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Commuters Flee DC Metro Repairs, Red Line Ridership Down Nearly 50 Percent

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Ridership on the D.C. Metro plummeted Monday during the first round of repairs to hit the red line as droves of commuters opted for buses and the roadways.

Officials revealed Monday afternoon ridership declined by 30 to 40 percent across the entire red line, differing slightly from station to station. Commuters appeared to heed the warnings of Metro officials who implored red line riders to use alternate transport this week during Surge 6 SafeTrack repairs. The current repair work is reducing rush hour service by 50 percent, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Surge 6 maitinence continues on the red line through August 7.

“Thanks to everyone on the Red Line who adjusted their schedule or their commute to avoid Surge 6,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in a press release. “Now we need everyone to keep this up for the rest of the week.”

D.C. Metro officials and representatives of Montgomery County, Maryland warned riders the repair work would add anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to their usual commute. Trains are single-tracking continuously between the Takoma and Silver Spring stations for Surge 6 repairs. Officials reported many riders opted for the Metrobus service Monday.

Train schedules are drastically reduced on nearly all parts of the red line. Officials reduced service between the Silver Spring and NoMa stations by 75 percent. The large swath of track running between the Grosvenor and NoMa stations is reduced by 25 percent. Train service is down 50 percent between the Glenmont and Silver Spring stations.

Trains are running every 12 minutes between the Glenmont and Grosvenor stations and every six minutes between the Shady Grove and NoMa stations.

The headache for red line riders will extend through Surge 6 repairs until August 18. Surge 7 repairs will begin on the red line for 10 days on August 9. Trains will single track between the Shady Grove & Rockville stations, disrupting roughly 32,000 weekly trips. Trains will run once every 18 minutes.

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