5 and ending July 11. The blue and yellow lines will then be shutdown July 12 between Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City for a week. Blue and yellow line trains will run once every 12 minutes. Metrobuses will be rerouted during shutdowns to deal with crowds, however riders are encouraged to make alternate travel plans.
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