Entrance escalators at Bethesda station will be replaced, Sarles announces
Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles announced this morning that the agency plans to replace all three entrance escalators at Bethesda Station under its proposed six-year, fiscal year 2013 to 2018 Capital Improvement Program. Sarles made the announcement while speaking to the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.
“Replacing the entrance escalators at Bethesda is now part of our proposed six-year Capital Improvement Program that I will present to the Board of Directors this fall, and while this project needs to be supported by our funding jurisdictions and the Board, I am confident that they share my interest in improving escalator reliability,” Sarles said.
“We can’t keep doing band-aid repairs and hope they will last – it’s time to just replace the entrance escalators at the Bethesda station,” said Sarles.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for this commitment from General Manager Sarles,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner. “Anyone who uses the Bethesda Metro Station knows that escalator failures have becomes more the norm than the exception and that a long-term solution is overdue. I applaud Mr. Sarles for acknowledging that WMATA can do better by their customers by making the capital investment necessary to ensure safe, reliable access to the station for all Metro riders.”
Bethesda Station opened in 1984. The entrance escalators were modernized between May 2001 and May 2002. On an average weekday, almost 23,000 people use the Bethesda station.
Under the schedule, Metro would begin the project to replace the Bethesda entrance escalators in early 2014. Sarles asked Metro escalator staff to review the maintenance schedule to see if there is any opportunity to further accelerate the project.
Metro is currently replacing three escalators at Foggy Bottom and will construct a new staircase and canopy later this year. Other escalator replacements are planned for Pentagon and Dupont Circle stations.
News release issued at 10:06 am, July 27, 2011.