Hundreds of passengers who complained of delays on Metro's Red Line over the past week are getting refunds for their frustrating rides.
About 550 passengers filed formal complaints on Metro's website or by phone after three delays this week gummed up commutes so badly that Metro CEO Richard Sarles issued a formal apology.
Metro even created a special link on its website to give customers a chance to complain.
Public records obtained by the News4 I-Team showed that 316 passengers already have been issued refunds, or what Metro calls "adjustments." The refunds are in the form of money issued to their SmarTrip cards or a free-ride voucher in the mail.
Metro is still trying to handle adjustments for about another 200 passengers who have filed complaints. The transit agency said it hoped to have the adjustments completed by later Friday evening.
The delays were the subject of loud complaints on social media by passengers stuck on crowded platforms.
Thursday's first delay came around 7:30 a.m. with a train malfunction at Judiciary Square, which was quickly cleared, only to be followed by a Shady Grove-bound train with a brake problem at Gallery Place. Trains behind the affected train were held while passengers were off-loaded.
About an hour later, Metro advised riders to expect delays on the way to Glenmont due to a disabled train outside Fort Totten.
The barrage of tweets advising of delays continued throughout the morning, including a tweet warning of a Glenmont-bound train holding for a door problem at Dupont Circle.
Glenmont-bound Red Line train at Dupont Circle holding for a door problem. Train offloading. 9:20a #wmata
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) November 14, 2013
Just before 10 a.m., Metro General Manager Richard Sarles released an apology for the delays:
"I want to apologize for the delays and inconvenience you have experienced recently. I know that service on the Red Line has not been good over the past several days. Be assured, we are focused on these issues and are taking steps to improve service..."
That did little to comfort passengers who had dealt with the problems.
— Jorge (@porquejorge) November 14, 2013
Commuters on the Red Line also faced major delays Wednesday morning as crews worked to repair a low-hanging cable outside the Woodley Park station.
Just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, trains began single-tracking between the Van Ness and Dupont Circle stations. Repairs to the low-hanging cable inside a tunnel outside the Woodley Park station were completed slightly more than three hours later.
— YH (@parkyhee) November 14, 2013