Metrorail service changes to begin Monday as part of revised budget due to Covid-19; Metrobus changes begin March 14
Beginning Monday, February 15, Metrorail service changes will take effect to normalize weekday rail service throughout the day. During peak and off-peak hours, trains will operate at the same service frequencies through the evening rush hour. The changes will improve service consistency throughout the day to better match customers’ travel patterns during the pandemic.
Under the revised FY2021 budget approved by Metro’s Board of Directors in November, service will operate every 12 minutes on the Blue, Orange, Silver, Green and Yellow lines effective Monday, resulting in service every 4-6 minutes at stations served by multiple lines. Normal weekday service on the Red Line will operate every 6 minutes but will be adjusted to 12-minutes for the Presidents Day holiday only. Service after 7 p.m. remains unchanged.
The changes bring rail service in line with ridership demand while managing costs amid pandemic-related budget constraints. Rail ridership remains down nearly 90 percent from pre-pandemic levels.
Metrorail operating hours will remain unchanged, opening at 5 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday; and ending at 11 p.m. nightly. On weekends, trains will continue to operate at the same service levels.
In addition, Metro plans to expand service for bus customers beginning March 14, to provide additional capacity. Customers will see more buses, more often on the 125 lines of service currently operating, and more routes will be added to expand bus service on weekends.
Additional information about the March service changes on Metrobus and the routes affected will be provided at a later date.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Metrobus has seen a larger percentage of riders return compared to rail. Weekday bus ridership is down only 55 percent of pre-pandemic levels and less on weekends, providing service to transit-dependent and essential workers throughout the region.