Severe Weather Service Levels

Metro makes every effort to operate the bus and rail system during adverse weather conditions. But if normal service cannot be operated safely, Metro adjusts its service levels appropriately for the severity of the weather.

Each service level is intended to be used system-wide. However, as weather conditions dictate, different service levels may be applied for sub-regions and/or on various lines of the rail system.

Metro has six service levels, which are defined in general terms below to assist customers in determining what to expect and how best to use Metro in inclement weather.

In the event of severe weather, please check Metro's home page or call customer information at 202-637-7000 to learn Metro's current operating status. Also see Metrorail Snow Service.

Service Level 1

Bus: All scheduled bus service is operated on or near scheduled times as local road and traffic conditions permit.

Rail: Normally scheduled service.

Service Level 2

Bus: All scheduled bus service is operated on or near scheduled time as local road and traffic conditions permit. However, all limited and express routes will make local stops due to the deteriorating weather conditions.

Rail: Normally scheduled service with some minor delays.

Service Level 3

Bus: All scheduled bus service on the main streets and snow routes are operated as close to scheduled time as local road and traffic conditions permit. However, buses are unable to operate through some neighborhoods particularly in outlying suburban areas or where hilly conditions prevent traffic from getting through. Customers must walk to the nearest main roadway that has a Metrobus stop to catch a bus.

Rail: Same fleet size as normally scheduled service but all trains operate with six cars. Longer waits between trains, with minor delays.

Service Level 4

Bus: Bus service is provided only on regional snow routes as local road conditions permit. Customers should dress appropriately, walk to the nearest bus stop that is on a snow route and expect delays.

Rail: Snow plows and ice scrapers are operating between trains. All trains have six cars. Expect up to 15 minute delays.

Service Level 5 (Contingency)

Bus: Bus service is provided only on snow routes as existing local conditions permit and only to the extent required. Customers should dress appropriately, walk to a bus stop on a main artery, and expect lengthy delays.

Rail: Limited above-ground service. Customers should expect lengthy delays. Six-car trains operate as required on the following rail segments:

  • Red - Twinbrook to Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood
  • Blue - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Addison Road-Seat Pleasant
  • Orange - West Falls Church-VT/UVA to Stadium-Armory or Addison Road-Seat Pleasant
  • Yellow - Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  • Green - Prince George's Plaza to Congress Heights

Service Level 6 (Contingency)

Bus: Limited bus service is provided on portions of regional snow emergency routes as existing local conditions permit and to the extent possible. Customers should dress appropriately, walk to a bus stop on a main artery, and expect lengthy delays.

Rail: Operate underground, with six car trains as required:

  • Red - Grosvenor-Strathmore to Union Station
  • Blue - Crystal City to Stadium-Armory
  • Orange - Ballston to Stadium-Armory
  • Yellow - Mt. Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center to L'Enfant Plaza
  • Green - Fort Totten to Congress Heights
  • Blue/Yellow - Pentagon to Crystal City shuttle

Service levels 5 and 6 are contingency levels of service and will only be implemented when service level 4 can no longer be maintained safely.


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