More trains, shorter waits coming to Blue, Orange and Silver line customers beginning August 1
Welcome news for customers who ride the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. As of Aug 1, trains will arrive every 15 minutes on weekdays, matching service on the Green and Yellow lines. For most customers, the wait for a train will be no longer than 5-8 minutes, as most stations are served by at least two if not all three lines.
“Improving service for customers is how we will restore the confidence of the National Capital Region,” said Randy Clarke, Metro general manager and chief executive officer. “Restoring 7K service frequency and providing even more improvements is my focus.”
In September, Metro expects to expand the service improvements on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines to weekends providing the same level of service, every 15 minutes, on Saturdays and Sundays. This will give workers and visitors or others attending events and activities throughout the region an even more convenient way to get around – all at the weekend fare of just $2 one-way anywhere you travel.
The increased availability of railcars will also allow Metro to continue running additional trains as needed to reduce crowding and keep trains on standby throughout the system in the event a train is taken out of service due to unexpected maintenance issues.
In addition, Metro has restored more 6000-series railcars, increasing the overall number of cars available for service. Repairs to the coupler – which connects railcars – have been completed on most of the 6000-series fleet.
Metro is working to return more 7000-series trains to service as part of a phased approach. A key component of the plan includes the use of an automatic wheel measurement system on all six lines. The system uses laser technology and imaging to measure the wheelsets in real-time as trains pass over it. The first system is in place on the Green and Yellow lines and is currently undergoing testing and validation.
The timeline for restoring more 7000-series trains through Phase 2 and 3 of Metro’s return to service plan is dependent on when the automatic wheel measurements are incorporated into the inspection process. Based on the system’s performance, Metro will develop the next phases of the plan in consultation with critical stakeholders, including the WMSC which must approve the plan.
Additional information is available in Metro’s 7000-series return to service plan, including the steps Metro has taken since last year’s Blue Line derailment to determine the cause and develop inspection procedures. To date, the investigation has found no evidence of failures related to maintenance or manufacturing of the equipment.